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Project managers know this problem: A “mountain of work” lays in front of you, and you don’t know how and where to tackle them. Different to-dos lie ahead, but just one task after the other can be handled. If you have selected one task, you may have many small steps, whereby many of those steps are not going to be finished and the task can not be closed. At the end of your stressful day you have the poor feeling to have accomplished nothing.
Atlassian has developed the project management software Jira to help you to overcome exactly these challenges of your everyday work life. Jira helps you as a guide, similar to a map during hiking, to conquer the workload. The tool provides you a route through tickets, sprints and stories and gives you guidance in complex work routine. But to arrive safely at your wished destination, you have to use these instruments in the correct way. Otherwise, you could deviate from the right route.
This article is serving you as an orientation for effective usage of Jira in project management. We will deliver useful best practices, which will improve your project management and team work drastically.
You can prevent typical problems in project work with Jira in advance, through the right sprint planning and the correct creation of tickets.
These are the three most important tips:
Also in the planning of your tickets you should schedule your needed time conservative. Always include a buffer in case of complications. By doing so you can prevent a lot of stress at the end of your sprint.
Moreover, it is useful to create a story for tasks, that include multiple smaller steps.
An example: You received the task to write an article. To finalize the task you have to complete multiple steps like research, writing, proofreading and translation. If you create just one ticket for the process, you and your teammates could lose the overview on the current status of the task very fast. This can be prevented by creating a story and tickets for the mentioned steps, which are linked to the story. With this technique you can tick off more tasks, which always gives you a feeling of reward.
The next hack is very important for effective team collaborations: Create your tickets as clear as possible, so that all of your teammates will understand them too. It is for example useful to exclude complex acronyms to facilitate collaboration with your teammates. If you work in an international team, you should always create your tickets in English, so teammates with different mother tongue will understand the ticket too. These tips might sound like a big effort, but the time investment will pay off when it comes to collaborating with other teammates on joint projects. If you need feedback from other staff members or hand them a ticket over, the task will not need much explanation. The ticket description and comments are important parts of an effective collaboration, too. Through paying attention to these best practices you will improve your team work significantly.
Jira entails some functionalities with which you can track time of your team and projects. They help you to structure your work more effectively through monitoring.
The benefits of time tracking with Jira:
Why is time tracking in Jira so useful? Here is a short list of company goals, that need an analysis of tracked time:
The standard time tracking function of Jira is very useful for small businesses, because of their team and project size. With the standard time tracking function you can create simple reports, who will present you the work load clearly. By doing so you can plan and evaluate the resources of your team more effectively.
The weak points of time tracking with Jira:
Unfortunately the standard time tracking functions in Jira are not helpful in every use case. For example in these eight cases:
Actonic has developed the app Report Builder to close these gaps. Report Builder optimizes the functionality of time tracking in Jira in a very smart way. Our app improves your project management through multiple functionalities. It points out how many hours per project you can invoice. It shows you what the time capacity of your employees or the project progress looks like.
Jira is a tool that enables you to tackle the “mountain of work” effectively. Through the presented best practices you will improve the effectiveness of your project management with Jira. Plan your tickets and sprints conservative, order your tickets by their urgency, create stories for bigger tasks and prepare universal understandable tickets to enable collaborations. Follow those best practices in your daily work life, and you will always stay on the right route. The time tracking function of Jira is a useful tool especially for project managers, that can be expanded through our app Report Builder. Interested? Test Report Builder 30 days for free!
Andrei Pisklenov _Actonic_
Head of Development
3 accepted answers