If you are a project manager or a software developer who works in a development team, a project management tool can prove beneficial in efficiently managing your work. Jira is one of the most popular tools for issue tracking and project management. In this article, we will dive deeper into this software tool and learn how to use Jira.
Jira provides helpful functions in Agile methodology, which is widely used in software development. It is one of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodologies that effectively guide software teams in delivering quality software products. This guide to Jira will discuss helpful Jira tips and why this tool is essential for businesses.
What Is Jira?
Jira is a software development tool developed by Atlassian. Agile development teams use it extensively for project management and issue tracking. Jira comes in four packages that include the Jira software, Jira core, Jira work management, and Jira service desk.
Why Do You Need Jira?
Jira is a powerful Agile project management tool that has plenty of functions and features you need during software development. You can easily manage your work and avoid the hassle of manual progress-monitoring if you know how to use Jira. Errors can also be avoided when tasks are well-defined and recorded.
Jira Use Cases
- Project management: Jira has advanced project planning features that help the Agile team with project creation. They can easily define the project scope, distribute tasks, identify the involved stakeholders, and create timelines using Jira. Project summaries allow a team to monitor their working progress and ongoing updates, as well.
- Agile reporting: The Jira software is also used to generate sprint reports. The advanced reporting options offer dashboards and key features for delivering meaningful insights and helping teams create data-driven business decisions. It also enables them to track scope creep. Jira software shows the accomplished tasks for active sprints. It also includes functions for forecasting.
- Issue tracking: One of the powerful features of Jira software is bug-tracking. You can easily find, document, and address complex issues through bug and issue tracking tools. Jira allows you to track the progress of bugs and receive notifications about them. The issue data, such as the bug description, images, severity, and the release version where each bug occurred, are all included in bug reporting.
- Task management: The project manager can deploy tasks to members of their team and monitor their progress. They can set deadlines, create sub-tasks, manage activities, and set reminders. The Jira software also includes a time tracker that records how many hours are spent on each task.
- People management: The Jira Human Resources Service Management (HRSM) helps HR departments perform processes such as employee onboarding, offboarding, and managing inquiries.
Key Terms You Need to Know to Use Jira
Scrum is a framework used to manage software development projects. The Agile development team can monitor the iterative progress and review project accomplishments through the Agile Scrum features. The Scrum board shows the upcoming tasks, ongoing tasks, and accomplished tasks.
A sprint is the period of time intended for the Agile team to finish a software project. It covers the sprint planning, Scrums, and sprint retrospective. During the sprint, the team also monitors the progress of the project.
The Agile methodology is an iterative process of software development that helps a team to continuously improve their projects through constant releases. It allows a team to break the requirements into stages that are adaptable to frequent changes. The cross-functional development teams work together in every stage during the development process.
The backlog is the list of tasks that a team should accomplish based on the requirements set. It includes the product features, systems bugs, and user stories. The Agile planning, sprint scope, and timelines depend on the product backlog. The list is ordered from the most important task to the least essential ones, so a team knows which tasks to prioritize.
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The board displays simple tasks and includes a collection of issues that make it easier to visualize, report, and manage work progress. The two types of boards in Jira software are the Scrum board and Kanban board. The Scrum board shows your tasks across different phases while the Kanban board visualizes the work of the team and lets the stakeholders limit the work-in-progress.
Equipment You’ll Need for Jira
- Computer: This is where you will install Jira. It can be installed and run on Windows and Linux operating systems. Jira also supports macOS but you cannot run the production site on it.
- Databases: Jira will require you to connect it with a database upon installation. Jira supports relational databases such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, Azure SQL, and Microsoft SQL Server.
- Servers: Jira runs on servers. Users can interact with a server through web browsers. Jira supports the Apache Tomcat 8.5.65 server.
- Internal network connection: Jira doesn’t require an Internet connection. You just need to connect your computer to the server through an internal network connection.
- Web browser: Jira can be used with any of the web browsers it supports, including Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox.
How to Set Up and Start Using Jira
Step 1: Install the Necessary Requirements
Follow the hardware and software requirements before installing this tool because you have to have the suitable infrastructure to run Jira. Delve deeper into which databases, operating systems, application servers, browsers, and hardware components can support Jira. Consider the system version you are using and whether or not your machine or device matches the requirements.
Step 2: Download and Install Jira
Download Jira and run the installer. You can find the installer at the official website of Atlassian. Jira is free to use for small teams comprised of no more than 10 members. For bigger teams, it costs $7.50 per user. The premium version designed for organizations costs $14.50 per user. Run the installer in Windows administrator. During the installation, you are required to provide the destination directory, home directory, and TCP ports.
Step 3: Connect to the Database
Before running the installer, make sure that you have set up the external database. Select the type of database from the options provided. Jira uses the standard JDBC database connection when connecting to your database.
Step 4: Set the Jira Properties
Once you are done connecting the database to your Jira, you can now set the Jira application properties. Provide the site name for your Jira. You can also set the Jira site to private or make it accessible to anyone. After these steps, enter your license key.
Step 5: Create an Admin Account and Provide Your Mail Server
Provide the administrator account details such as the username, password, full name, and email address. Jira will let you add multiple administrator accounts after the setup process. Provide the details of your mail server and you can now start using Jira.
The Importance of Jira for Business
Project management is a critical discipline to every organization. Businesses should implement efficient project management as it enhances the daily operations within a firm. Productivity can also increase when project managers understand how to use Jira and other powerful project management tools. However, if a project manager wants to enhance their knowledge of Jira or similar Agile tools, they can attend project management bootcamps.
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Software development includes processes that involve many stakeholders from different cross-functional teams. Using Jira’s Agile project management solutions, the project manager can easily monitor each member, prevent unexpected issues that may arise, and make business team collaboration easier.
Top Jira Tips: Use Jira Like a Pro
- Use keyboard shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts are helpful for faster navigation of the software application. Jira has useful keyboard shortcuts such as “g + d” that enable you to go to the dashboard, “g + a” to go to the board, “g + i” to find issues, and you can also type “/” for a quick search.
- Connect Jira to other useful applications: Different software can be integrated with Jira, such as design software tools, IT software tools, business tools, and DevOps tools. This will help you manage a huge amount of data in one place. This could increase your productivity and let you use the best Agile project management practices.
- Check backlogs: Working on a huge number of backlogs can cause you to overlook some issues. With this in mind, it would be better if you check the oldest issues on your list once in a while and see if those should be removed or prioritized.
- Learn more about Jira issues: If you are new to Jira, you may be confused with Jira issue types. These don’t only refer to bugs, but they can also be a task, a story, or a subtask which is sometimes called a child issue. Sub-tasking is a fantastic method to break down a larger task into smaller chunks so that you can better manage your workflow.
- Create your own dashboards: This can be helpful for you when working on multiple active projects. Create your own dashboard so you can customize it and include only the items you need.
Jira for Different Professions
|Software testers||Test case management, manual testing|
|Product managers||Project management, task management|
|Project managers||Issue tracking, progress monitoring|
|Software developers||Create timelines, organize work, code management|
|System analysts||Task tracking, create sprint reports|
Should You Use Jira?
Yes, you should use Jira when working on a software development team. It is a great tool for managing people and tasks efficiently. With many helpful features of Jira, you and your team can easily accomplish project goals and minimize possible errors during the development.
How to Use Jira FAQ
Atlassian offers tutorials for the Jira software. These tutorials focus on how to use Jira in Agile methodologies. The company also started the Atlassian University Training to provide hands-on training for Jira, Confluence, and other Atlassian products. You can also enroll in Agile courses to enhance your knowledge of Agile. Join the Atlassian community to learn from other professionals who use Jira and gain access to additional resources regarding this tool.
Some of the high-paying professions that require Jira skills are DevOps engineers, system analysts, systems engineers, project managers, and Jira administrators. You can find these job openings on several job sites, such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
The Jira software cloud, also called the Jira Cloud, is a cloud-based platform that lets you plan, monitor, and release software projects. Any issues or incidents will be communicated to the interested parties via xMatters so that they can be resolved sooner.
Some of the companies that use Jira include Dropbox, Visa, Delta, Hitachi, National Bank of Canada, Nestle, Pfizer, Samsung, and The Coca-Cola Company. According to Atlassian, over 65,000 companies use Jira.
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