Project management can be a cost, time-consuming, and complicated process for many organizations. JIRA is the perfect tool for organizing tasks and managing agile teams. One of the most popular open source testing software tools – JIRA is trusted by over 65,000 companies worldwide, including giants like Spotify, Cisco, eBay, Square and Airbnb. This issue tracking tool is mainly used to track, organize and prioritize issues, bugs, features and tasks related to software and mobile apps. Our JIRA article covers all topics: what is JIRA, what is JIRA used for, its features, JIRA workflow, components, etc.
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What Is JIRA?
JIRA is a project management software developed by the Australian company Atlassian. The word JIRA is derived from the Japanese word ‘Gojira’, meaning Godzilla. The software is based on agile methodology. If you’re wondering what is jira used for, the answer is multiple purposes – bug tracking, issue tracking, and project management. Many businesses also use JIRA software in non-standard ways as warehouse automation tool, document flow, expenses optimization, and others. The JIRA dashboard contains several useful functions and features which enable easy handling of issues. One of the most sought after agile project management solutions, JIRA has recently tweaked some of its products for all kinds of teams and organizations including IT, marketing, operations, finance, HR, legal and other departments.
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Key Jira conceptsSome of the key concepts in Jira are:
- Projects: They are used to organize and manage work within Jira. Each project contains a set of issues and can have its own custom fields, workflows, and permission schemes.
- Issues: They are the primary unit of work in Jira. They represent tasks, bugs, and other work items that need tracking and managing. Issues can be assigned to individuals or teams with various attributes like priority, status, and due date.
- Workflows: They define the lifecycle of an issue, including its status and transitions. Jira has a default workflow, but it can also be customized to match the needs of a specific project.
- Boards: They are used to visualize and manage the progress of issues in a project. Jira has three types of boards: Scrum boards, Kanban boards, and Agile boards.
- Sprints: Sprints are time-boxed periods of work in Scrum methodology. Sprints help teams to focus on a specific set of tasks and deliverables within a fixed timeframe.
- Epics: Epics are large work items that are broken down into smaller issues. They provide a high-level view of the work that needs to be done and help teams to prioritize their work.
- Versions: Versions are used to track and manage releases of a project. They represent a specific set of features or fixes that are ready to be shipped to users.
- Dashboards: Dashboards provide a customizable view of project information, such as status, progress, and key metrics. Dashboards can be shared with team members or stakeholders to provide visibility into the project.
Different Uses of Jira
Originally designed as a bug and issue tracker, Jira serves as a powerful work management tool for various use cases like:
- Requirement and Test case Management – to manage manual and automated tests
- Agile Teams – JIRA software provides scrum and Kanban boards for teams practicing agile methodologies.
- Project Management – JIRA software can be configured to fit any type of project right from onset, through execution, to wrap up.
- Software Development – for developing better software, faster by incorporating Atlassian tools.
- DevOps – Atlassian open DevOps helps teams ship better software, stressing on best practices.
- Product Management – JIRA help design detailed roadmaps, handle dependencies, and share plans and progresses.
- Task Management –JIRA makes it easy to create tasks to work on, with details, due dates and reminders.
- Bug Tracking – the powerful jira workflow engine makes sure that bugs, once captured are automatically assigned and prioritized.
How JIRA Works in Product Management
JIRA makes it easy for team members and product managers to see the big picture surrounding the development of a product. The software roadmaps builds a flexible plan for what the agile team looks to achieve, and provides a visual of how to connect the pieces. The roadmaps help:
- Track team progress
- Map and account for dependencies
- Iterate and update with more information about project, product or customer requirements
- Build multiple roadmap versions and share with stakeholders
JIRA Issues and Issue types
What Is a JIRA Issue?
A JIRA issue helps track bug or underlying issue in a project. You can create issues after having imported project. There are several useful features under issues like:
- Issue Types
JIRA Issue Types
The Issue Types
Issue Types in JIRA displays every kind of items that can be created and tracked with the testing tool. The issues fall into categories like new feature, sub task, bug.
The issue type schemes available are:
- Defaults Issue Type Scheme - where all newly created issues are automatically added.
- Agile Scrum Issue Type Scheme – for issues and projects dealing with Agile Scrum
How to Use –
Jira workflow – a workflow maps the steps required in a task and defines your process. Suppose you have a business requirement, you’ll first create the technical design and from there, create the test cases. Once test cases are created, coding is done, followed by testing.
To create a new workflow, go to Settings > Issues > Workflows >Add Workflow
Jira automation – the automation features of Jira enables users to automate their tasks and project updates so that they can speed up work, free up resources, which means there’s less chance of mismanagement in the project lifecycle.
Jira automation can be used for tasks like:
- Automatically close parent task if sub task is completed
- Assign all tasks to particular team member
- Import customer issues from other JIRA apps
- Send regular task status updates to relevant personnel.
Different Features of JIRA
- Scrum and Kanban Boards
- Bug and Issue Tracking
- Agile Reporting
- Custom Workflows
- Over 3000 App Integrations
- Audit Logs
Different Components of JIRA
In JIRA, Components are generic containers for issues. They are used to group issues within a project into further smaller groups. Components add structure to projects, breaking them down into smaller features, modules, teams, subprojects, etc. Users can use components to generate reports, gather statistics and display them on dashboards. Users with project administrator permissions can only manage project components.
How to Create an Issue in JIRA
Here’s how you can create an issue in JIRA:
- Step 1 – open JIRA application and login with your ID and password.
The free JIRA dashboard will open up. Select Project. Choose from options like Simple Issue Tracking, Project Management, Agile Kanban, Jira Classic, etc.
- Step 2 – Mention Issue Details
- Step 3 – Enter detailed information for issue creation
- Step 4 – Open the issues menu to search and perform various functions on issues.
- Step 5 – Select Summary to view details about issues.
Sub task issues help split up parent issue into various smaller tasks. Sub task can be created:
- Under parent issue
- By Creating an issue into a sub task
The five main stages of JIRA workflow after creating an issue:
- Open issue
- Resolved Issue
- In Progress Issue
- Re-opened Issue
- Close Issue
Plug-ins in JIRA
Plugins like Zendesk, Salesforce, GitHub, Gitbucket are available to work more effectively in JIRA. Some such plugins allow support team to directly report issues into JIRA, create unlimited private storage areas with full featured support for issue and test management.
Developers use JIRA Agile or Scrum method to follow roadmap pf planned features for the future versions of products. Agile follows roadmaps similar to other JIRA methods to track their issues. To Do >In Progress >Done
Creating Issue In Agile
To create an issue in Agile, go to main menu under Agile tab. Select “Getting Started”. It will prompt you to create new board for issues from Scrum or Kanban.
How to Create an Epic in Agile
Epic is an issue type in Jira Agile. It refers to a large user story that can be broken down into multiple smaller stories. It may require several sprints to complete an epic. Create a new epic in agile or use the issue created in JIRA board.
Use of Clone and Link in Jira
Using JIRA, you can even clone an issue, so that multiple teams can work separately on the issue and resolve it quickly.
JIRA Link is another useful function, which allows users to link issues and create an association between issues on same or different JIRA servers.
Advantages of JIRA
- JIRA is a bug tracking tool that allows software developers to plan, track and work faster.
- JIRA is the main source of information for future software release. Developers can plan new features to be added and bugs to be fixed in the next release.
- Organize Documentation Tasks
- Track Documentation Progress
- Helps Meet Deadlines
- Provides Faster Feedback
- Integration Available with third-party software
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Disadvantages of JIRA
- Restricted File Size Upload
- Reports generated are not re-usable
- Complicated User Interface
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Reports in Jira
JIRA software enables users to improve delivery and performance with agile reports. Different kinds of reports can be generated like Burn Down Charts, Sprint Report, Version Report, Epic Report, Velocity Chart, Control Chart, Cumulative flow diagram. These real time insights can help make data-driven decisions.
Now that you’ve read about the main reasons why JIRA tool has become one of the most popular bug tracking tools, feel free to use it for project management. Learn more in-depth about Project Management and JIRA with Simplilearn’s PMP or UMass PGP Project Management course.