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Use cases for "Structure for Jira" plugin Edited

Hello,

I am currently evaluating the plugin named "Structure for Jira" and am curious to hear  how others use it, especially those working in the videogame industry. 

I understand that Structure gives you the ability to create your own issue hierarchy, but what organizational advantage does that grant you?  How do you best leverage that ability to create a larger hierarchy ?

In short, what do you use Structure for on your teams and how has it changed how you work ?

 

This is the plugin: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.almworks.jira.structure/server/reviews

3 comments

Hey Eric,

I've been using Structure both as a more human-readable backlog and a gantt for one of our R&D projects at Riot Games.

One of the challenges I've run into using jira for years is that the agile plugin is great for teams of ~12 devs on short term projects, but it starts to get overrun with data on larger teams that are tracking over a longer period of time. At that point I tend to start making concession with regards to how I organize the work (i.e. keeping large bodies of work more abstract vs. broken down and well defined) just to keep the backlog manageable. If and when you begin scaling to multiple teams with recurring dependencies/touchpoints working across multiple boards, it becomes very difficult to see the big picture.

I start using structure to solve two problems:

1. maintain a human-readable macro backlog separate from the prioritized, stack-ranked clutter of my agile boards
2. maintain a high-level view of all the work across each of my teams including current status, ownership, etc.

Effectively I have three ways to look at issues:

1. a structure that contains all the work for each of my teams, including high-level items that might be 3+ months out
2. a jira agile board for each team that only contains the next 2-3 months of work
3. a common roadmap in structure gantt that shows epics/fix versions containing work from that common backlog, showing progress toward epic/fic version completion based on team velocity (doing some magic with structure gantt config and formulas here)

The workflow generally is a. create issues in the structure backlog b. tag them with the field values the team board queries look for c. associate issues with epics/fixversions d. update the structure gantt with average team velocity and check estimated time to complete against whatever the deadlines are and then e. adjust plans accordingly.

So tl;dr I suppose is that structure is the best solution that I've found so far to the large team management and gantt problems. I've been working primarily with very cross-functional features teams, but the system is flexible enough to setup something to support a more waterfall/kanban asset creation pipeline too.

Hope that helps!

JG

Hello Joey,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out this well crafted response!  Yes, I too run large teams with projects spanning many months.  I, too, have felt the pain points with long-term planning in Jira that you have called out.  

It sounds like you use Structure to leverage its ability to organize and compartmentalize work into discrete chunks.  Definitely sound like a solid solution to some issues that I am dealing with.  

Thank you very much for your response!  

Hi Joey,

Separate question, we are not a video game industry.

We also use Structure (for better part of last year) for managing projects going for months / years. Use case for our users varies from people trying to use different heirarchy from a standard we defined across the platform, creating new tickets from structures, as you mentioned more human readable view, and sometimes even grouping tickets from different jira projects.

But recently ww started facing performance issues with more structures containing automation and having high number of Jira tickets in them (latest addon version contained performance improvement) plus locking down who can create new structures and permissions helped a lot. 

Just wondering what system specs are you running it on and how much is the usage of structure? At one point we had 700+ structures with many containing 5+ levels of heirarchy and 5k+ tickets. 

 

Regards,

Ankit

Hi Ankit,

I know it's a bit late, but I just came across this thread. Are you still experiencing any performance issues? In the past year we've done quite a bit of performance profiling, so Automation should be working faster now. We'll also be happy to review your current usage of the app and maybe suggest some ways to optimize the structures that you have for performance. 

Please feel free to contact our support team at support@almworks.com.

Kind regards,

Eugene

Hey Eric,

As an IT org at a video game company, we rely heavily on Structure and leverage a variety of functions to enable our work at the portfolio, project, and team level. 

Portfolio level - We currently use structure to prioritize our projects and sort by rank so teams can see our top priorities across the company no matter how they pull the data. We love S-JQL where we can say show me the tickets in this structure and how they are ranked. Plus it is really easy to click and drag tickets up and down to influence rank. 

Project level - We have a lot of cross-dependencies, so we require a structure for every key project to automatically pull in dynamic information related to the project to increase visibility and provide a source of truth. We love the automation and transformers so we can pivot data by status, assignee, or our key custom fields. Once you have established the hierarchy and linking relationships, it is also really easy to maintain projects by adding tickets in the structure and having them inherit the appropriate links. 

Team level - There is so much flexibility in how you use structure, so team's have really customized it to meet their needs. We have teams that work straight out of a structure as a work queue while others use use Agile boards (SCRUM or Kanban depending on the team). However, even the teams that use Agile boards often rely on a structure for planning their work. They can look at a bird's eye view or drill down into the detailed tasks/sub-tasks all in one place. Prior to a Kanplan being available in JIRA, we used structures as a Kanban backlog to queue up work for the Kanban boards. 

Honestly, there are so many uses for Structure, and I can't imaging us using JIRA without it, but I hear it's possible. ;)

Hey Bethany,

Thank you so much for your response!  Sounds like you and your teams have really found a whole host of creative ways to leverage Structure.  I love using JQL to find the exact data as well, and it sounds like if you add Structure to that, you can really drill down into what you and your team need to view. 

Thanks for the help!  

Inspiring feedback! About to use S4Jira, wondering if anyone has come across a user community that does live demo/discussions, sharing ideas? I'm in the Enterprise Cloud Innovation Lab space.

Hi, Brent.  Where is "the Enterprise Cloud Innovation Lab space?"  There are a number of AUGs that have Structure users who are actively involved.  And, others where there may not be many in attendance without a little prodding from us.

If you let us know where you are, someone here may be able to connect you with some folks.  

Also, if you'd like, I can send you more information about the Structure Cloud early access program.  

 

-dave [ALM Works]

Based in Toronto - AUG sounds interesting. Structure Cloud early access program - is this for upcoming features? I'm interested in more gantt functionality.

Hello again, Brent.  Somehow I missed your reply – until now. 

The Structure Cloud early access program is for those who are interested in early access to Structure Cloud (Structure for Jira is available for Jira Server and Jira Data Center only today).  

To learn more about, and make inquiries about, Structure.Gantt you can do that any time via our support portal.  

Very interesting. Isn't Portfolio solving those massive backlogs and multi-project plannings issues? I'm newly using the Portfolio and never used this Structure plugin. So this is for opening the discussion since the use cases have been very well explained.

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