6 Uses of JIRA in Agile Projects

23 Sep, 2015
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Agile development methodologies have completely transformed the way software companies develop their products today. Agile practices have enabled software teams to develop quality code at a higher speed, and more importantly, customise it according to customer’s demand.

While Agile is the first choice for software companies while developing a new product, JIRA plays a key role when it comes to organising, allocating, scheduling and tracking the tasks. A web-based, lightweight tool, JIRA is one of the most sought after options for bug tracking and to keep your software development agile.

With JIRA you can support all the activities of a software project, following the Agile methodology. Here we will show how you can use the different features of JIRA in Agile projects effectively.

1. Manage boards

With JIRA, you can track issues from the same project or multiple projects in Agile development, and accordingly monitor the progress from a single location. With a board in place, you can manage the issues from one or more projects. The tool will help you to view, manage and report on work in progress.

2. Choose boards

JIRA will give you the choice to select the right board and continue through the steps to create a board. You can choose the projects based on the issues that need to be considered as a priority. As an alternative, you can use a board that has been created by someone else, or create your own board if required.

3. Configure boards

Once the board is created, JIRA will enable you to configure it, when you think it is fit to do. You basically have two options – Plan and Work. In the Plan mode, you categorize your requirements (stories) into Sprints, whereas in the Work mode, you track the time spent and the overall progress. Apart from these two modes, you will get the choice to generate multiple reports using this tool.

4. Plan stories

JIRA can be used to display all the user stories created for the project. JIRA will enable you to use the left hand side (LHS) menu and decide how you want to display the issues. You can either view all the issues, or only the ones related to a certain point. You can drag the issues up or down in the backlog. In addition, there is an option to can create links, subtasks, log work and perform any other activity on a normal issue.

5. Get active sprint data

JIRA is an ideal tool when you want to acquire active sprint information. The tool will organise all the user stories and categorize them into – To do, In progress and Done, to show the overall progress. You first have to choose which issues are to be included in your next sprint, once done; you are ready to start the sprint.

6. Generate report

With JIRA, you can generate multiple custom Agile reports in few simple steps. You just have to choose the report that you would like and decide the data based on which this report should be generated. You can try out other Cloud based tools that allow creation of free form reports for On Demand and hosted Jira instances.

JIRA actually unfolds the real power of Agile.  If used properly, JIRA can provide terrific support to Agile methodology. Since the focus on documentation is low in Agile, JIRA can be your one stop-shop to have everything in one place. If you are adopting Agile methodology for your software development project, JIRA in Agile projects will definitely help you in many ways. It can help you to create and estimate stories, build a sprint backlog, identify team commitment and velocity, visualize team activity, and provide report on your team progress.

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Anirban Guha
Software Engineer at coMakeIT

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