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An update on next-gen projects customer feedback – March 2021

Hi! My name is Eoin and I'm a product manager working on next-gen projects in Jira Software Cloud. We love getting your feedback and it plays an important part in how we prioritise work, along with a number of other inputs. However we also understand you may not always feel heard, and we’re looking for scalable ways to close the feedback loop with you.

As a first step, we are trialling a quarterly update on the top themes from feedback we have received over the past few months, plus a preview of some of the exciting stuff we’re working on.  

 

Read on for updates on how we’re approaching each of these key themes. But first, some context….

Goodbye next-gen. Hello team-managed

We heard the name “next-gen” can be confusing, so we’re renaming next-gen and classic in a way that is much more clear and descriptive of the project type:

  • Next-gen projects will be named team-managed projects. The functionality remains the same and will continue to be ideal for independent teams (and teams of teams) who want to control their own working processes and practices in a self-contained space.

  • Classic projects will be named company-managed projects. Setup and maintained by Jira admins, company-managed projects will remain the best choice for teams who want to work with other teams across many projects in a standard way, such as sharing a workflow.

We see customers achieve great success in both project types and will continue to innovate and enhance both project types to get to a point where the only fundamental difference between them will be how they are administered. This essentially means you will get a single great experience no matter what project you are using, and you get to decide whether your project is team-managed or company-managed.

 

To keep our focus narrow for the trial, we have isolated the feedback to team-managed (next-gen) projects - specifically on the Board, Backlog, and Reports views. The top themes include speed and efficiency, limited features, setup and configuration, and cross-team visibility.

 

Speed and Efficiency

Speed and efficiency are major recurring themes in feedback related to the Board, Backlog, and Reports views. You’ve told us that you lose productivity on critical work while waiting for pages to load or lagging functionality to respond and that getting work done can be inefficient, requiring too many clicks – each with its own cumulative performance penalty.

It’s pretty slow sometimes, especially while trying to create sprints with the team on video calls.

Over the last 9 months, we've focused on improving the load-times of the Backlog view by 50% and the Board view by 30%. We’ve also boosted efficiency in the Backlog view, by making key actions available through inline card actions.

Going forward, we’re continuing to prioritize work that helps reduce load-times, particularly for when there are large numbers of cards, improving the speed for inline issue creation and adding additional key inline actions.

 

Limited features

Workflows

You’ve told us that you want more control of how work progresses to match how your teams work, so we are bringing a new way to define, adapt and adjust workflows in your team-managed (next-gen) projects.

I can't have different workflows for different issue types e.g. I cannot have a bug workflow for defects

Within the last few months, we have made several improvements to increase your level of control over workflows:

In the next quarter, we’ll be focusing on…

  • the ability to hide statuses from the Board view

  • the ability to have a unique workflow for every issue type

Add yourself as a watcher to the suggestion ticket to get the latest updates https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17434

There are more workflow-related features that will be delivered in the longer-term, including customized resolution types.

Time estimation

Estimation helps create a shared understanding of your team's work by encouraging conversations, uncovering risk and uncertainty, and breaking down work into smaller tasks. Because teams have different approaches to how they estimate work, you now have the flexibility to set estimates based on what suits your specific needs – using either story points or time.

Having an Original Time Estimate is a critical feature for having my team move over to next-gen projects. Being able to differentiate between the original estimate vs the time actually spent on a task is important for determining the teams accuracy in completing tasks on time.

We’ve just shipped the first phase of original time estimation which includes the ability to add the Original estimate field to any issue type in your project. 

In the next month, time estimation will be made available as a project feature (found in Project settings → Features):

  • The Original estimate field will be surfaced on cards in the Board and Backlog views.

  • The Backlog will display the total estimates of issues by Original estimate.

  • Original time estimation will be available on the Sprint Burndown, Burnup, and Velocity reports.

Add yourself as a watcher to the suggestion ticket to get the latest updates https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17248

There will be more time estimation-related features delivered in the longer-term; including tracking work using remaining time estimates, setting working days and quickly viewing workload by assignee.

 

Reopening and editing completed sprints

Sprints have been available for some time, but we originally pushed out the ability to reopen and/or delete completed sprints. We’ve heard how painful this omission has been for you and that while this may not be something that needs to happen very often, when it needs to happen – it needs to happen!

Much needed! Very easy to mistakenly close a sprint and need to update for velocity tracking reasons.

In the next month, you’ll be to reopen, edit and delete completed sprints. To get this out quickly, we’ll replicate the experience from classic projects and make these actions available through the Sprint Burndown Chart. This means Reports will need to be enabled on your project.

Add yourself as a watcher to the suggestion ticket to get the latest updates https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17208

 

Better filtering

We know people struggle to find their work in particular views within Jira. Many of you have expressed your frustration with the limited fields and inability to filter out unnecessary information easily. Some of you questioned where filters are located and others shared difficulties with setting up additional filters on your projects.

This is a must! You cannot expect users  to "Scan" a board with over 100 issues to find their specific issues.

In the coming quarters, we’ll aim to give every team member the ability to quickly find their work, without having to leave the context of their Board or Backlog views.

Add yourself as a watcher to the suggestion tickets to get the latest updates… https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17446 and https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17274

 

Customize the card layout

Yes, it’s already possible to show due date, priority, and estimation on cards when the relevant fields are configured on an issue type, but we also know you want the flexibility to fully customize the card layout in each view, so you can bring just the right level of information to your team's attention at a glance.

Would love to have the ability to customize which fields are visible on the backlog and board views. Thanks.

Enabling teams to further customize the fields you see on the cards in the Board and Backlog views is something that will be available in team-managed projects, although it’s not something that we'll be focusing on in the next nine months. In the meantime, we recommend anyone who really needs to fully customize the card layout use company-managed projects.

Add yourself as a watcher to the suggestion ticket to get the latest updates https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17336

 

Setup and configuration

We hear you tell us that when you start with Jira, you find setup and configuration complex and difficult. Some of you feel apprehensive to make any changes at the risk of adversely affecting other users.

The configuration and UI is too complex. It's possible to configure Jira in lots of different ways, but figuring out how to do the simplest thing always seems hard.

sometimes difficult to find things in the setup

To help make setup and configuration easier, in the past few months, we’ve launched a Quickstart guide in-product to help new teams get the most out of Jira, which amongst other things includes some awesome new video guides.

There’s lots more to come and in coming quarters we’ll be adding more helpful resources in Quickstart to help you learn about best practices on agile concepts and project configuration and recommending relevant integrations from our marketplace based on how you describe your team.

 

Cross-team visibility

Parallel sprints operating from the same Backlog

Agile purists – look away. Some of you have shared that depending on how you organize your teams, you may want two or more teams working from the same backlog, to work on their own sprints simultaneously. While this may not be textbook Scrum, we understand it can be a more lightweight option for teams than creating multiple boards with quick filters.

As a paying customer I want to be able to run multiple scrum teams working on the same sprint schedule off of a single back-log without having to have one giant sprint in-progress at a time.

In coming quarters, you’ll be able to create multiple active sprints to run in parallel with each other. In the short term, the same caveats that exist for parallel sprints in company-managed (formerly classic projects), will also apply to team-managed (next-gen) projects.

Add yourself as a watcher to the suggestion ticket to get the latest updates https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17195

 

Multiple boards in one project

When you have a number of teams working closely together and want to control your own work processes and practices in a self-contained space – creating a board per team, within the same project, can give you the best of both worlds.

in Classic Jira, I used a second board to create a "management view" of my team's board, that had slightly different columns

Every team will benefit from the same project configuration – issue types, issue type fields, workflows, access, notifications, integrations, and automation; whilst also having the flexibility to set up their own views, estimation technique and way of working (eg. using sprints or kanban).

We'll be able to begin working on allowing multiple boards in one project within the next few months. In the meantime, we recommend anyone who really needs the ability to create multiple boards within a project use classic projects.

Add yourself as a watcher to the suggestion ticket to get the latest updates https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17371


Viewing issues from other projects in a team-managed (next-gen) project

The ability to view issues from many projects on one Board view is one of the most flexible features within Jira, and truly allows you to set up your Jira projects in the way that makes the most sense for how your teams operate. This works particularly well when you have a team undertaking work for many other teams, who may be working in other projects.

This is quite a blocker for us moving everything to next-gen. PMs need to be able to see a Roadmap and Board across multiple projects.

Within the next 12 months, we’ll begin working on allowing for projects that can display issues from any other project (team-managed, or company-managed). In the meantime, we recommend anyone who really needs to view issues from other projects, use company-managed projects instead.

Add yourself as a watcher to the suggestion ticket to get the latest updates https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17444

 

 

To stay across of future developments, add yourself as a watcher to the relevant suggestion tickets as well as keeping an eye on our public roadmap.

 

Thanks,

Eoin

6 comments

Hello Eoin,

Thanks for the update and opportunity to provide feedback. I have mixing views about your launch and roadmap on Next-Gen projects and hope you don’t mind sharing them here:

On the positive side… I loved when Next-Gen was released! Your Why choose a Jira next-gen project?  video on YouTube was key for us to decide to adopt Next-Gen last year – we now have hundreds of users. Our organization was new to Jira Software and it was fast to set-up, easy to configure and user friendly. Also, you stated in 2018 that Next-gen will eventually satisfy all the needs that classic projects satisfy today, and more”.

On the other side… we now must migrate to Company-managed projects (former Classic) as your progress on Next-Gen roadmap did not move forward as much when it comes to our needs. Mainly because the inability to share custom fields across projects and the link to Jira Align apparently works much better with Classic.

I wonder if there are easy to use ways to migrate Team-managed to Company-managed projects?

I would also be interested to know if you hear from other organizations struggling with these issues (Team x Company managed) and how they are managing their internal rollouts?

Kind regards,

Helius

Like # people like this

Hi @Eoin 

Thanks for the information and your thoughts about trying this quarterly information update trial.  The community will no doubt appreciate some candor on product decisions.  Well done!  Regarding your post I wonder/observe:

  • Why we don't see the same candor from the classic (oops, company-managed project) area?
  • Many of the things you note seem to be re-implementing/migrating features from company-managed projects, and with variations.  What are your thoughts on the costs to customers who internally need to support explaining and managing these differences for their teams?

Thanks again!

Best regards,

Bill

Like # people like this

Hi @Eoin Thanks for the transparency here.

Could Jira introduce the the ability to move an issue to the board or backlog from any issue view or screen?

We are using the backlog feature of next-gen, but not sprints. It seems the only way to make issues visible on the board is by going through the backlog page first. It's also hard to see if an issue is in the backlog or on the board.

Looking forward to custom workflows by issue type!

Thanks!

Like # people like this
Eoin Atlassian Team Mar 25, 2021

Hi @Kevin Merritt , you can watch and vote on https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-17471 for the ability to move an issue from backlog to board from the issue screen. I am confident we will solve for this need (in a way that makes sense for multiple boards per project and cross project boards, as well as in the more straightfoward scenario) - although I want to call out this is currently not a planned item.

Thanks!

Like # people like this
Eoin Atlassian Team Mar 25, 2021

Hi @Bill Sheboy! Thanks for the feedback.

The aim is to expand the improved process to all teams within Atlassian, provided we can validate positive impact for it. So whilst we have started quite narrow with this pilot, we hope to see something similar for company managed projects and Jira Software more broadly in the future. There is lots of good stuff happening with company managed projects - around performance, features, and administration experience and more.

To the second point - the cost of having to explain and manage the differences is one of the big reasons for us now to push ahead with re-implementing the remaining features from classic projects with only small variations. This will allow us to accelerate towards a point where there is a single project experience - which will have all the best bits of next-gen projects and all the administrative power of classic projects.

Thanks

Like # people like this
Eoin Atlassian Team Mar 25, 2021

Hi @Helius.Guimaraes - it's great to hear that next-gen has been a great tool for you and also it's great to hear you are sticking with Jira Software as your usage has evolved and grown over the past couple of years. We see that users that use both project types are our most satisfied users, and organisations that use both projects types are the most likely to stick around.

However - as you note - having to move project issue data between the two can be a pain and moving configuration between the two is not yet possible. We will be covering these gaps by bringing the new project types in parity in terms of feature set and data model (e.g. single issue type hierarchy), and allowing for an easy switch between a team-managed project to a company-managed project (which will expose the shared configuration capabilities that you see with classic today).

Until then, we encourage organisations to think about their needs up front and to select a project type that fits those needs now and in the near future as well; e.g. if there is a need for shared configuration, then we recommend using company-managed projects.

I hope this helps - and I hope you know I'm still working hard to fulfil that promise from 2018 wink

Cheers

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