Trello, “Jira Sucks”, and Tool Dysfunction
John Cutler

I’ve been using JIRA to kick ass since it’s inception. Your mileage may vary.

A bit harsh, but when I used to sell/promote/build TogetherSoft Control Center, I could be found saying:

“A fool with a tool is still a fool.”

A few years ago, I was consulting at a major mapping company and they were using Jira and stickies. During the ensuing discussion, one of the devs said “Jira doesn’t work like that” after I must have said something about it, matter of factly. Sure enough, I sat down with him, and the most simplest of functions — like assigning yourself, or dragging into another column to change status — did not work. I was dumbfounded. I went into the “Agile Transformation Team” war room, and exclaimed that “somehow JIRA is all screwed up?! Someone must have been customizing the workflow.”

“Oh, that was me,” said one of the company’s lead agile process guys. “I wanted to control the process.”

“Oh. Well, gosh, ummm. It is totally command and control now. You could have accepted Jira’s defaults and ran with it for a while before tailoring it. Now the team has a sticky note manual workaround because the tool is useless.”

Mind you, they had only recently installed JIRA and really had no experience with it. Talk about giving a tool a bad name!

At least the process guy was cool and listened to my suggestions. I think. I didn’t stay past a couple of weeks.

IMHO: If you can’t manage your projects with post-it notes first, you likely won’t have any better success with a tool, and almost no chance of success if you start tinkering with adding complexity without ever using the default.

JIRA rocks (if you use it properly).