Project Management tools are set of software that is created to assist the project planners in managing, monitoring and strategizing projects so as to match the goals of the project within the deadline. It even helps them in communicating things and pacing up the projects for fulfilling the preset goals.

Jira is typically thought of as a project management tool, however, not everyone is aware that it can also be used as a functional testing tool. You must depend on Jira if you are process-oriented and believe in managing things in a consistent flow. Logical management of processes, users and projects gets facilitated by an integrated platform like Jira, although it is not exactly a testing solution.

Your teams may maintain all the information in one location rather than keeping requirements in a separate file, testing and defect tracking in the test management tool, and creating project timelines on the side. And that is a significant benefit.

 

Why Jira Is So Important

Jira provides a low-cost entry point to its platform, despite its extensive functionality. Its fantastic features make it a top pick for many software developers and testers to aid with their projects and management requirements.

In Jira, the testing procedure will provide them (all analysts, testers, and developers) the ability to work in a single, well-known tool where all requirements, test cases, defects, Epics, and user stories can be easily linked to one another.

Workflow customization, robust search capabilities, adjustable issue fields, flexible reporting, and connections with major development tools are among JIRA’s advantages. Your team will undoubtedly value consistency and clarity in executing test plans, maintaining code repositories, and simply completing more work in less time.  JIRA is used by organizations of all kinds to handle projects of all sorts.

 

Key Features of Jira:

Jira provides sophisticated agile views, unique workflows, and precise agile reporting. Jira’s software contains several extremely wonderful features. Here are some of these significant qualities in further detail:

 

Agile Views:

Agile is Jira’s primary application, and it allows for the seamless use of all the capabilities of Scrum boards and Kanban boards. As a result, it may be utilized for Scrum, Kanban, and hybrid methods such as the Scrum ban. When you start a project, Jira prompts you to choose between Kanban and Scrum. Jira produces a Scrum or a Kanban board for your project as soon as you pick it.

 Project Tracking: 

Monitoring the various levels of an ongoing project is performed with the help of the project management software. Jira’s proprietary query language, JQL, allows you to filter or arrange problems based on a variety of parameters. The sidebar provides quick access to information on planning, releasing, tracking, and reporting. You may create assignments and stories from any screen with our adaptable planning tool. Furthermore, the drag-and-drop tool simplifies the creation of sprints and epics in the backlog.

 

Excellent Product Integrations:

Jira software’s integration features make software development simpler and easier when used with other tools, such as Atlassian applications like Confluence. By combining Jira software with Jira Service Desk, you can also keep your development and IT teams connected for quick issue resolution.

The suppliers now provide the following Jira integrations:

  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Service Desk
  • Balsamiq
  • Zendesk
  • Zephyr
  • Tempo
  • EazyBI
  • Gantt-Chart for JIRA
  • Atlassian Confluence
  • GitHub
  • Gliffy

 Reports in Jira:

Jira provides useful information in a user-friendly manner known as reports. JIRA has a plethora of reports that allow you to obtain visibility into the issue. Furthermore, these reports provide project statistics throughout the project’s lifespan. The Burndown chart, for example, shows both the actual and expected amount of work to be completed in the sprint.

Best Practices of JIRA:

JIRA aligns your tasks with the project goals. Projects in JIRA help in meeting a common business goal by representing the cross-functional and static teams of an organization. It helps them work hand-in-hand and meet the goal like ensuring high quality development and maintenance of the product.

Over extended periods of time, Jira depicts a growing list of projects e.g. “temp sandbox”, “test-1” and “test project”. The need for stating the project names clearly by establishing a clear naming convention is obvious. Identifying the right project becomes easier for the development and QA teams. 

Project housekeeping has to be done regularly to help prioritize it above many other administrative functions. JIRA enables creation of new projects only for the admins. It ensures setting up of the defaults and best practices of JIRA, which involves an assurance of applying the right permissions.

Do not focus much on the type of the NexGen projects, instead consider the classic type. The capabilities of the NexGen type of projects seems a bit immature when pitted against the classic one. 

Managing Workflows


Develop an individual workflow for every team and do not share the workflow between them. Make sure that the workflows get simplified as much as possible.

Once you pick a sensible point of commencement, you may get it aligned with a starter template. The team can share their ideas on making improvements and initiating an action plan. Causing a few alterations and tweaks to your workflow may be necessary.

Identifying the team workflows gets easier and quicker when you follow a specific workflow naming convention. It helps when you do not address each type of issue with a separate workflow. Under most circumstances, we develop a particular workflow for addressing work items at a story level. You must deviate from setting multi-level workflows where the progress of parent work to a higher level in the workflow depends on the completion of child work items. 

Enable the issue types to spread through the statuses. Somewhere on the board, you have to enable the drag and drop feature.

Statuses – If you cannot manage the statuses in the right manner, they might simply get out of hand. To manage them properly, you must set up the change control process.

Transitions – Keep them simplified. It is in your interest to enable transition of the work items across various states.

Resolutions – You should not assume status to be resolution. For every workflow, you must set up date-time stamps that are resolved.

 

Managing the Custom Fields

Introduction of the Change Control Process seems inevitable for the best practices. The same purpose can be served efficiently by a host of identical custom fields that you may find while you are not centralizing the ownership. All human-erred errors and duplicity of fields can thus be evaded.

 

Managing the Boards

The team must manage the board after creating it. However, the ability of the team members in modifying the boards will not be restricted if you maintain the right settings for these boards.  

  • Make sure that teams are capable of developing and modifying their respective boards 
  • Activate the time in column indicator. Although a default feature, it is quite effective for enhancing the value flow throughout the board
  • Stop using the swimlanes. They are not very effective when they encounter much Work in progress; they keep on reducing the visual impact
  • Do not align the board with the story as per the swimlane or shift sub-tasks by covering the columns 
  • Maintaining the board at the level of bugs, tasks or stories is necessary. The QA team even sees Sub-tasks and Epics among things that move across the board. The value flow gets represented discreetly when you move through the hierarchy and choose the correct level. That is why, from a tracking perspective, it is important to organize the requirements in a hierarchy 
  • There is no point in moving and visualizing epics throughout the board. Epics depict a cluster of items used for child work, which are utilized for creating structure for enabling a shared view of the entire scope of work. Just to catch a holistic view of the proceedings setting up status in the form of Done, Doing and To Do seems appropriate. But you must avoid wasting time by visualizing the epics on the board of your team 
  • Wherever it seems apt, limit the Work In Progress. Excessive WIP reduced team productivity. Every column of your team board must witness WIP limits. If you set up WIP limits using Jira’s built-in functionality, you will be able to raise the flag whenever the WIP crosses its limits. JIRA never prevents you from crossing limits, instead it tracks exceeded limits with the help of a visual indicator  
  • A project can involve multiple boards for the team throughout the projects. It is quite natural and useful too

 

Challenges:

Jira is popular among many teams and users; however, it is not always the best answer for every team and scenario. Jira can be difficult to set up. It might be considered for the first-time user but when utilized for a small project, the numerous setup options might be overwhelming to a team member. It might not be the greatest choice for someone. 

While tracking bugs or projects, users can get email notifications. However, there is no direct mechanism to send messages from Jira. Although available interfaces with other communication and chat software might help to overcome this issue, the lack of a capability to communicate from within the Jira environment may be a deal breaker for some.

Jira is perfect for tracking bugs, problems, and agile project progress. However, as a project management tool, it lacks some skills, such as the ability to manage expenses and identify risks, which are frequently required in a full project management system.

 

Conclusion:

Working on bug fixes or directing a team that works well together is not a simple endeavor. However, JIRA software has simplified the process with its strong AI algorithms and agile methodology. The software is useful for a variety of teams, including agile, testing, management, and development.

Furthermore, the incorporation of several essential tools has boosted its efficacy. So, utilize JIRA to improve team management, time tracking, productivity, and bug testing. Also, be certain that you have answers to some of its limits. Otherwise, it is an excellent business software. 

 

Blog written by

Sharmistha Mukherjee