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Tips on how to best use Jira for our project

Big Jim Jul 18, 2017

Before we start in completly the wrong direction I was hoping that the community could advise how best to use Jira for our project.

We have a product that is tested for a number of years. There are various test types specified. Many of these test types will run in parallell. Each test type contains multiple individual tests which need to be assigned to individual team members.  The aim in using Jira is to manage complex tests that take years to complete and are assigned to multiple users.

I have started defining issues and workflows but am not sure if we should use Epics, stories, sprints etc.

Thanks in advance for your tips.


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Christoph Thomas Jul 19, 2017

Hey - I guess to provide better visibility for test suites you could use stories with every single test in a subtask or Epics with test cases as stories. If you use epics you can have test steps as subtasks under your test cases/stories. 

Besides that I recommend you to start as simple as possible and look for the user acceptance and feedback you get before implementing things that will never be really used... How will users/testers look at their todos /tests btw? Will you use a kanban board? 



Big Jim Jul 19, 2017

Hi Christoph,

Thanks for taking the time to answer and for your tips.

Unfortunatly I have to prepare a demo to be presented in 2 months so there will be litlle time for user testing and feedback.

Where I´m a bit stuck is how best to define a master test (description with prose description), the individual tasks related to this test for each team member (including technical details). This should be done in a way that I can clearly report the status of a master test (and all related tasks).

At present we are using Redmine and covered the above by simply defining invididual tasks linked to a test and the status shown by queries.

Again we will have multiple tests running in parellel for years so I am not sure if sprints are suitable ?

I'm also not sure if there´s some disadvantages of sub tasks (such as not being able to be included in sprints).

Sorry if these a vague or silly questions !




Christoph Thomas Jul 19, 2017

Hi Jim, 

You're welcome - I guess preparing a demo with epics and stories should take about 90 minutes for someone who has some JIRA administration experience - so I don't see why there is no time for testing and feedback? 

You can give sprints any length you want to but it might be better to use fix versions for you. 

Subtasks have indeed some attributes they share with their parent issue - I would use epics and stories first. 



Big Jim Jul 19, 2017

Thanks again,

Therein lies the problem. I am absolutely new to Jira and have been thrown in the deep end needing to immediatly define workflows and setup a demo project. After some struggling I have managed to create a new workflow and associate it with an issue type. How best to use epics and stories, tasks and sub tasks or even fix versions is not really clear to me.



Christoph Thomas Jul 19, 2017

Hi Jim, 

Have you a had a look at some guides like or 

Epics group multiple stories. Task is another issue type at story level. Subtask is one level below. So JIRA has three hierarchies Epic - > issue -> subtask. Fix versions is like a tag to group issues with some default reports in JIRA. 



Big Jim Jul 21, 2017 • edited

Hi Christoph,

Thanks again for the info. I have implemented a test project as follows :

Epic : Test Type

Issue : Individual Tests

Sub Tasks : All issues related to individual tests.

I am not sure how usefull sprints are as our tests always take months so it's hard to imagine that a two week sprint would helps us. In fact it might generate more work to define the sprint.  Therefore I was thinking of simply linking all individual tests to a version (completion of a test). 

What I'm not sure about is what is the best way for users to see their assigned tasks. In Redmine we simply defined user queries which sorted tasks by priority and due date. This seemed to work well. I'm don't know if Jira offers something better.

Thanks again your feedback helped a lot

Christoph Thomas Jul 22, 2017

Jim - you can either set up a Kanban board with quick filters like my issues or you save some jql queries as filters and add them to one or more dashboards using gadgets like filter results or assigned to me. Hope that helps? 

Boards are fine for up to 500 issues, afterwards they are getting slow. Guess you could start with a dashboard. Did you know you can also easily subscribe to a filter so that you get an email when the filter has results? Can be quite useful e.g. if you use due dates on your issues and want to make sure that no issues is missed - you can create a filter searching for due date <= now() 



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