How do you handle cross-platform projects?


In our company we are using JIRA to track issues and log work for our projects. We're looking at restructuring our JIRA to be a better fit for our purposes but we are having some disagreements about which approach is best.


We have several products. For each of these products we have several different platforms (iOS, Android, Web, API, etc...). The products are also broken up into modules (reminders, messages, etc...) Some platforms are targetting different types of users, so some modules are only available on certain platforms and not others.


Previously we have been using one JIRA Project per product per platform, and using Epics to represent modules. The cons we have noticed with this approach are:

  1. We want to operate on having per-product sprints, and distribute manpower where it is most needed rather than dividing people into teams. Having separate Projects forces us to have per-product per-platform sprints.
  2. We wish to have better visibility around the overall progress of a module across all platforms. We wish to release new functionality simultaneously on all platforms where it is supported and better reporting of overall progress would make this easier.


One possibility we are exploring is having per-product Projects, and using Components to denote platform and continuing to use Epics to represent modules. This solves the two issues, but does have the downside that it is no longer clearly visible for each issue which platform it relates to. For a new feature we will have one Story for each platform that this feature applies to, and these Stories look indistinguishable at a glance. It is only once you click on them that you are able to view the Component they relate to. This has been raised previously in a suggestion for the JIRA team but it seems unlikely to ever be improved.

A workaround for this would be to prefix all Stories with a code identifying the platform, so that this information can be seen at a glance. This is far from ideal, as it requires extra effort to maintain, is harder to search/filter and cannot be colour coded. My idealism also sees it as an admission that JIRA is not working for us.


An alternative possibility is that we have per-product Projects, use Epics to denote platform and move to using Labels to represent modules. This allows for colour coding by platform and makes it easy to see which platform an issue relates to at a glance, plus allows for easy filtering by platform, plus it means we don't have to enter a prefix for each Story. Unfortunately it also does not solve the second original problem, which is getting better visibility of a module's overall progress.


JIRA is largely designed for software development and cross-platform development is a common scenario for software developers, so I can't imagine we are the first people to wonder how best to do this. So what I'm wondering is how other people are doing it, what works for others and what would be recommended for this situation?




1 answer

There's so many ways to skin this cat and I believe each organization will have their own of dealing with this.

My first choice is one Project per product, Components for Modules (so I know my modules have leads) then use a List Custom Field for the platform (since the number is fixed). This is what I will do.

Alternatively like your second choice,I will have one Project per product (I like it that way), use Components for platforms (always) and Issue Types for the module. But I will go with my first one.

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