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Best practices for project communication in Jira

Watch single projects

Starting with Profields 6.5 for Jira Server and Data Center, users who watch a project will receive an e-mail highlighting the project custom field that has changed, the old value and the current value. Here’s how it looks:

Profields_650-watch_projects.png

Follow multiple projects with subscriptions

Of course, many users can be interested in following multiple projects, but don't need to track every change as it happens. For them, the best option is to create a subscription to a query in the Project Navigator (available since Profields 6.6.0 in Server & Data Center).

suscription.png

The result is an email with a comprehensive summary table, like this one:

template mail changed values subscription.png

 

Enforcing Project Communication

With many concurrent users come frequent changes in the Profields database, often affecting strategic projects and projects with numerous stakeholders. But until now there was no form of automating the communication of project changes: if the end date of a project was postponed, whoever made the change had to write an email to all stakeholders or rely on confluence macros –hoping that those interested would take the time to look at them and identify what had changed.

That’s why having the ability to watch projects is a very big leap forward for complex, project-intensive organizations.

 

Recommendations for project notifications

Project fields are not likely to change as often as issue fields, but if you start watching many projects, emails can pile up rather quickly until you stop caring.

Here are some basic recommendations to make you a vigilant and sustainable project stakeholder. In general, it's important to choose wisely when to watch and when to subscribe. 

How to watch projects
  • As a general rule, watching projects is useful for tactical roles within a project
  • Create email filters for each project you watch, so all notifications are organized
  • Turn the watch off when the project is no longer relevant or your participation in it has become secondary.
  • Keep the watch off during project initiation. There might be a lot of manual data entry during this phase that you probably can skip.
  • Don’t watch projects if you want to track calculated fields over time. Cumulative fields and script fields don’t generate watch notifications: they change all the time! But you can see the current values with a subscription.
  • Ask others to watch projects. If you're aware that important project changes are pending, including its approval or budgeting, you may ask colleagues to be on the watch. If your organization has defined advanced project roles (hint: you can use Profields User picker to embed this information in your Jira projects) you may base a clear-cut watching policy.
How to SUBSCRIBE TO project QUERIES
  • As a general rule, project subscriptions are useful for managers and supervisors who need a strategic view.
  • As a manager, it's advisable to create daily or weekly subscriptions with your projects.
  • Consider implementing the metrics that really matter for your goals. Use scripted fields if necessary.
  • When creating the query, make sure to include all and only relevant information as a column in the Project Navigator.
  • Only interested in few projects that have nothing in common? Make a query with their project keys, then create a subscription.

Why Profields notifications can make a big difference

Typically, when a company implements Profields successfully it’s for a combination of at least four different factors: a clear use case, a precise field taxonomy, user onboarding, and use policies.

The specific responses to the four factors will define who uses Profields, how they use it and when they use it. The range is very broad, from administrators only (albeit enjoyed passively by the entire user base) to a much broader base of active users with permission to create and modify project data.

The latter is a common response in enterprise customers: in those environments, the ability to watch helps create a sense of awareness about the status of important projects in Jira, supports the enforcement of change management policies and offers process transparency.

At the same time, project subscriptions are a perfect way to enforce automated project communication. Provided that you implement metrics and KPIs in your projects, it's easy to use subscriptions as your weekly project report.

Future steps: change tracking and summaries

In the near future, our team will implement important improvements:

  • Watch project notifications will be grouped when the corresponding changes occur within a 10-minute time span
  • Subscriptions will track the changes between the current and the last email, as in the example shown above.

Watch this article for updates!

2 comments

Hi! 

Thanks for the article. 

Thanks @Gonchik Tsymzhitov ! Glad you liked it. 

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