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Is there any overview of best practices for non-IT projectmanagement teams in Jira and Confluence?

Hey there,

I am new to the whole Agile thing, but the place I work for has Jira Software and Confluence for Server licence and I kinda fell in love with the possibilities it offers. Problem is: It is not much used yet, we are mainly a non-IT company in a still very much paper based and tech-averse work environment (somewhere between administration and university) and people are only open to new tools if they see the benefit for their daily work. On the other hand our IT-team is quite small so they don't use Jira and Confluence often themselves and have few experiences. And on top of it all I feel like we have a special team structure (we don't have seperated teams for finances, HR, projectmanagement, operations and so on - sometimes it's just one person, other times the project lead/members will do those tasks; most team members are responsible for/attached to several projects - so there is no destinctive teams) and we mostly work on yearly reoccurring projects.

In all my research on how to set up a good structure for non-software teams I don't see anything I can connect to, since 1. I don't find much in general, 2. most examples are for destinctive teams like HR or finance teams and 3. the infos don't go really deep or show much so they don't really help me to get ideas what my setup could lool like and what structures or add-ons would be nice and useful.

Does anybody have a tutorial/guide/best-practice tipp on how to set up Jira and Confluence in such conditions or at least for non-programming teams?

 

1 answer

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Answer accepted

Hi @Johanna

There are going to be blogs or help guides out there which concentrate on non-technical teams - Jira Core for example is billed as Jira for business teams. That isn't to say you can't use other flavours of Jira as a non-technical team of course.

It depends on what you're looking to do with the tool - what problem can you see it solving or what process can you see being improved? Perhaps with a little more information on how your team works we can make some suggestions :)

Ste

Hej,

 

thanks for the response! For one I am searching for inspiration in general. What works for others, what else can you do with Jira and so on - but for me it's not so easy to translate the technical terms into my "language" and work situation.  But I couldn't find any of those blogs for non-technical teams or they where just few articles.

Plus I like the board function which is only in Jira Software and not Jira Core (as fas as I know) - but since we don't have distinctive teams/job functions but very secluded projects I don't really know what kind of structure to set up. At the moment one project has one board. Thast means that people on one hand have to check several boards to see their tasks and that a project lead/master doesn't have an overview of how much workload/tasks people have at the same time.

And the non-technical examples are mainly showing a project divided into functions/job positions like finance, hr, operations...

 

Best regards

Johanna

Hej,

thanks for the response. I am generally intested in what others do to get some inspiration. But could not really find blogs that focus on non-technical teams and have several tipps and tricks. so if somebody has a sugestion I would be interested.

More specific topics I am trying to solve or stumble up upon are how can one use "version" as a non-technical team (I heard some teams use it with milestones but I just can't really imagine how and would like to see an example) or how to structure the projects/boards if the projects are distinctive but most people work in different projects at the same time. Since projects masters don't have an overview what their teams are working on at the same time and team members don't have an overview what tasks are open with our current set up.

Is that a better way for my questions?

It's important to remember that whilst Jira Software sounds 'technical' given its name - a lot of the methodologies - Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban - within it are used as much in business agility as in tech.

This is what I would suggest to start with:

  • Look at your current processes and consider what works well and what could be improved. It can be good to think about how Jira could visualise your work - but also, what problems you'd like it solve. 
  • Keep it simple - you could start with a simple tracking board, some basic information populated into fields and perhaps a dashboard of your 'To Do' items each day.
  • Share it with others - I get lots of inspiration by starting small and showing other team members what I did - then they might say "wouldn't it be awesome if we could do X" or "what if it could do Y, how much better would our lives be?" - then you can solve that issue!
  • Push every button. Create every issue type, put every gadget on a dashboard, go into Confluence and try every macro - perhaps create a new project and create a workflow, a screen, a permissions set. Jira and Confluence are deep systems - you'll find little tricks which will help you solve business issues.
  • Remember Jira is flexible and should work for you - not the other way around. Mould the system to improve your processes and make things more efficient. 
  • If you can't find an answer - ask here in the Community or look for an App on the Marketplace - you'll find a lot are free and can be easily demo'd or trialed!

You have a great example of a possible problem to solve in your last message - Team Leads don't always know what all their members are working on - you could...

  • Agree that when a team member is working on a task, they assign themselves to it. Perhaps they also provide updates each day via comments?
  • Make each project a 'project' - distinct from each other by the project key. When creating a project, each gets a key which represent ticket IDs - this is a simple method of telling a task in one project from another.
  • Group those projects if needs be under a Team - you could add team names in the labels field - or perhaps have a new custom field called 'Team' or 'Department' so unassigned tasks can be grouped together.
  • Boards can be used for all three scenarios here - to show progress of each project for their stakeholders, to show team leads what each of their team is working on and perhaps a board for all projects - visualising the progress of each and any crossover where efficiencies could be made. Set your workflow to reflect the process your teams go through from task request to done!
  • Concentrating on the Team Board - perhaps a Scrum Board would work to ensure teams are concentrating on the most important tasks - 2-4 week 'sprints' where a team agree to complete tasks across multiple projects - focusing their work. Or perhaps it's less simple and tasks come in every day, so a Kanban Board might work.
  • Boards are very powerful - you could add quick filters based on assignee to show whats being worked on - and what isn't. You can add flags to show blockers - making them a conversation point in team catch-ups. Or you can add colours - you could add a colour based on a task being overdue for example, to give it a red stripe.
  • Team Leads could get a Dashboard created showing how their teams are progressing - making it their home page means its where they see all the work their team is doing.
  • Versions could be used to show when a group of work is required - but so could due date as another option. I've seen versions used to group a prioritised piece of work, for quarters (FY19 Q4, etc) and similar.

^ ...there's so much you can do, and that's just Jira! 

A few blogs / books I found which might of interest:

Ste

Like # people like this

Wow such much detailed information! That was so helpful!

 

Best Tip: Try everything - I was a bit afraid to do some harm since I am not the administrator of our Jira Setup. But it really helps to try out figure out the functions.

 

And I just finished the E-Book version of "The Art of Agile Marketing". That hit the nail on the head: a very resourceful and broad description of how they setup their JIRA and Confluence that raised a lot of ideas how we could set up our configuration.

--> I would like to read more of those "that's how we do it"-Storys from non-technical teams to get more inspriation. So if anybody has some tips :-)

Like KELLY PATTON likes this

Johanna, were you able to find any methods that worked well for your teams or insightful blogs etc? Thank you!

 

-Kelly

Hey Kelly,

 

not really - I am still keeping my eyes open and check all the new tutorials Atlassian offers but mostly they do not offer many insights. Trial and error worked best but there are still lots of things that could be improved much more ute due to missing ideas are just some how realised via workarounds...

Like KELLY PATTON likes this

Thank you!

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