Jira- Effective Tool to manage Agile Teams

Overall Satisfaction with JIRA Software

It is being used at a program level in the organisation. We use JIRA to track our Agile teams that are [composed] of Scrum and Kanban teams. We use it for tracking epics, stories, issues, tasks, subtasks, production maintenance tracking, and planning.

It provides a good dashboard where higher leadership can look at how things are progressing and ultimately bringing in transparency.

It eliminates the need for individual teams to send weekly or monthly status reports to leadership on progress and what they are involved with. So at team level sprints, stories, epics, sizing, capacity, scrum and Kanban boards are managed and looked at.

  • Requirements are managed very well there which can be captured in the form of epics.
  • Epics, which capture the high-level ideas can be broken down into stories, tasks and sub-tasks.
  • The team can team can raise bugs, capture comments and tag test cases, against each story ultimately bringing end-to-end traceability.
  • Since distributed agile requires more collaboration, JIRA's seamless integration with communication tools like HipChat and Slack allows teams to work collaboratively.
  • JIRA supports customization since each team is unique, you can create your own issue types, modify the workflows, add/remove fields.
  • Standard issue types created in any project are: a) Bug b) Task c) Sub-Task d) Epic e) Support Ticket f) User story
  • User Story workflow can be: a) Backlog b) Ready to Start c) Dev In-Progress d) QA In-Progress e) Ready for Demo All these can be modified based on your requirements.
  • If you are looking for devops implementation, JIRA has support for CI & CD.
  • It can be integrated with Git and Jenkins very well.
  • JIRA supports two kinds of boards, Kanban and Scrum boards. It is very easy to track things using these boards & it also provides ample of charts like reporting options such as burndown charts to help teams plan & replan at every stage in the development life cycle
  • Searching issues in JIRA is very simple through JQL (Jira Query Language).
  • If we would like to perform a complex search JQL allows to find issues from any timeline.
  • The basic version of Jira do not have support for test management, capacity management & release management.
  • So users have to buy various plugins to support these basic functionalities which can prove costly based on team size.
  • Navigation around the UI can be difficult at times
  • Jira is not a simple tool, it requires some training before users can start working on it so some learning curve is involved.
  • Jira brings in more team collaboration since teams were geographically distributed by seamless Integration of communication tools like HipChat and Slack which makes it very easy for tracking and responding to notifications.
  • Sprints management was relatively simple and straightforward.
  • Not cost effective since we needed to buy a lot of plugins for test management, release planning and agile estimation and basic version of JIRA did not support them.
Though with JIRA you need to buy a lot of plugins but it is still cheaper than HP ALM or HPE Octane which is very costly. HP QC is a fully functional software lifecycle tool and probably strongest in its test management capabilities. But in Agile we don't need that extensive test tracking and management so JIRA provides basic tracking and reports that are apt for Agile teams.In HP ALM you can't open another window which is not a problem with JIRA. Also in HP ALM you can't copy and paste some repetitive tasks which can be easily done in JIRA.

Situations where JIRA is helpful:

1) If our board becomes quite dense and full of issues, it can be difficult to remember all of the issue numbers or track them, so in JIRA we have the option to flag and comment on the issues and the ticket background color becomes yellow which makes the tracing quite easy.

2) Prioritization has become a lot easier with JIRA. It is a one-stop shop for all tasks and projects you are working on. It gives a better look into what each program is working on.

3) When a lot of tasks need to be updated, we can use the “Bulk Change” option present in the right-click menu. It is a good time-saving tool when we have more than 8 tasks to change at once.

4) Many filters can be set in JIRA based on the issues you want to track:

a) Quick filter query to see what is currently scheduled to the sprint. Query: Project = "ABC" AND sprint = ‘Sprint number’ AND issuetype in (Story, Bug) ORDER BY issuetype ASC, status ASC

b) Quick filter query to view the backlog items: Query: Project = "ABC" AND Status = "1.1 Backlog" ORDER BY Rank ASC

Situations where JIRA is not helpful:

1) If your stories have lot of architecture diagrams or documentation you need to integrate it with another Atlassian Tool Confluence & Jira do not have much support for excessive documentation.

2) Even after buying the "Test" plugin, test case management is not that easy & extensible as we have in HP ALM or Rally.

JIRA Support

I used to get immediate support from the Jira helpdesk; also most of my issues are already explained in the user manual which is really helpful.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - Yes, my organisation can definitely pay based on the issue and its criticality.

I can recall we got stuck with release planning and rather than using manual tools for tasking tracking, we bought the plugin Tempo which was really helpful for effort tacking and drawing trends from previous sprints.
I got stuck with release planning and I got advice on the Tempo plugin from the helpdesk. Also, they helped me with installing ad using that for release planning.