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JIRA Tutorial for NGOs. Part 3 – First steps in Jira. Create your project and tasks.

The first days with new software, that you are going to use every day from now one can be really scary. There are so many options to choose from, settings to change, things to click. Sometimes, when you’ll acquire some bad habits from the start, changing the way you work in the future will be incredibly difficult. There are many users, that find out about some functionality years after they’ve started working with some software. Functionality, that usually could save them hours, if not days of their work.

That is why we want to show you, in a very easy way, how to start working with Jira and make your project management much, much easier. We gonna take you to step by step with everything you have to do to create your first project, but remember, you are never alone with this. If you ever stuck at some point, Atlassian support can help you in various ways. Search documentation or ask someone in the community. Here is the link to a support website:

Ok, having this out of the way, it is time to start creating your first project!


Create your first project

1st project.jpg

On the left menu of Jira Software, you have many elements to choose from: Dashboards, Projects, Issues, and filters, and even more, if you have any apps installed. So, if we want to create a new project for ourselves, we should, of course, click on the “Projects”. Here you can see all the projects that are available to you. If you are just starting your adventure with Jira, this will be probably empty. Let’s change that! Click “Create project” on the upper-right corner.


You will see a similar view like this:

2 create project.jpg

As you can see, this is pretty easy. First, enter the name of your project. After that choose, who will get access to your project (in other words, who do you want to collaborate on this task). You have these options:

  • Open – everyone in your organization
  • Limited – everyone can view and comment, but only added people can edit
  • Private – only for people in the project

In the advanced options, you can also change the name of the key for the project – letters for the naming projects in the tasks. It will be best to leave it as it is for now.

Also on the left, you can change the template for your project. You can choose from:

  • Kanban – These are simple cards on aboard. This template is recommended for most of the organizations. We will work on this for now.
  • Scrum – this is a methodology for the programmers, but many organizations outside of this world also use it

And this is it! Click “create” and go to your new project.


Board for your tasks


How it is going to look like? Probably something like this:

3 Board for tasks.jpg


It is pretty empty for now, but soon this is going to change. Jira allows us to freely create a task for each project, assign them to anyone you want to, attach every needed document or material, see how the is project moving along, and many more. All of this is just a couple of clicks away from now.

Most probably, you don’t want to work alone on this project. So let’s add some people! On the right of the search bar, you can see the icons of people, who are assigned to this project. At the start, there is going to be just one picture – yours. To change this, click the icon right next to your picture, person with plus next to his head. Now you can add everyone who you want. People from your organization, who are registered in your Jira Server, will be listed alphabetically. Just search for everyone who should be involved in this particular project.


Let’s create some tasks!


Now, you probably want to create your first issue for this project. Click the plus sign on the “To Do” Board. There are two available ways to do this, a more complicated one and a simpler one. This time, let’s start with a more advanced one.


4 create a task.jpg


There are a lot of things to fill in here, but we will describe everything, step by step. You can change the project that this particular issue is belonging, but at the start, we don’t have to change anything. Every issue (or task) can have many other types – some of them are just for the IT world, like “Bug”. “Story” works for us right now, so once again, we can leave everything as it is.


Describe the issue


In summary, you can name your task. The best practice is to write (no surprise here) a short summary, so everyone who will look at it will know right away, what has to be done. Below you can attach all the files, you think are needed for this task. People who will be doing this will need some information from an old Excel file? Add it right here. A blog post will need pictures from the old event? Make life easier for people in your team and attach them.

In the description you can write down every detail, that has to be done for this issue. But it doesn’t have to be just plain old text. Jira can use emotes, lists, or tables. If any particular person can help with completing this task – you can tag him here, by using the “@” symbol.

If any other issue is connected to this task you can connect it here. Thanks to this, you will be able to see the bigger picture.


5 describe the issue.jpg


You can also flag this issue at the “impediment”. In projects with many tasks, this is a great tool to see what is the biggest problem right now and where to do you “stuck” on as the team at this moment.

Below you can see one of the most important tools for issues – assignment. Choose the person who will be responsible for this task. Thanks to this, he will see it right away, on his Jira board.


Label your work


You can also add labels to this issue. Once again, this tool is great for bigger projects. Thanks to labeling, you can divide tasks into different groups and filter everything, if you are interested only in one particular side of this project. This is very useful when a project is a collaboration between, for example, different divisions of the company. Labels allow you to see, what tasks are done by one of them.


6 label your work.jpg


Once you finished, click create and this task should appear on your board. If the issue you want to add is a very simple one, you can describe it also in a simpler way. Just write everything down on the board itself. It won’t have all the details, but some tasks in the project aren’t that complicated. And when they become more detailed, you can always edit it and add some information later.


7 label your work.jpg


See the progress of your work

As you can see, your tasks are divided into different columns. Why are they needed? To see the progress of each one.


8 see the progress.jpg


This makes managing the progress of task incredibly easy and intuitive. If you are starting work on the issue from the “To-Do” list – just move it to the “In Progress” section. When you finish it, just move it again one column further to the “Done” group. These three columns are the standard, but if your project is more complicated you can always add more. For example, if some issues are going to be reviewed after completion, maybe creating a “To be reviewed” section would be a good idea.

And this is it for the first steps in Jira. With every day of work and project management you are going to know this system better and better. Hope it will help you be as efficient as it is possible!



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