How to create 'views' for tracking bugs and features from 2 different view points: Project Manager and Software Architect?


In my organisation (a kind of matrix management style like others) we have:

  1. A common software platform, its maintenance and development lead by a small group (3) of Software Architects and Senior Engineers (3-4) responsible for subsystems that together direct a larger group of engineers (approx 20+)
  2. Project Managers (3) that lead a team of developers to deliver specific features out of that software platform for specific products.

We are in the process of moving from Bugzilla to JIRA. Already some of our product projects are using JIRA.

Features and bugs in our common software platform are tracked in bugzilla, with the hierarchy: subsystems are top level bugzilla products, components beneath them are bugzilla components.

We have all committed to move the bugzilla to JIRA. We have successfully used the standard bugzilla->JIRA migration tools to migrate to JIRA. However, we don't think that the straight 1:1 mapping is how we finally want those bugs to appear in JIRA and for going forward.

In JIRA we need to track features and bugs in the common software platform as well as tracking features for specific product projects that use the software platform.

We have invested a lot of time in our bugzilla structuring for the software platform which would continue to be useful if we did a 1:1 mapping to JIRA. However this does not suit product projects.

From a software architect point-of-view we want to track changes from the software platform perspective so that we can be sure that common issues are addressed (e.g. a fix or feature for one product that needs to be propagated to all other products).

From a project manager point-of-view we also need to control the work required for delivering a product, using JIRA to track the bugs and features specific to that product, so that we can be certain of the work we need to deliver.

What we need - the question

So we need 2 views of the same data: 1) for features and bugs of the software platform 2) for product projects that use it.

By default JIRA has a project and component 2 level hierarchy which neither fits 1) or 2).

Please share your experiences of being able to satisfy 1) and 2).

Another thing to we need to consider is how notifications are managed as work is done on features if we are able to have 2 views of the same data.

One thought I had is that a bug/feature/issue could be given one or more categories/tags so that it can appear in multiple views. Such approach of category tagging exists for organising content on Flickr (photography), Delicious (bookmarks), YouTube (video) and Gmail's labels. Moreover, the general-purpose web Content Management System Drupal provides a module called Views to allow developers to set up views of the same data. So I wondered how JIRA can do similar things?

2 answers

Good question. I'm looking to create two views of a project, one for end users and one for issue managers, and have not as yet found a way to do it sanely.

0 votes

I think you're right about "tagging". Jira has labels, which is how we do this sort of thing. I've found that having different views of the same data is generally a recipe for disaster, and a far better approach is to have the same view, but different ways to report on it for the users. Jira is quite good at this - encourage your users to create dashboards which suit them.

This approach does need the users to be rigourous when using tags of course, but you usually find that once they understand "tags are important" they really do use them properly.

I'd also suggest you take a look at issue linking, which has an amazing potential but underdeveloped reporting in Jira (the issue-link grid and issue link heirarchy reports are well worth trialling to improve the link reporting)

Also think about "meta projects". For example, a batch of systems here are called CAT, and we've got projects like CATClient, CATServerarchive, CATServer, CATFeed, CATKitten (don't ask). They're all development projects but the group needs an overview. They have another project called CATpm which they use for issues that affect part or all of the whole CAT group, and they use links to highlight stuff in there.

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