What are other tools we can use to fill the missing gaps in Jira?

We are currently using Jira to manage our projects... But apart from development tasks, it's not that good at tracking normal non project related tasks in the company. I feel like I need a simple to-do app... A shared calendar, etc. Are there recommended tools we can use while using Jira?

1 answer

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JIRA is a to-do application.

It's a powerful and flexible one, that has a lot of useful options, but at it's heart, it really is "here's a list of things that need some attention".   The defaults are generally aimed at development though, as that's what it was originally written for and is the main reason for using it.

But you can easily use it to track all sorts of other things.  You just need to configure it to suit your processes.

As a worked example, something I've done in several places is set up a "to do" project for everyone to track very simple items for themselves.  Specifically:

  • Fields: 
    • You only need the summary on the create/edit screens (due date and description can be handy, and other fields, but the point is to cut it to a minimum)
  • Workflow
    • Keep it as simple as "open" and "closed"
    • Set the resolution with a post-function on open -> closed, and clear it when going the other way (then the users don't have to worry about the field, but the reporting all works)
    • Consider setting the assignee to the reporter automatically, so that the issues appear in the "assigned to me" reports.
  • Permissions:
    • If you can, enable the "reporter browse" permission and use it.  This means the users in the project can only see their own items.  (I don't know if you can do that on Cloud, you'd need to ask support to do it)
    • Set most of the permissions to "no-one", so things like the work logs vanish.  Set the rest to "reporter" so no-one else can mess around with a user's items

I take your point about the calendar.  I almost always install the calender add-on for JIRA (works well with the to-do project if you do use "due date" in it), but the usual answer you'll get about calendars is "use Confluence + Team Calendars"

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