A simple way to manage your Agile Project using JIRA
Are you a scrum master, a product owner or a development team looking for a useful and simple tool to manage your agile project?
You are on the right article if you are one of those.
The tool I want to highlight here is Atlassian JIRA.
JIRA Software is an agile project management tool that supports any agile methodology, be it scrum, kanban or your own unique flavor.
From agile boards to reports, you can plan, track, and manage all your agile software development projects from a single tool.
In some other time I will try to make an article on how to use JIRA for Kanban.
For now, let’s look on how JIRA can be so useful to manage you Agile Scrum Project.
There is no exact theory on how to run agile using JIRA.
You can use your own method based on your needs.
What I’m going to share here is the method I used to do to utilize JIRA as my agile tool.
In brief, the flow is basically like this:
- Have a list of stories as a backlog
I will not talk about this in this article. I assume you already collected a list of stories.
- Create an agile project and an agile board
- Key in your stories
- Key in your task
- Plan and run your sprint
Let us go through one by one.
CREATE AN AGILE PROJECT AND AN AGILE BOARD
The first thing you need to have is an Agile Project and an Agile Board.
Follow the steps documented by Atlassian to create those here.
The cool thing about JIRA Agile is the Agile Board.
A board displays issues from one or more projects, giving you a flexible way of viewing, managing and reporting on work in progress
JIRA offers a flexibility on configuring the board according to your project needs.
You can have a look in here.
The board has some useful View, such as:
Just like its name, in this view you can plan how you want your project to be.
You can create and prioritize stories in your backlog, plan multiple sprints in advance, start a sprint, using epic to track related stories, using version to track related progress, etc.
Work view is basically the work progress for the current sprint.
In report view, you can see the Burndown Chart, Sprint Report, Epic Burndown, Release Burndown, etc.
KEY IN YOUR STORIES
Often you found that stories are too big to be completed in one sprint. Sometime the story cannot be completed because it has dependencies with other process.
Let me give you an example.
As a developer I need a testing environment set up to deploy function ABC and the function is tested without error so it will be ready to be released to production.
That story is too big.
In order to test the function, an environment must be set up first, the new function must be deployed first, then tester can start testing.
If the environment set up had an issue, deployment and testing activity will be idle.
Even worst, the story might not be able to be completed in that sprint.
That will definitely effecting how your burndown chart progress.
This is when epic comes to place.
Epic is basically a big topic that takes you more than one or two sprints to accomplish.
An epic can be splitted into multiple user stories before you put it in a sprint.
Follow the instruction here to see how to create an epic
An epic needs stories.
To assign stories, you definitely need a story. Let’s go to the next section on how to create story.
If you use JIRA for other type of project, creating a story is just the same as creating an issue. Follow this link to create the story. Make sure the Issue Type is “Story”
When you create a story, you need to complete some fields in order to have the story more usable. Those fields are:
Choose the epic you created on the previous section to assign a story to an epic.
- Story Points
Story point is important when you want to plan for a sprint. The story point is important to measure your team’s velocity and measuring burndown chart.
- Story Note and Story Test
A story should not be too long. It should describe what user need and why he needs that. Use the story note to add explanation of your story.
A story should be able to be verified. That’s where Story test comes in place.
Write down how you determine that the story is accomplished.
When you create a story and you already know which sprint the story goes to or at least planned to, complete the information.
Without completing the sprint information, a story will go straight to backlog list
KEY IN YOUR TASK
Okay, now you got epics and stories. Where should the tasks go?
First let’s have a common understanding of “task” term.
Task is activity needed for a story to be completed.
In JIRA, we use “sub task” to record those activities. Follow this link for the step by step.
A task is usually a one day work, but you can define the parameter as per your needs.
PLAN AND RUN YOUR SPRINT
Well, this is when the fun begins.
Now that you have your epics, stories and tasks created, it’s time to plan for a sprint.
First you would need to create a sprint.
Below are the steps to create a sprint:
1. Open your Agile Board > Plan View
2. Click On Create Sprint button
3. Drag and drop the stories you want to include in the sprint
Now after you finish preparing the stories for the upcoming sprint, you can click the ‘Start Sprint’ button .
There you go! You start your sprint already.
In conclusion, JIRA offers you a flexibility on how you manage your agile project.
This article is just an example on how I manage my agile project using JIRA – a simple but effective way to get your sprint in control.
My suggestion, start using JIRA for your agile project, play around with the agile board and feel the benefit by yourself.