After being months with Jira

Please apologize in advance, but after months of using Jira, searching solutions to questions online, it is my first post somehow filled up with huge frustration asking myself for what purpose Jira was actually build for?

I am chief developer of a small software development firm, months ago looking for a suitable Project Management solution to handle our complex taskflow (like all of us do, right?)

Jira looked promising, so we gave it a try.

First things first: Jira itself is powerful, no comments here.

Now it comes to the actual problems (and headache) Jira causes to me and my team, dedicating almost last week till today, to search answers related to very simple needs we have, and realized that Jira is not capable (at least not by default) to satisfy tiny little, most logical needs.

Try to split (like we did) your Software development into pieces with following hirarchy (example):

PROJECT: My Software development (Agile managed)

EPIC: Back-Office remake

TASK: User Management Interface

SUB-TASK 1: redo the input styles

SUB-TASK 2: redo the dropdown styles

1. Go ahead and try to add SUB-TASK 2 to your sprint (because SUB-TASK 2 can wait): YOU CAN'T!

2. Try to assign a specific user ONLY to that project (out of more than 1 project) .. because this is what you (..simply..) want. YOU CAN'T!.. at least not without spending 5-6 hours searching around and FINALLY! understand how its done

3. Try to assign multiple assignees to a task YOU CAN'T!.. at least not like you want, except you make use of groups, and other 'recommended' approaches. Of course, again searching for hours because you simply not believe Jira can't handle that one.

4. i forgot about all other 'simple' features missing in Jira (like uploading a file to a comment, a simple simple editor to (at least) underline and bold remarks, mark a comment as very important etc etc, because my frustration is big enough today, having realized that.. Jira is definitely not the tool we where looking for.

And believe me.. i was looking today at recommendations from other guys how they deal with similar needs.. it's even more frustrating, like

And of course not to mention the upgrade attempt few minutes ago where (after upgrade to 6.3.1) not able to login anymore because: JIRA support and updates for this license ended on 11/Jan/14. JIRA updates created after 11/Jan/14 are not valid for this license.

And my account licence details says: Support Expires 12 Jan 2015

3 answers

0 votes

Well, um

1. That's not how you're supposed to do Agile - subtasks follow their parent story.

2. I think the defaults are a bad example to follow, and yes, it's confusing at first. But with a flexibe system, you always get complexity in configuration

3. That is by design, and it's a good decision. You've got one single clearly identifiable person who is responsible for the issue. In real life, when multiple assignee is allowed, you always find it falls apart with each assignee saying "I thought the other person was on it". I've yet to see anything with multiple assignees that works. By all means, use other fields for groups and/or noting other users with an interest. Automate it so that moving through workflows automatically changes assignee. And so-on.

4. Yes, there's a feature request for attaching files with associated comments. There is a simple editor for doing basic formating (bold, italic, simple tables) and the option of adding others via plugins if you insist. Marking a comment as important - I don't think I've seen that requested anywhere.

5. Your upgrade - sounds like you have not installed the current licence in your system.

1. If there is a different way to organize by example above, i would be glad to hear it. But there is none.. except that you start creating unlimited EPICS & Stories and let tasks 'float' around in a story.

2. Yes, more than bad.. it costs time and it is a huge learning curve before project leaders can actually do what they supose to: do their work

3. No good decision, sorry to say that. I need someone who does the task and the next guy who does the QA.. and i want the QA guy to monitor the comments of each task, make correction etc... what's the problem to have assignee & custom assigned roles in a task 'by user'?

Because imagine: sometimes you need different people doing different QA (or whatever) work on a task. Assigning more then one guy to an issue by group (for example) would make neccessary to create people in depratment x possible combinations..?

4. No comments here.. editor is must, and file upload (e.g) of a specific screen to a specific comment is must

Anyway, obviously it makes no sense to loose more time on that. I suppose that's why plugins are made for

1. Break up your stories like you're supposed to

2. Yes, it's a learning curve. It's still easier than a lot of other software I've used and very flexible

3. The right decision, sorry. Multiple assignees simply does not work in any way, shape or form. It works fine if you use other fields - a common trick is to have other user fields (like developer and tester) and use functions in the workflow to make them the assignee at the appropriate time. But just having both people assigned at the same time is an unmitigated disaster. Doesn't work. Ever.

4. Already told you, there is a formatting editor built in. I don't think attachments linked to comments is that important - there's a few users asked for it, but not many.

Hello Nic,

thanks for your feedback and sorry for my delay, i was away.

I can live with your comments to 1 + 2

However, regarding 3, i don't want to have 2 assignees in terms of responsibility, but a second one who would (and only him, not a group of..) have possibility to track issues side-by-side with assignee. Annoying is to have a group of people assigned, where some (or most of them) should not be involved to an issue. So, to clarify: Is there a way to assign a single (additional) person to an issue? Like we do with 'Reporter'?

Regarding 4: I mentioned in other topic here that we deal a lot with issues where we assign 50+ attachments (files & images). And someone really needs to be able to 'see' related attachments at the time of reading a comments. Usually its the guy who is 'bombed' with attachments around his task.

How do you help such guy to sort 50+ attachments? Images could be ok .. but files?

And with images: at least relate them to the comment at time of upload (and adding the comment)

Imagine, we have to teach every newcomer how to attach and (THEN) relate an image to a comment.

Sorry, for us its a big trouble.

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