20 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Started With Jira Cloud
Several days ago, we published our post 25 things I wish I knew before I got started with Confluence Cloud.
Today we want to reveal some tips and tricks for more effective use of Jira Cloud.
When you first start Jira Cloud, you may not be aware of some things that can greatly simplify your experience and improve your performance. Today we will try to explain some techniques that may not be obvious to you, but those that can help you save a bit of your time.
1. Creation of issues
Yes, how simple it may seem, but most of us still click Create issue and fill out fields in the form. In some situations, you may speed up this process and create tasks while planning a new sprint or while working within an epic.
This is very useful when you just need to quickly add items to the backlog, so time later, you can add the missing details. Moreover, in next-gen projects, you can create multiple issues at once. Just copy multiple lines with issue summaries and paste them into the Backlog section. Jira Cloud will prompt you to choose between the creation of a single issue or multiple issues.
2. Distribution of tasks by epics and versions
Most teams are using the Agile methodologies for managing their projects, and, of course, firstly, you create epics and further decompose them into user stories and tasks. If you are not following these steps, some time later, you may find it necessary to create mappings between epics and related user stories and tasks.
All you need to do is open the Backlog section and drag user stories and tasks over the corresponding epics. This is the fastest way to create the parent-child mappings between issues. If you try to do this by editing issues one by one, you will spend much more time on this.
Work on any project usually starts from high-level planning, and the roadmap is the best tool for doing this. Even if you are not on the premium subscription, the simple roadmap with epics can help you better understand how soon you can deliver the MVP solution and when the whole project may be completed.
You can create connections between epics to visualize dependencies between them and see how delays with one epic may affect the whole project.
4. List view
The list view is a new feature of Jira Work Management (formerly known as Jira Core). It shows the list of issues within the project, and you can edit these issues inline.
Now business teams can quickly add new tasks and add the necessary updates in them on the fly. If you need to have these capabilities in all project types, please try Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor.
5. Labels and components
Are you labeling issues? No? Why not? The labeling of issues can greatly simplify the process of finding them after some time. Instead of labels, you can use components for mapping your tasks to specific parts of your project functionality.
With the help of labels or components, you can get a better picture of what components you are developing more and ensure that other components are not affected by this approach.
6. Linking issues and pages
In most cases, we create issues and tasks in Jira Cloud, while the rest of project details are managed in Confluence Cloud. This is a good practice to link issues to the corresponding Confluence pages so that your teammates can quickly go and look through additional documentation for a task, take a look at the architecture diagram, or get a better idea of the anticipated solution.
Links to Confluence pages are listed within the issue itself, so you can quickly transition to the Confluence page. In the same way, you can quickly see the linked issues while looking through a Confluence page. This is very convenient, as you needn’t waste your time looking for a specific page or issue.
7. Importing project data
Are you starting a new project or want to move your list of tasks from an Excel spreadsheet into a Jira project? If it contains hundreds of tasks, it can become a time-consuming and tiresome process. But you can always simplify it, just create an Excel file and create a column with the list of tasks, their descriptions, and additional details. Now you can import all of them into the required project, don’t forget to create the correct mappings between columns and issue fields.
You can also use the import functionality to perform bulk updates within your Jira issues. The easiest way to do this is to export the list of issues to a CSV file, then make edits within them and import the list back into Jira. Alternatively, you can use the Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor app for quick inline editing of Jira issues.
8. Project templates
If you have launched Jira Cloud recently and you are a young company without established processes, the project templates are the first thing for you to try. They can help you get started with the elaboration of your company-specific processes. It is always easier to start with something than to design it from scratch.
Jira Cloud offers a variety of project templates for different use cases and scenarios. Once you start with some project template, you can quickly identify whether it fits your actual needs or no, and then you can adjust it to the requirements of your team by customizing the workflow, screens, and other constituents of the project.
9. JQL queries
Your work in Jira Cloud will not be very effective without using JQL queries. If you do not know so far, JQL stands for Jira Query Language. To get the most of Jira Cloud, you need to understand the philosophy of JQL and use it for querying issues against specific criteria or attributes. To quickly get started with JQL, start from these steps:
- Open the Advanced issue search.
- Switch to the basic view.
- Use the filters to find the required issues.
- Switch to JQL and try to figure out the syntax of the JQL query.
Try different combinations of queries and evaluate their structure and syntax. Next time try to write a JQL query on your own (without switching to basic). Once you get the basics of JQL, then you can check this guide from Atlassian.
10. Filters and subscription
Well, once you have mastered JQL, now it is high time to create filters for the frequently used queries. Or you want to enter them every time? Let’s assume that no. Filter the issues and click Save as filter, that’s all. If needed, you can save the filter as public or restrict its visibility to specific users or groups.
The best thing about filters is that you can use them for receiving regular email updates on the status of your projects or activities of specific users. All you need to do is just create a subscription and select the filter that you want to receive to your mailbox. That’s all, now you can monitor the project progress without opening Jira all the time.
11. Coloring epics
You may be a bit skeptical about this idea, but the coloring of epics can significantly improve the perception of issues and their attribution to specific epics. Now while looking through the list of issues, you can quickly see the corresponding colored epic labels. You can choose the epic color from the palette, including 14 colors.
12. Pinning fields
Having too many fields within your issues can become a real problem. To make some updates within them, you need to scroll down through the list of fields, make edits and proceed to the next issue. While doing this on a regular basis, this can drive you crazy. To simplify this procedure, you can pin the frequently edited fields to the top of the issue so that you can quickly update them without scrolling to the depths of your issues.
Want a list view of your issues in Jira Cloud? Take a look at Spreadsheet Issue Field Editor and make the necessary edits in your issues inline.
13. Voting for issues
What’s the easiest way to figure out the priority of features in internal projects? Let your teammates vote on them. This way, you can quickly figure out the most demanded features and include them into the nearest releases. You can use the same way if you deal with customers, but they should have user access to your Jira instance.
14. Project pages
Using the ecosystem of Atlassian products is very convenient, as they are interconnected and you can seamlessly transition between them. In Jira Cloud, you can connect a specific space to the project and quickly create pages while being in Jira. This is very handy when you are planning a new version and document requirements, run a retrospective after the sprint completion, or track decisions and meeting notes.
You can also navigate through the space within Jira and open the required page at once.
Jira Cloud bundles a variety of automations that can considerably simplify routine operations on project issues. You can add automations from the existing library or create your own recipes.
The automation is comprised of triggers, conditions, and actions, if needed, you can create branches for your automations. You can automate multiple scenarios for your projects and even send web requests to external applications and services.
16. Issue types
For different tasks and activities, you can create different issue types. Don’t try to create one uber-issue-type which will address your project needs, you will fail for sure. Decompose your activities in Jira into meaningful issue types and design their layouts without dozens of unnecessary fields for all cases.
In the future, this will let you track performance per each issue type and better see the difference at once.
17. Issue layouts
Issue layouts are an important part of user experience in Jira. You can manage the set of fields shown in issue views. Try to decrease the number of custom fields and keep only fields that are needed. If some fields are required, don’t forget to make them such in the field configuration. Reorder fields or group them on tabs for better request handling. To simplify the entry of information, you can set the default values for specific fields.
18. Transition forms
Transition forms are an easy way to capture information while transitioning issues from one status to another. Here you can add only the fields that are important at this specific transition and let users directly update them.
Transition forms are very handy but do not overuse them much when unnecessary. Add them to collect some important information within issues, if you show them that at each transition, this will distract users from what they are doing.
19. Project shortcuts
Like in Confluence, project shortcuts let you keep links to the frequently used services or resources related to this or that project. Here you can add links to the repository, project requirements, links to the security scanning tools, or deployment platform. Your teammates will be happy to use these shortcuts to open the remote resources without wandering through lists of bookmarks in their browsers.
20. Printing cards
Do you have a physical Scrum board? If yes, you can print the current items from the backlog and post them there.
You can further move them between columns like on a Jira board. This can stimulate the performance of your team and make the development process more tangible and engaging.
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