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How is the best way to organize non-software projects?

Our Dev Team already uses Jira for managing the continuous improvement and changes to our software product line. However, we are currently researching Jira as a project management tool for non-software related projects. I am struggling to determine how best to set this up for our team and if it is the right way to go. We use Trello currently, but we're looking for more. We have many clients and each project for a client might look different and, for the most part, these projects would follow more of a waterfall type approach rather than agile. I'm struggling to fully understand how Jira works and how best to setup these projects for various clients so that everyone on our team (those actually managing the various pieces of a given project as well as sales) can have visibility into the current stage of a project as well as using it to move the project forward. Expert advice and guidance would be helpful!

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Hello Rebecca,

Welcome to Atlassian Community!

JIRA Core (business) templates are focused specifically on those customers looking for a management project for business cases and has a bunch of project templates for different scenarios, like sales, marketing, management, etc.

The correct template that you will be using and how it can work for you will really depend on the objectives of each project and what features you are looking for.

About this statement:

I'm struggling to fully understand how Jira works and how best to setup these projects for various clients so that everyone on our team (those actually managing the various pieces of a given project as well as sales) can have visibility into the current stage of a project as well as using it to move the project forward.

The easiest and recommended way to organize your work when supporting multiple clients would be to configure a single project to each client, making it easier to manage permissions and configuring components to define the department (Sales, marketing, HR, etc) of your clients and reference it in your project tasks. Also, JIRA filters and reports will help you to have a clear view of how your team is progressing, giving you the estimation you need to estimate your work.

That being said, could you please specify what you are struggling to achieve specifically? Are you stucking at some point during the project planning, or you are just looking for ideas on how to better achieve what you are looking for?

Additionally, the following documentation can help you achieve your goals for some specific cases:

How advertising agencies use Jira for business development 

Using Jira Core for Sales teams 

Project Management for Finance Teams 

Let me know if this information helps.

Thank you, Petter, for taking the time to respond. I am definitely struggling to understand how Jira is structured overall and the best way to setup our projects. Our dev team uses it for managing software updates/releases and for them, I understand how it works and it makes sense; however, I'm struggling with how to translate that to our non-software projects. Our company currently uses Trello to manage our non-software projects, but we've reached the point where Trello is no longer enough and we also need to give more people access (i.e., our sales team). This may be information overload, but the list below are the core requirements that we're looking for in a project management software. We believe Jira can do all of these things (with some possible add-ons), but we just don't know where to start.

  1. Time Tracking at the task (or lowest) level. Exportable.
  2. Budget Tracking at the task (or lowest) level. Exportable.
  3. Ability to create projects with tasks underneath. 
    1. Task dependency optional while displaying the critical path. 
    2. Management users need to be assigned to tasks.
    3. Tasks need to be assigned deadlines.
  4. Security to prevent changes to project timelines, budgets, etc. Super Admin user. 
  5. Tasks need to have alerts and reminders for: deadlines, budgets and comments/notes changes to the project. 
  6. Ability to view all ongoing projects to aid in sales forecasting timelines. 
  7. Ability to leave comments/notes at project and task level. 
  8. Stats and reports screen for checking project profitability and other measures. 

You are welcome Rebecca,

Thank you for providing these details.

About your specific concerns:

1 - Indeed, JIRA has a time tracking feature which tracks your issues based in three fields: Original Time estimate (Initial estimation), Time spent (time logged to your issues) and remaining time (Initial estimation less the time spent). You can have the details on how you can configure it in the documentation below:

Configuring time tracking

2 - You can use a number custom field to track your budget:

Creating a custom field 

3 - I'm not sure if I understood this topic, but you have three types of hierarchy levels in JIRA: Epic -> Standard issues (Task, bug, story) -> Sub-tasks. Each of these levels is linked in a hierarchical way to their parent and can also be linked as dependencies of other issue types.

4 - There is some level of security you can configure by using Security Levels. For budget, you could configure all the related budget in the parent issue (Epics) and allow only persons of a specific group to see it.

5 - For Deadlines and comments, you can use a Filter subscription to properly alert your users when it is close to a deadline. For Comments, you can configure your Notification scheme with the users you want to be notified.

6 - By configuring the permission scheme, you can restrict/allow access to all your team for the projects you want.

7 - You are able by default to add comments to project tickets. Use your permission scheme to restrict/allow this action.

8 - JIRA has different kinds of reports, depending on the template you selected when creating a project. You can take a look at the documentation below for each report specification:


That being said, I recommend you to check the articles provided above since it provides all the information you need and test a few scenarios on your JIRA, starting by creating a new project and tasks. It will help you to better understand how the application works and how you can use it to achieve your need.

If you still have specific questions about each topic, please open a new question since it will make it easier to organize and also help other customers looking for the same setup.

Let me know if this information helps.

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