Office Timeline Online can import data from Atlassian Cloud's Jira Software, Jira Work Management or Jira Service Management and quickly turn it into a beautiful, easy-to-read timeline. This guide will show you exactly how it works. We’ll cover:
Read the full guide to learn all about importing from Jira into Office Timeline Online, or use the links above to scroll straight to the chapter you’re interested in.
Before getting started, here’s a quick reminder of some key timeline elements that we’ll be mentioning throughout this guide:
A) Setting up your Jira data for importing
Before importing into Office Timeline Online, you might have to make a few tweaks to your issues in Jira to ensure a successful import.
Because Office Timeline Online will turn your Jira issues into tasks and milestones on a timeline slide, it will need data from Jira that can serve as:
- Task/Milestone Titles (typically your issues’ “Summary” field);
- Start Dates (e.g. “Start date”, “Target start”, “Actual start” or any custom date field in Jira);
- End Dates (e.g. “Due date”, “Target end”, “Actual end”, or any custom date field in Jira).
So, if you don’t typically work with two different date fields that can serve as Start and End dates in Office Timeline Online, make sure to add them to your issues in Jira before importing.
Note: Issues that have one of the two date fields filled out will be imported as milestones, while those that have both dates filled out will appear as tasks on your PowerPoint timeline.
You can also import other, optional fields into Office Timeline Online. For example, you can bring in Comments as Notes, or pull various fields from Jira (like Project, Category, Status, Sprint, Team, etc.) to use as Swimlanes on your timeline.
B) Connecting to Jira and authorizing access to your site
When you’re all set and ready to import, connecting Office Timeline Online to Jira is fast and simple:
From the New tab in Office Timeline Online, click Import data and select Jira from the list of tools.
In the window that pops up, log in to your Atlassian account and grant us access to your Jira site.
Note: If you want to authorize Office Timeline Online for a second Jira site, simply pick the desired one from the “Authorize for site” list when opening a Jira import session. With multiple sites authorized, you’ll be able to quickly switch between them from the Account menu:
C) Selecting your data source and filtering data
If you have both projects and boards on your chosen Jira site, we’ll ask you to choose between the two source types before moving forward:
Choosing projects as source type will lead you to the projects screen, where you can:
Select one or multiple projects to import data from.
Quick tip: You can use the search box at the top to find a particular project faster.
Apply one of the filters you have in Jira to quickly get the exact data set you need from your selected projects. To do so, click the Jira filters button in the top-right corner and pick the filter you want:
Office Timeline Online will pull from Jira only the issues that match the filter you've chosen.
Choosing boards as your source type will allow you to select one or more boards from Jira to use for your import.
Use the Search field at the top to quickly find a board name you’re looking for.
Use the View by project menu to quickly see the boards associated with specific projects.
After choosing the projects or boards you want to use, click Next to move to the next step: mapping columns.
D) How to map your data for importing
- The basics
Mapping columns allows you to decide what issue fields from Jira we should use to populate your timeline. Let’s see how it works.
After loading your chosen data source, our web app should automatically map the mandatory columns needed to generate your timeline: Title, Start Date and End Date. Optionally, you can also map the Swimlane or Notes columns.
Note: The headers you see on the first row are the Office Timeline headers, while the ones on the second row are the corresponding issue fields you have in Jira.
If you need other fields from Jira than the ones mapped by default, you can easily remap them. Just click the dropdown arrow above the column you want to map and select the corresponding Office Timeline header for it:
If there’s any mapped column you don’t want to import, simply click on its header and choose Unmap from the menu to remove it.
- Mapping Swimlanes
Mapping the Swimlane column on import will group your issues into lanes on the timeline, similar to what you see below:
If Office Timeline Online detects a Category field in your Jira source, it will automatically map it as the Swimlane column. However, you can:
Map the Swimlane column to any relevant field you have in Jira, such as Project, Priority, Status, Severity, Team, etc.
Unmap the Swimlane column if you’d rather get a basic Gantt chart or timeline.
- Issues with the same content in the Swimlane column will be placed on the same lane on the timeline.
- Issues with the Swimlane field empty will be placed directly on the timescale – not inside a lane.
E) Select which rows to import
After mapping the data columns, you'll get to the Select Rows step, where you can choose the specific tasks and milestones you want to import into your timeline.
Select (or deselect) individual tasks and milestones using the checkboxes next to each row, or click the box in the top-left corner of the table to select or all visible rows:
For Jira sources that have a lot of data rows, we'd recommend importing only the key tasks and milestones to ensure you get a clean, easy-to-read timeline.
For projects that contain parent and child issues (e.g. tasks with subtasks), you can quickly select the whole group by selecting the parent. To select just the parent and not its child items, hold Ctrl (Cmd) before clicking its checkbox.
If your Jira issues have different hierarchy levels (e.g. tasks and subtasks), you can use the View menu above the table to choose the level you want to see. In our example below, we chose “Level 1” to keep in view just the major tasks:
Then you can just tick the checkbox in the corner of the table to select all (and only) the parent tasks.
When happy with the data selected, click Import, and Office Timeline Online will instantly generate your timeline, which you can then easily style as you wish.
Whenever your data in Jira changes, click Refresh in Office Timeline Online to effortlessly update your visual. Just follow these simple steps for refreshing Jira imports.
You can import your Jira data directly into a template to save time styling. Simply pick a template you like from Office Timeline’s built-in gallery, select Import, and choose Jira.