JIRA for Project Management – its not just for Issues

If you’re reading this then you must use JIRA or know of someone who has had a JIRA experience. It seems that JIRA is a bit like a Marmite brand – you love it or you hate it. JIRA can be too much effort for many projects – but thats only cause the project can’t find time to build the value in JIRA.

I think that anything which helps take pain away from managing bugs, issues and tasks is brilliant. It’s just so annoying that most people think of JIRA as a bug-track or issue management tool. For me, JIRA is turning out to be more than that. In fact the less I can use it for bugs, the more I use it.

Greenhopper for User Stories

If you do Agile, or even if you’re starting to get better at User Stories, then you’ll find Greenhopper great. Right now I use Greenhopper to capture the stories and epics (requirements that are too conceptual to be a story yet). I’m sure it can do more (schedule a story with a version for example) …. but I can’t find any good examples of how else to use it.

Once you have your stories in JIRA – you can capture Requirements and link them to the story. That sounds easy.

Annoyingly, Greenhopper is an add on for JIRA which means you pay extra ££ for it.

JIRA for Project Management – Components & Versions

Components are flexible ways to group your project. If they were GANTT charts, components would be deliverables like web, server, mobile app, marketing. I task or issue in JIRA can have more than one component (think content strategy is delivered in the web build), so I usually use a few of these.

Versions I’m strict on having 1 version – versions I treat as phases in your project such development, testing, scoping .. and confusingly by release cycle during the develop / deliver phases. By linking a task to only 1 version, it wont get missed. I also regularly sweep Versions to check that tasks are being resolved.

Testing with JIRA

Tracking the results of testing is probably the best way to make use of Greenhopper. You can link your test tasks and issues to a story. Which is great for traceability. I’ve not had the time to do this with JIRA yet – but I can see this is a great way to prove development delivered.

Project Issues, Risks, Actions, Agendas & Client Relationship

JIRA can be your friend. One useful way I’ve found to get team members use JIRA more is to use it to track meeting actions – which are basically tasks or bugs anyway 😛  This way everything is tracked.

Oh the best feature of JIRA – it outputs pretty much any view of issues to Excel so you can share it with the boss.

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