The Jira Use Cases Are Everywhere

When talking about Jira, people generally think of its use in the software development and IT industry. Even though the Work Management version is intended to be used by teams from HR, marketing, finance, operations, legal, design, and sales, most of the collective imagination doesn't seem to catch up with that idea yet.

The truth is that, as Agile frameworks usage has widely spread to different industries, platforms that smoothly support them have also gone mainstream. As Sverrir Tynes says: "The use cases are everywhere."

Sverrir is an Atlassian Solutions Partner based in Iceland, where he helps teams from several industries adopt Jira and the best fitting add-ons for different needs.

Topics to check

1. Jira usage beyond software development

2. The correct way of using Jira

3. Agile Retrospectives good practices

1. Jira usage beyond software development

Several things make Sverrir's views interesting. His experience assessing and coaching different types of companies has broadened his vision about how the Atlassian tools can be used. "At first, it was pretty limited to IT companies. These products were originally designed for software development purposes. But now (…) I see a use case in every company."

Jira usage is an essential tool for many, going to the extent of using it for almost anything. Sverrir says he has a collaborator who told his mother-in-law that he's not doing anything unless she creates a ticket.

Visualizing workflows, regardless of how abstract or complex, is step one in optimizing any business and platform. Then, there's the capability of storing vast amounts of data to precisely document your processes and share it in an environment only your collaborators can access.

2. The correct way of using Jira

There is no one correct way of using this product development platform. However, there's a totally wrong method: Tailoring your job to how Jira is set. In the past, Sverrir has worked with several companies that used the standard configuration for years, with no customization, which defeats the whole purpose of using the system in the first place.

The best way to use Jira is to have a concrete idea of what you want to achieve before actually using it. If you write down all your requirements, it will be easy to configure the system to fit your business.

"I remember seven years ago that the Jira Kanban board was like a Trello; you couldn't do anything. Using a Scrum board was very common because you could do so much more." The current robustness of Jira lets teams experiment with Kanban or Scrum and even switch back and forth, depending on their needs.

Having a strategy on how you want to use the tool will definitely save you some headaches. Not only that, but choosing the ideal compliments and add-ons will be easier, with little room for wasting time on free trials -or money, in case you forget to cancel before it's too late.

Learn more about Jira project customization with Rachel Wright, another Atlassian Solutions Partner, who shared her formula for a Dream Team to perform a Jira migration.

3. Agile Retrospectives good practices

Some elements make a Retro productive, such as inviting all the team, gathering their opinions on the past work cycle, voting for the most relevant topics, and producing action items to follow up on what should be fixed or improved.

Keeping the conversation focused on the processes and interactions between peers, not the product itself, is vital and should be reserved for the Sprint Review. But aside from that, Sverrir shared some important considerations to keep Retrospectives sound:

  • Keep mutual respect

One of the things that Sverrir has learned over the years is how important respect is. Even if obvious, you can never take it for granted. It's about keeping it professional and remembering that everybody has the right to speak without being interrupted, as all opinions matter.

Remember that all the team must consider the Prime Directive for each session.

  • Have traceability

You must be able to "check a Retro session from three years ago and find out why we took this decision that is not working for us anymore… And the purpose is not punishment, but to do better next time." So, documenting your sessions is critical for them to really be helpful.

  • Use a Jira integrated app

For him, the Agile Retrospectives add-on is an ideal tool, mainly due to its integration features, such as the ability to export resulting action items as Jira issues to follow inside your project, as well as having the possibility to revisit sessions and check the details.

Aside from addressing these suggestions by Sverrir, the Agile Retrospectives app lets any kind of team run engaging sessions efficiently, in four simple steps, with high customization features. It even includes some templates to help you shuffle things a little.

In conclusion

Jira can fit in almost any industry. It's just a matter of having transparent processes that can be translated into the platform. Always consider Sverrir's bits of advice, such as understanding what you want to achieve before customizing your system and constantly improving. Retrospectives are great for the latter, so keep running them at the end of each work cycle or whenever they fit your team.


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