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How to transparently plan work on multiple Jira projects?

Whether it is different teams working on many projects for the same client, or one team involved in several unrelated initiatives, working on multiple projects is a common reality in today's fast-paced business world. In software development, a team might be working on different mobile apps, each with its own unique budget, timeline, and requirements. A project manager needs to ensure that each team is on track and working together efficiently to deliver the projects on time and within budget. In a marketing agency, different teams might be working on various campaigns, such as social media, SEM, and email marketing. Each team might have their own set of goals, but they all need to align with the marketing strategy. It's important to have transparent insight into the projects' planning and ensure that all teams are following the same workflow. In cases like that, planning and managing various projects, timelines, budgets, and teams can be challenging, especially when the projects are interrelated.

In this article, we will explore how some of Jira's features can help to transparently plan and manage work across multiple projects. We'll look at options such as sharing a workflow scheme across projects, linking issues, and using quick filters. Last but not least, we will also show how Jira apps can help you plan for multiple projects more efficiently and effectively. 

Possibility to add multiple projects to a board

You can add multiple projects to a Jira board, making it easier to plan multiple projects and monitor their progress later on. When managing multiple projects, it can be a challenge to keep track of all the tasks and issues associated with each project. Creating a board in Jira that includes all projects allows you to manage all your work items from a central location. Having a single board not only increases visibility but also fosters better collaboration and communication as everyone can see what tasks are being worked on and what their current status is. You can read about how to add multiple projects to a board here. To do that:

  1. Go to the Jira Boards section by clicking ‘Boards’ in the main menu.
  2. If you don't have an existing board, create a new one by clicking the ‘Create Board’ button.
  3. Choose the appropriate board type (Scrum or Kanban) and select the relevant project or filter.
  4. To add another project to the board, click ‘Add Project’ in the ‘Projects’ section of the board configuration page.
  5. From the list of available projects, select the project that you want to add to the board.
  6. Save the board by clicking the ‘Save’ button.

Please note that the above steps may slightly vary depending on your Jira version.

By the way, Jira also offers the possibility to add multiple boards in one project. With a company-managed project, you can create separate boards for different teams working on the same project. Thanks to that, each team can focus on their tasks and track progress. 

To add multiple boards, go inside the project you want to add a board to and do the following:

  • Click the button with the name of your project in the navigation menu on the left and click ‘+Create board’.
  • A window will pop up where you can choose between a scrum or a kanban board. Select the one of your interest.
  • Choose to create a board from an existing project.
  • Name the board, choose the project it should be associated with, and its location.
  • Click ‘Create board’. 

You can repeat the above steps multiple times and create as many boards as you need. Each of them can have its own filter, configuration, and set of issues, allowing you to view your work from different angles. 

Sharing a workflow scheme with multiple projects 

Workflows describe steps that are followed to complete a task or a process in Jira. They consist of different statuses such as "to do", "in progress", "done", etc., and transitions between them. They can be modified to meet your team's specific needs. Then, you can define which workflows are associated with each issue type or project by creating a workflow scheme. 

The workflow scheme can be shared with multiple projects. This allows for maintaining consistency and improves collaboration across different teams working on the same projects. Rather than creating separate workflows for each project, you can create a single workflow and configure it using workflow schemes. Then, whenever you make a change to this workflow, it will be applied to all projects that use this workflow via a workflow scheme. For example, adding a new status to a workflow will cause this status to be available in all projects using the particular workflow scheme. You can read more about the steps needed to configure workflow schemes.

Please bear in mind that this can be applied only in a company-managed project. You’ll also need the "Administer Projects" permission to perform these operations.

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Linking issues across projects

Your team can create links between relevant issues to better understand the dependencies and relationships between tasks and projects. By linking issues across Jira projects, teams can gain greater visibility into how different projects are related, enabling them to plan and manage multiple projects more effectively. Issue linking is enabled on Jira by default, with standard link types available. However, if you need different ones, you can also create your own. You can find out more about configuring issue linking.

Quick filters 

With Quick filters, you can quickly create and apply filters that show only the issues that are relevant to a specific project, issue type, priority, or any other attribute that you want to focus on. They allow you to gain visibility into the tasks and issues that are most important to you and your team at any given time, regardless of the project they belong to. This can help you prioritize your work more effectively and ensure that you are working on the most critical tasks first. You can read more about configuring Quick Filters.

Please note that to configure the board’s Quick Filters, you need to be its administrator or a Jira administrator.

Use a Jira app

Another way to make the planning process more transparent and efficient is by using an app that integrates with Jira, such as Team Planner - Resource Planning for Jira. With it, you can create a comprehensive plan that covers all your projects, users, and their assigned tasks. Everything is displayed on a timeline, providing you with a bird’s eye view of the whole plan. This makes it easy to keep track of your team's progress, identify potential bottlenecks, and ensure that tasks are assigned appropriately. With all the information you need in one place, you can quickly identify dependencies and plan work accordingly. An external app improves the visibility of your plan, at the same time making it easier to manage your workload and deliver results on time.



In a nutshell

When working on multiple projects where many teams are involved, it’s especially important to make sure nothing was omitted or misunderstood in the planning process. From sharing workflow schemes to using quick filters, there are a number of Jira functions you can use to create a transparent, effective plan. Furthermore, Jira apps can assist you in planning multiple projects more effectively, improving coordination among teams. With the tips outlined in this article, you can plan and manage multiple Jira projects with more ease, maintaining transparency and consistency in the process.




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