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Home / Tips and Tricks / The Beginner's Guide to Using Jira Effectively – CloudSavvy IT

The Beginner's Guide to Using Jira Effectively – CloudSavvy IT

  Jira Software

Jira is used for troubleshooting and is a critical tool for keeping large software development teams organized. In this guide, we list the tried and tested scheme, including the different types of problem types and the organizational tools that are offered to you.

At the time of writing, Jira is currently updating their entire user experience. This gives you two options when creating a new project in Jira Cloud: Jira Classic or Jira Next-Gen. The basic concepts remain the same, but the user interfaces are different, so it's important to clarify that the screenshots in this article are from Jira Next-Gen and not from classic Jira.

Jira Issues

Problems are the heart of Jira. They represent individual & # 39; things that need to be done & # 39; whether that is to fix a bug, implement a function, make a change or specify work for easy assignment.

There are a few types of problems in Jira. The most basic is the regular & # 39; number & # 39; also called & # 39; stories & # 39; called. You can create it from your standard board by clicking at the bottom of the list and giving it a name:

 jira create issue

If you click on an issue, a dialog box will appear with some more info . Problems have a few different fields that can be adjusted in your project settings. By default, issues have a title and labels displayed on the main board, as well as an extensive activity list in the pop-up window.

 jira detailed problem window

Problems can be linked to other problems in a few different ways. It is common for software problems to be very interconnected, so this feature is very useful. A problem can be classified as preventing another problem from being remedied, or vice versa. The vague "relates to" option can also be used for a more general link. Under the hood, Jira also uses this system to link issues cloned or duplicated from existing ones.

 problem linking

You can also create "underlying problems", also called subtasks. These issues are not displayed on your primary board, but are directly linked to the parent issue and are listed. In a way, they allow you to split bigger problems into separate workpieces.

Although not on the board, they act as complete problems, complete with their own identification code and all the different fields that are standard problems. They can be assigned to individual people regardless of the assignment of the parent problem.

With the parent problem, all underlying problems are listed next to their current status. This gives you a quick overview of how much remains to be done, similar to a checklist.

 jira child issues

The last and most important type of problem is & # 39; Epics & # 39 ;. Epics do not track individual bugs or features, but act as a large collection of issues all related to a specific work area.

& # 39; User Authentication & # 39; can be an epic, for example. Within that epic, you can create individual story issues to handle the login flow, create the login and login pages and possibly add OAuth 2.0 support. You can break this problem down further by creating subtasks that detail what needs to be done to complete each story.

You can create epics from the "Roadmap" tab. Because Epics usually track large deliveries of user requirements, they come with a start and end date and can be organized on a timeline.

 jira roadmap epics

Otherwise Epics works completely like standard Jira problems. Story issues can be assigned to an Epic, which displays the Epic name next to the problem on your boards, making them a great organizational tool. Issues associated with an Epic are listed as underlying issues in the Epic Info Panel.

In addition, if you don't like the default problem types, you can customize them from Jira & # 39; s settings and even create new ones for you

Using Kanban boards

Just scrolling through a list of problems is not super intuitive and can quickly become clumsy if you have a lot of problems. One of Jira's most important organizational tools is a Kanban board. Originating from Japanese car production, Kanban is a way of organizing items in different stages, also known as lists. As an item, or 'map', progresses, it moves from left to right along the list.

Kanban is not exclusive to or invented by Jira, since services such as Trello, Gitlab and many others have implemented boards that you can be very similar to Jira's implementation. However, it is still a great feature and a great addition to Jira's toolkit.

In practice, you can create lists of issues that are past due, that are currently prioritized, that are actively being worked on, awaiting code review, awaiting release, and sent to prod. As you and your employees work on your project, backlog issues are moved around the list.

 jira board

Problems can be moved between lists by dragging them from one to the other. If you have set up Jira integrations with your source checker, you can easily move Jira issues to code review by stating in a commit message that it closes a particular problem ID.

While Jira focuses on using lists to represent chronological phases. of software development, there is no limit to the number of lists you can have, so you can also use them as organization tool. You can also create multiple Kanban boards so that you have a standard board and a custom board, with the same issues (although this feature is not currently available in Jira Next-Gen).

Using Sprints

While Kanban boards are a great catchall for most projects. For teams looking to implement an agile development workflow such as Scrum, it may be more helpful to organize issues using "Sprints". Sprints are a set time frame, usually a month or less, during which specific issues or functions are addressed by your team.

You can enable Sprints from your project settings, which also requires you to enable the backlog function

 jira project settings

You will now see a tab & # 39; Backlog & # 39; with a list of all your problems. With this backlog you can plan your Sprint. You can drag individual issues to the sprint or order backlog items in order of importance and then drag the divider to backlog. Once you have something acceptable planned, you can go on & # 39; Start Sprint & # 39; click.

 jira backlog

Now if you go back to your Kanban board, you will see that it is limited to the items in the sprint that you chose to focus on, which can clean up the mess . In a way, a Sprint is essentially a filter for your Kanban board.

 kanban sprint

Otherwise it is a very normal Kanban board. You can switch between the two functions at will and problems will remember their place in Kanban regardless of whether or not you have Sprints running.

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