One of the quickest ways to make an impact on your team's Jira Software usage is to make some modifications to your projects' fields and screens. But first, what are fields and screens exactly?
In Jira Software, fields allow you to track attributes of a given issue. For instance, a bug may typically have fields like summary, description, fix version, and component to describe where the bug surfaces. Screens are a grouping of fields, organized and presented to the end user on a graphical interface. For instance, here is a creation screen for a story with all of its corresponding fields.
In short, fields are the information you plug in and screens are where that information will be captured/displayed.
In this article, I'd like to cover some quick, straight out-of-the-box wins you can achieve with fields and screens. I'll also cover some best practices to carefully consider as you dive into field/screen customization.
Quick Win #1: Create a custom field and apply it to a screen
Let's assume that for every issue that you complete in your new Jira Software project, you'd like to record who the final approver of the work was, i.e. who brought the work from "QA" to "Done." To do this, you'll create a custom field that records who the reviewer was. This not only provides transparency but also traceability, allowing you to report on who gave final approval of any given work item.
Now, the field should appear at the bottom of your respective screens!
Quick win #2: Rearranging your screens
Let's say that you don't want the "Reviewer" field at the bottom of your screen. To rearrange it...
It's that easy! If you'd like to add fields to those screens in the future, you can do that in screen configuration, as well.
When new Jira Software administrators start adding custom fields, they tend to get a little field happy. We call this "fielditis," a condition wherein administrators create screens with excessive amounts of inputs, causing their end users' eyes to gloss over. Imagine, you want to create an issue and instead you're confronted with this:
It's highly unlikely that each field is absolutely necessary. Best case scenario, your team hates creating new issues, and worst case scenario, your team completely rebels against using Jira Software at all.
Here's a brief list of considerations as you start developing custom fields and reconfiguring your screens.
Fields and screens have incredibly granular potential and this article only scratches the very surface of the feature set. For instance, you can associate certain fields with particular issue types while restricting it from others; you can create unique screens for particular issue actions (create, edit, resolve); you can adjust field behavior, making it required or optional. There are endless possibilities!
If you'd like to really wrestle with all that fields have to offer, look no further than our documentation. It's heavy reading, but if you really want to harness the power of Jira's engine, it's time well spent.
Anyone have any other tips or tricks when it comes to using fields and screens in Jira Softwaer?
Thomas Deiler is a Bavarian, Mountaineering, Senior Agile Coach. In this Showcase, you will learn about his journey from software engineer to project manager, his freelance philosophy, and much more....
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