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Andrew Burleson, a Team Leader for 12 developers working on Atlassian’s Statuspage tool, recently moved some of his teams from Jira Software’s classic to next-gen project template and took the time to answer a few questions about the experience. Next-gen projects include powerful roadmaps and allow teams to create and update their issues, projects, issue types, and workflows faster and easier than ever, without impacting other teams or asking an Administrator for permission.
Read on to learn about how Andrew made the decision to use next-gen, how easy it was to migrate, and what new features his teams can’t live without!
What did your original classic project look like?
Our “Project” was actually all of the work that encompassed 6 smaller teams and was a lot of activity to hang onto a single classic Jira project. To manage this, we split all of our “actual” projects into Epics, which worked pretty well since it’s easy to filter, plus you get the color coded badge.
What prompted you to look into next-gen projects?
Splitting my engineering team in two led us to break up our single big project into multiple smaller ones, and while some teams stuck with classic projects by reusing the configuration from our original, for the new teams I thought it would be fun to try next-gen.
How did you (and your team) decide that next-gen was a good fit?
We had concerns about syncing issues between the old and the new projects and realized that we’d need a solution for migrating everything in-flight, as well as tracking ongoing work in old and new projects since the original one would still serve as our shared backlog.
After realizing our limiting factors, the whole evaluation and decision-making process was pretty simple didn’t take long, maybe 90 minutes in one sitting:
I made a test project and added sample issues and epics, then tried the roadmap, sprint, and board views.
I set up some fake issues in the old classic project moved them to the test project.
I set up some automation rules in Automation for Jira to see if some of the synchronization between the boards could be automated.
After setting it up, I felt confident that next-gen was viable for us and called over my two feature leads to demo my “research.” They both agreed that it looked good and that they’d use next-gen projects for their teams.
How did migration go?
Overall, it was shockingly easy and in the end it only took 5-10 minutes to configure new next-gen projects, and the bulk issue mover was a breeze. It was really easy to filter the issues I wanted moved, and Jira did a great job mapping between the old and new projects. I didn’t even have to change anything, just confirm that it was all correct.
What did you notice in your next-gen project right away?
Overall the UI feels much more polished. In particular, project configuration is a million times better. It feels quite easy to customize issue types and set up a custom workflow, which is really useful.
Have any new features stood out as being exceptionally useful?
Roadmaps are great! Now that we’ve got one team per project, we don’t use epics to group our “actual projects” instead use epics more as they were intended, to represent the chunks within a particular project that are being worked on.
(Note: not all visible roadmap features are available at this time.)
The board is also much improved overall and the new projects feel faster. I’m really glad that labels show up on issues, and being able to just add a column or move it around is neat, too.
How did the teams take the change?
The leads feel more ownership over the board now, and that has helped them to better organize. All of the people who like this stuff were excited about the change, and since we’ve moved I’ve heard a lot of positive “oh look at that!” kind of feedback and very few complaints. People who don’t really care about the process (as long as it works) weren’t as interested. From that crowd, a “yawn” is as good as it gets.
Would you consider going back to a classic template?
Losing roadmaps and the realtime view would be really hard. Aside from that, it’s clear that next-gen is the future, and we don’t want to be stuck in the past while all the cool new stuff happens there, so I can’t see us ever moving back.
What advice do you have for teams that are considering switching to next-gen?
The overall experience is better and migrating was easy. Unless you have a complex workflow or depend on a feature that next-gen doesn’t yet have, you should go for it!
If you're interested in Jira's next-gen templates and want to learn more about getting started and best practices, get to know next-gen with our onDemand webinar!