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Using Jira Software and Gitlab together - Is there a gold standard?

I'm looking for some insights from the Atlassian community on the best practices for effectively using Jira Software and Gitlab together.


Project Alignment

One question that often comes up at my place of work is, "How should the organization of both applications (Jira and Gitlab) align with or map to each other?" It seems there are so many potential options for establishing the defining criteria for a Jira project. Do we organize around teams, around products, around product components, around codebases? Is the gold standard to have a 1:1 match between Gitlab projects and Jira projects? And then, should specific repositories map 1:1 with Components of a given Jira project?

I know the best way way of aligning these apps totally depends on the nature of the organization that's using them, including their unique processes and environmental factors, but, I was wondering if there is any documentation of an alignment strategy that proves to be an effective starting point from which to build.

Also, I should note here that for the purposes of the above, I'm only referring to software development work. Of course, there are many projects tracked in Jira that do not involve releasing code or version control and thus are not represented in Gitlab at all.


Course Correction

Further complexity to this alignment problem appears when one considers that there may be a lot of "junk" in either system. We're not starting from scratch with either application. Both systems represent quite a complex history of work and context.

Organizations like ours transform and that usually changes the way they use their tools as well. I would be thrilled to hear some stories about organizations that addressed a misalignment between the organization of their version control system and Jira. How did you tackle this problem? What optimal organization or mapping strategy did you end up with?


Feature Redundancy

This may be the biggest question of all: How do we use Gitlab Issues and Jira Software together effectively? If the system we use for version control (Gitlab) has a robust issue tracking feature set itself, why should I convince development teams to continue using Jira to track development work? Why not just move all of our development work tracking to Gitlab, where the branching, merge requests, and commits are actually being made?

If you have any experience with organizations that use both Gitlab Issues and Jira Software together for tracking development work, it would be so helpful to hear from you. I don't want to halt transformation of how the delivery teams at my organization work, but I also don't want to enable poor, ineffective practices in these applications. We have two applications here that do many different, but also some similar, things. How do I, as an administrator, promote effective transformation in teams improving their own processes, while also enforcing some standards in how we work across the enterprise?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts, experiences, and advice!



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