We're looking to move to Jira, and we currently have a huge "to do" development list, sorted top to bottom by priority. We can't just have a set number of priorities, because even within high priority tasks (for example), one might come above another. And we may need to sort these arbitrarily at any given time.
The Agile add-on does this perfectly, but I was wondering if there's any way to do this without that add-on.
There are definitely some other ways to do this. While Agile is the easiest, you could try building out dashboards for project management. Atlassian has a useful blog post here.
What I would do is: Build the main project dashboard, then dashboards for Assignees (people working on issues) of all different issues, then configuring Issuetypes into a similar hierarchy that Agile uses. These are: Epics, Stories, Tasks, etc.
The main dashboard would be the quick glance with various filters based on all active projects, tables, version dates, etc. The assignee dashboards would be similar, but not so high-level.
Long story short: I'd suggest creating filters and dashboards for project planning if you don't want to use Agile.
Thanks for the response Andrew! Currently we don't really subcategorize the different to-do items (nor do we want to). We currently have a big list of about 500 new features and improvements (mostly unrelated), sorted in first-to-do at top to last-to-do at bottom order, so that we can at a glance see what's coming up next across everything. Our project management style is to let our devs grab whatever item they want from the top 10 or so items on that list. So we'd need to have a place that allows us to have those ~500 tasks sorted arbitrarily into a specific order, without necessarily preassigning anything to anyone. From what I'm reading of filters and dashboards, it can't accomplish that. Or did I miss something?
Mike, so pretty much a Kanban board. You could probably set something up for that. You would also need to make a field to make that arbitrary organization possible (Agile uses "Rank" to categorize) and then you could add into your filter JQL "Sort by field desc" or something similar. Whenever that field is updated (you could have it be a label or text field you train users to input certain values in such as 1-1000). Then it will display in a row. I could see this being done like this: Two filter results, left being the "Input Queue" and the one on the right being "Assigned to Me" which would be: "project=myproject AND assignee=currentuser() AND resolution=unresolved", so you could use the same dashboard for everyone. It would also look very simple and give them what they need. Hopefully that helps! JIRA is very configurable. It will allow you to do most anything with filters/dashboards, you just need a little creativity :)
Ok, from what you're saying it sounds like Agile is probably the best way to go for our use case overall -- if we added a custom numerical field to sort on, that gets into the issue of "well if we re-sort a lot, we may end up with numbers 10-20 taken, and if we need to insert something right in the middle then that's a lot of work." With the Agile add-on, it's all drag and drop, so no worrying about any of that.
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