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The relationship between Team Central and Jira explained

👋 Hey there. So you’ve landed in Team Central

And now you’re wondering, how does it work with Jira? Where’s the integration? How do I link a Team Central project to my Jira issues? Can I automate my status updates based on Jira data?

We’re here to clear that confusion. But firstly, if you prefer to watch a video instead of reading, we’ve got you covered:

 

Jira: Communication within your team, Team Central: Communication outside your team.

Jira is an issue tracking tool, helping you see what your team is working on right down to the nitty-gritty details. In contrast, Team Central enables communication between teams, giving other teams and stakeholders a high-level summary view of how your projects or goals are tracking.

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So, Jira helps you work within your immediate team. Team Central helps you communicate outside your team, across teams of teams. Due to the different audiences within these two tools, the type of updates you share needs to be tailored to their proximity to the work.

For example, if you’re launching a new mobile app, do your stakeholders really need to know all the tasks that your team completed in the last week? Or do they simply need to know that the mobile app is on track to being delivered by the targeted due date, and here are the main highlights, risks and next steps?

Want to automate reports from Jira? Ask yourself if all details within your team are relevant to those outside your team.

We understand the appeal of an end-to-end reporting solution, where statistics around progress %, story points and issues completed are pulled from Jira, but we urge you to think about the value of this in practice. Remember, the people following your Team Central projects are very different from those in your Jira boards. Showing dashboards statistics may be visually alluring, but it doesn’t have the same insight and clarity as a short, curated update (read more about why we don’t believe in automated status reports).

This also means there isn’t the double handling our customers initially expect. Since the content shared is different, the extent to which you need to keep things aligned may just be as simple as dates and statuses.

The right level of Jira detail: In context.

Does this mean we don’t have any integration to Jira? Of course not! We have already built light integrations that allow project owners to link their followers to more detail in Jira, if needed. Some of the ways you can link Team Central and Jira together are:

Reference at the project level e.g. here is our detailed board if you are interested (project links)
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Reference a specific issue that is a blocker/at risk in an update or comment (smart cards for single issue)

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Embed roadmap for project context in project or goal about briefs

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More Jira integrations coming…

We acknowledge there are scenarios where a tighter relationship is required between Jira and Team Central, particularly when it comes to planning & communication of in-progress work.

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Often, planning happens in Jira through roadmaps. Team Central does not aim to solve project planning. Instead, Team Central targets communication between teams on how work is tracking each weekly, after planned work has been kicked-off. The status of this in-flight work may then be an important input into planning the next wave of work. Where a Jira epic maps to the same entity in Team Central represented at different parts of the delivery cycle, we understand keeping date and status aligned will help teams adjust their plans as-needed.

Avoid duplication of information from Jira.

We’ve built and are testing a Jira integration internally at the moment. The integration is an add-on for Jira epics, where users can create or link a Team Central project. This then keeps title, date and status in sync between the Jira epic and the Team Central project so you only need to change these details once. Whilst this has not been released yet to customers, we’re working hard to make this available soon.

See how the status of in-flight work impacts upcoming plans

We have ideated concepts around Team Central status updates powering Jira Roadmaps, a ubiquitous update composer so you can write updates from anywhere, the ability to group your work in Jira by Team Central goals etc. and we will continue to explore these possibilities in the future.

So, have we answered your questions on the relationship between Team Central and Jira?

Let us know what you think and if you have any more questions, feedback or challenges to our perspective on this topic! 

9 comments

Jimmy Seddon Community Leader May 06, 2021

Thank you @Rachel Lin!  This is exactly what I was looking for to give to some of my fellow coworkers that are interested in exploring Team Central.

Like # people like this

This is a tremendous help, thank you!

Like # people like this

I'm looking forward to those things coming.

Here is one observation I want to share.

I very much like what you are doing with links across the board with displaying them smartly and embedding content. It can make links pasted into a rich text field more useful instantly. But as a user, you have to copy the link you want to paste from somewhere else. So you first have to go to the source, click into the URL bar or right click a link and copy it. Then you can go back to your status report and paste it. In my opinion this is an acquired skill and needs a bit of planning, I would not expect from everyone in the target audience. There also is no guidance.

This is why I'd like to see pickers for relevant Jira information like projects, plans, releases, some reports or dashboards. Some of them would be related to the Team Central projects while others would belong to individual status updates.

Thank you for sharing those plans and engaging with all the feedback.

Like # people like this

Agreed, @Arnd Layer - this was my assumption going in to this product, that like all the others, there was built-in integration with the other tools.  Right now this just feels like a completely separate application that does some nice stuff with external links, but otherwise is completely cut off from the rest of the Atlassian ecosystem.

Like # people like this

Look forward to testing the Epic -> Team Central Project links! This could be very useful - especially if these links are a field searchable in JQL (hopefully this is the case... if not we'd love to request it). Ditto team members being a searchable group in JQL (currently we use Jira's groups for this but they are not nearly as accessible for staff). 

For what it's worth I'd agree with Rob & Arnd that this seems relatively isolated from the rest of the ecosystem to date. I don't share the view that stakeholder requirements are totally different in this context, for us there would be considerable overlap with our PMs being busy at both levels. 

We currently use Confluence's page property reports to roll up project posters and their statuses to a team hub. This is what I can imagine Team Central replacing, however most of the advantage here would come if there WAS connection to Jira epic and initiative progress directly onto these pages AND a deeper connection with Confluence than just pasting links.

Excited to see where this goes, thanks! 

Hi @Rachel Lin , thanks for this product introduction page. This gives a good understanding of how to work with Team Central and how to use it the best way.
I am working with it now and get some more experiences with it.

Talk to you soon,
Dimitri

Interested. But cannot use until it ties to the Epics/Features already in play. I'd love to (as I'm sure others in my org would) a one-spot update home to consolidate activity.

Like Bob Brockhurst likes this

Thank you @Rachel Lin , very excited about the link with Jira Epics! I was curious how teams will link to Jira, will they potentially link to shared teams which are mostly used in Advanced Roadmaps? Thanks again!

Like # people like this

Hi @Rachel Lin ,

Like @Iain McCarthy said looking forward to the Jira > Team central integration. But you stated that you were integrating epics with Team central. But what if you use Advanced Roadmaps with a hierarchy where not epics represents projects but the level above (In our case business epics). Will the integration be customizable? 

Like Robert Marten likes this

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