Agile Project Management with Jira

FEA01x - edited feature imageJira Software is the most popular project management software tool used by agile teams. Jira’s popularity is due in part to its flexibility and customizability. Teams can organize sprints, use Kanban boards, and analyze burndown charts.

Atlassian, the project management software giant, allows you to integrate a plethora of software development tools, such as Bitbucket, HipChat, and Bamboo that can assist agile teams in every phase of the development lifecycle. With all of the available apps and options,

Jira Software shines as a highly-customizable centralized project management system.

Jira: The Agile Approach

Agile teams use an iterative approach to break down complex projects. In the past, software development teams often failed to meet deadlines because of the sheer complexity of their work. The agile methodology for project management was developed to address the many inefficiencies present in traditional software development projects.

The agile methodology is based on four basic tenets:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Agile project managers embrace change. Since working software is the primary measure of progress for agile teams, the trajectory of the project is bound to change as feedback from clients, customers, and team members are integrated with each new release. While this might sound like it would slow the whole process down, it actually makes teams more nimble and ensures higher code quality.

Jira has adopted agile principles into every facet of their software. Agile teams can quickly and easily navigate charts, long-term goals (epics), and tasks. Tracking issues and spotting bugs can also be done automatically by Jira Software.

Navigating Jira: Boards

Jira Software helps you manage all of the complexities of agile project management. Jira puts all of the backlogged items into one place. Navigation is simplified through Jira’s intuitive boards.

Active sprints, which are automatically put within a two-week time frame, can be found on the sprints board. Sprints aren’t mandatory, however – boards can be used in conjunction with either Scrum, Kanban, or a mixture of project management methodologies.

Boards make work visible, placing work items into “in progress,” “to do,” and “completed” lanes, for example. Tasks are visualized on team boards, where work items are sorted vertically – right next to each other. Tasks can be moved to the “done” lane quickly and easily, where they can be revisited and reviewed at any time to ensure quality.

Boards make workflow processes transparent, easy to follow, and easy to understand. Everyone on the team can stay on the same page without the need for constant meetings, emails, or memos.

Tracking Software: Releases and Reports

Tracking every release is of the utmost importance for agile teams. Delivering working software is the best way to track how well a project is coming along. Tracking releases is a simple process with Jira’s tracking tools.

By clicking on the “Releases” tab in the sidebar of the dashboard, Jira will load all previous software releases. The status of upcoming releases can also be viewed. Any and all issues should be visible as well, making bug and inconsistencies in code easier to spot.

Improving upon existing processes is another key task for agile teams. Agile project management requires regular assessments of weaknesses in the middle of development. Teams must also strive to enhance every aspect of the project, swiftly tackling any issues that arise.

Reports are crucial for improvement. Visual data can be generated in real time so Jira project managers can analyze and improve upon team activity.

Conclusion

Jira is a powerful project management system with planning, tracking, releasing, and reporting all in one place. Teams are able to access information about tasks, productivity, bugs, and code quality in one location. The result is better coordination among team members, faster development times, and higher quality code.

By embracing the agile methodology, Jira lets teams build flexible, customizable projects. Using Jira’s boards and reports lets team members digest critical project information in a highly visual way. By monitoring releases and generating reports, project managers can lead better project retrospectives that lead to meaningful changes and improvements in project processes.

Jira helps teams avoid burnout. By keeping a consistent, agile pace, teams can produce working software in an iterative fashion. By using a popular project management system like Jira, software development teams are more likely to succeed through the use of powerful software tools.

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About Paul Sciglar

Paul Sciglar is a columnist interested in international policies and economic affairs. Certified Accountant with broad experience in strategic analysis, FP&A, investment banking, and investment management. You may connect with him on Twitter at paulsciglar.

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