Agile transformations in project management with Jira Cloud

Jira Software has become the product which revolutionized the approaches for software project management. Having incorporated all the best Agile practices, Jira soon became the application which development teams started choosing to run projects of any size and complexity.

The phenomenon of such success can be explained by focus on team results rather than establishing the strongly regulated processes. Jira gave teams freedom in doing what they needed and adapted to the most demanding requirements.

Jira Cloud was the next step to re-evaluate the Agile practices for running project management from a new perspective. This new vision was implemented in nextgen projects. And in this post, I will cover all the advantages of using nextgen projects for software development.

Before we start, let's just recall some basics of the Agile methodology itself.

What is Agile?

More and more teams were noticing that the delivered solution was not really what the business expected to receive. The overall Waterfall approach was no longer effective in the world where requirements and needs were rapidly changing. The Agile methodology has become that response to the inefficiencies and drawbacks of the Waterfall methodology which was used prior. 

The Agile methodology implies the software development process as continual planning, learning, improvement, team collaboration, gradual development, and quick delivery. It emphasizes the following principles:

  1. Individual and team interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

The Agile methodology was a basis for appearance of the following development methods:

  • eXtreme Programming (XP)
  • Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM)
  • Feature Driven Development (FDD)
  • Lean Software Development

They differ, but the overall practices are quite similar and are designed for rapid solution implementation.

What's new in nextgen projects?

Nextgen projects are a new evolvement of the Atlassian vision of project management in the 21st century. Nextgen projects differ from classic software projects while they preserve all the best advancements of existing tools and approaches. They were just simplified, revamped, and refined to the maximum.

Your user experience in nextgen projects will be much more intuitive. Now even if you have no prior experience with Jira, you can get started in a couple of minutes.

By default, nextgen projects provide you with only essential tools to start a new project. After some time you can enable the required features once you feel a need in them.

nextgen 1.png

When working in nextgen projects, your team can be more autonomous from your Jira administrator. You can implement quite major modifications in the project yourself without waiting for someone else.

This way you can manage access to the project based on the users' roles, manage issue types and their layouts, fine tune notifications, or set up project automations.

So you get more independence from the company-wide processes and your team can work in the manner that suits your needs best.

nexgen 2.png

More accurate planning with roadmaps

When you start a project you have too many unknowns which you need to consider. In nextgen projects, you can take advantage of roadmaps to accurately plan your project scope and increase the predictability for delivering this or that functionality.

nexgen 3.png

In the roadmap you can instantly see how this or that epic depends on others, you can better distribute work phases across the timeline and deliver new features within the expected timeframes. In addition, you can also track the status of completion of this or that epic and see whether you are on time or behind the schedule.

This greatly simplifies the planning and status control activities for you as a project manager.

Backlog and sprint management

Every project starts from backlog where you keep all feature requests and review them on a regular basis. It is very vital to add all the ideas and requests as quickly as possible to it.

Here the nextgen project has a simple but effective capability to create a bulk of issues in the backlog. All you need to have is a list of task summaries and copy-paste them into the field. Jira Cloud will prompt you to create a single issue or multiple issues at once.

nextgen 4.png

Creation of sprints has been also simplified now you needn't drag issues one by one to add them into the sprint. If you keep your backlog ordered by issue priority it will take several seconds to pick issues for a new sprint.

nextgen 5.png

The overall approach to the management of issue cards on Scrum boards has been refined, polished, and optimized for maximum productivity. Now you can variate the look of your board and data on it in different ways. You can filter by assignee, re-assign tasks to other developers, add the missing columns, and group issues against a specific attribute. Additionally, you can set up WIP limits for tasks being in a specific status. So that you can concentrate efforts of your team on completing tasks until the end rather than starting new tasks without finishing them.


You will easily notice these changes after switching from boards of classic software projects.

Want more Agility in Jira Cloud?

Besides all these improvements and enhancements, Jira Cloud has one disadvantage which can greatly affect management of issues. And this is inline editing of issues in projects. When you need to change or update multiple values in Jira issues, this simple operation can take too much time of yours. If you need to do this on a regular basis, this can become a real problem.

But with the third-party app and this problem can be easily resolved. Just start your free trial of Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor. This solution allows you to show the list of issues with their editable fields in the Excel-like spreadsheet and update their values inline with minimal effort.

nexgen 7.png

The app supports all the most popular fields types, so now you can review and prioritize your backlog, plan a new sprint or version, adjust the project timelines, link requirements to features, or distribute tasks across your team much faster than doing this one by one.

Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor neatly integrates into the project sidebar and into the issue navigator, so you can instantly proceed to editing issues inline.

nextgen 8.png

Moreover, the app supports views that let you get access to the frequently used projects or sets of issues in a blink of an eye. So you needn't waste your time picking the right columns and entering the JQL query again and again.

nextgen 9.png

If you need to update a bulk of issues, this is not a problem too. You no longer need to go back to Issue Navigator, search for necessary issues, then select the required values, verify them, and only then apply. Apply the required values in bulk to your issues while working in the spreadsheet view. Additionally, you can update values per column for each issue in particular. This app greatly saves your time and boosts your project management activities.

Start my free trial of Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor

Effectiveness. Speed. Quality. That's all about nextgen projects

It's high time to create a new nextgen project and manage it in Jira Cloud. You will immediately notice all these improvements and enhancements to work much more effectively with issues.

Besides all these things, nextgen projects are bundled with automations that can simplify execution of routine tasks on issues, but this is another story...


Dave Liao
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 28, 2020

Next-gen projects are definitely appropriate for smaller teams who need more autonomy - this is a good intro to those types of projects, thanks for sharing!

I wonder what the usage of next-gen vs. classic projects are at different-sized companies? 🤔

Vadim Rutkevich
Rising Star
Rising Star
Rising Stars are recognized for providing high-quality answers to other users. Rising Stars receive a certificate of achievement and are on the path to becoming Community Leaders.
December 1, 2020

Hi @Dave Liao
Yes, you are right. Nextgen projects are for smaller teams without well-defined processes when they can experiment in the way they need for effective work.

Classic projects are more for mature teams that have the well-established processes and need a strict workflow.
So if we are speaking about which type of the project to choose? I would say that if you create a new team, it will be easier to start with nextgen and master all the core concepts. If you need something serious so use classic projects.


Sincerely, Vadim [PM @ Stiltsoft]

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