Jira. Agile. Scrum. Just how do all these project management and sprint organizational tools fit together, you ask?
Luckily, it's much simpler than you might have imagined. For one thing, you can carry out your Agile project management on a Jira board, and have the most perfect sprint… ever!
Let's start at the very beginning.
What are Jira Agile Boards?
Although this question is innocent enough, you should actually be asking yourself two different questions here. Let's break it down:
Jira is a project management tool, and one of the most flexible and comprehensive ones at that!
It's super customizable and ideal for general projects, development collaboration, and just about everything and anything in between the two.
Agile puts the development process at the front and center of the cycle, sprint or project at hand. It's a way of working across sprints; ‘Agile’ in plain English, literally means ‘fast’.
So, to answer the original question, a Jira Agile board is a way of completing an Agile sprint by managing and visualizing the entire process with a Jira dashboard.
What Are the Benefits of Jira Agile Project Management?
Although this is a pretty subjective question to ask, the answer is: there are a whole range of benefits to Jira Agile project management. It just depends on who you ask!
Here are a few of the benefits of managing your projects, sprints and other cross-team functions with a Jira Agile board.
- It's easy to get an overview, drill-down and do everything else in between. This is particularly useful for sprints, where every member of the scrum needs to play their part and understand both their own tasks and issues, as well as the larger project (or sprint).
- It's super-adaptable. Because every user can configure the dashboard to the exact data spread they want or need to see, everyone can work with Jira in their own way .
- It’s super integratable. Connect every and any of your favorite sprint tools via the Jira gadget store.
- It’s ideal for cross-team communication. From developers to product managers to your design team, everyone can see the macro and micro points of view while remaining clued-in and on-task.
How to Create a Jira Agile Board
Creating your own Jira Agile board is so simple, it takes less than two minutes.
- Click on the search button, and select ‘View all boards’.
- Click ‘Create board’.
- Choose the type of board to create - scrum or kanban. You can always switch later if you feel the need. Read more about this below.
- Choose either a new project template, or add the new board to an existing project. Scrum boards allow you to manage all stories, tasks and bugs across sprints. Kanban boards allow you to do the same, but in a continuous flow.
- Configure the columns and filters.
- Click the search button, and 'View all boards.' Choose the board to configure.
- Click the '...' button to see more options, and click 'Board settings.'
We recommend having a good look over the settings here, and configuring them accordingly. You'd be surprised at just how much flexibility there is on a Jira Agile board!
Features & Gadgets
Speaking of flexibility, when it comes to the features and Jira Agile gadgets (widgets) available on the Jira Atlassian marketplace, you're really in for a treat!
You can fully optimize your Agile workflow Jira-style. Gadgets operate as widgets, and can be used as integration or apps to filter your data, and integrate other third-party sprint tools to your dashboard and enhance your user experience!
The dashboard pre-installs several Jira Agile gadgets for you as a default when you create a new dashboard, but we really recommend checking out what else is available. For the sake of clarity in what could be a pressure-heavy time, we’d recommend limiting yourself to 7 or so gadgets per dashboard. More than that and you might find it tricky to concentrate!
Some of our favorite Jira Agile project management gadgets are -
- Assigned to me: this gadget alerts you as and when you have a task assigned to you, with a handy to-do list appearing only on our dashboard, and reminders to boot.
- Calendar: this gives you a clear, date-by-date overview of due dates.
- Created vs Resolved: keep a track of the team and how they're progressing, and know whether you're on tagger for the sprint end or not.
- Issues in progress: get an overview of all the issues currently in progress, and who they're assigned to. We really like using this one with the Assigned to Me gadget (above).
- Jira road map: get a clear overview of the whole sprint, and release version/s.
- Sprint Burndown: see an overview of the sprint as a vertical axis, with estimates updated in real time.
- Sprint Health: get a color-coded bar graph of how well the sprint is going.
Jira Agile Scrum Vs Kanban: Which Is the Method for You?
Ultimately, it's your choice over which Jira Agile work method you prefer: scrum or kanban.
But, just because you’re used to doing things one way or another, there’s no reason not to try a different approach!
So: let's take a quick drill-down into what exactly are the scrum and Kanban methods, before we try to understand what’s best for which type of sprint teams.
The scrum methodology is all about the sprint. Fully-optimized, it focuses the team on the macros and the micros: the small issues, bugs and stories that make up the sprint and that need to be worked on in order to make the sprint deadline.
It's a fast-paced way of working, fit to the length of your team’s sprint. Tasks are broken down into their smallest parts and worked on by the team. Along the way, there are sprint reviews and sprint planning meetings, as well as the all-important sprint retrospectives.
Kanban is for the more visual among us. It displays every stage of a project (or sprint), to maximize the flow, and therefore, the efficiency of anything in progress.
Its main focus is reducing the time it takes users (also, sprint issues and stories) from the start to the finish. This is due to the transparency of visualization: after all, that stubborn task waiting in the ‘To Do’ column is going to have a lot of eyeballs on it, so it won't be able to sit there and hide for too long!
The thing about Kanban is that it doesn’t emphasize an end point in time like scrum does: it's more about continuous workflow.
Summary: the DL on Jira Agile Boards
To put a long-story short, using a Jira Agile board for your sprint (or any project) is the best way to manage the entire process with every team member on board.
From Jira Agile time tracking, to story points estimation and beyond, Jira Agile is the way forward for any team.
And, even better: soon you’ll be able to automate your Jira Agile project management with GoRetro’s FREE sprint review tool!
New and existing GoRetro users can sign up here to be alerted when this new feature is released. You’re not going to want to miss it!