What is Jira Agile Development: The Ultimate Guide 101

on Agile Methodology, Jira, Jira Scrum, Jira Scrum Boards • December 3rd, 2021 • Write for Hevo

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The growth of Agile methodology for software development is immense. Jira is one of the most popular projects management tools. Jira supports Agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban in Software development. With Jira Agile boards and reports, you can keep a track of all your Agile project management tasks. You can plan and execute all your tasks meticulously using a single tool.

In this blog, you will be introduced to Jira and Agile methodology. You will understand what Jira Agile is along with the reason for choosing it. The important features of Jira Agile will be discussed in detail. In the Jira Agile Methodology, you will get to know the basics of Agile like Scrum and Kanban. And also the process of creating and using will be explained in detail. The benefits of Atlassian Agile will help you in deciding on incorporating this into your workflow.

Table of contents

What is Jira?

Jira Agile- Jira Logo
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Jira is a software tool widely known for its Issue Tracking and Project Management capabilities. It is a Cloud-based technology that helps teams plan, execute, and report their work. This software finds applications in Bug Tracking, Issue Tracking related to Software and Mobile Applications, and Project Management.  Projects based on Agile Methodology be it Kanban, Scrum or any other Agile view utilize Jira for managing software projects. Furthermore, Jira provides you the flexibility of managing, tracking, and scheduling all your agile software development projects together.

Today Jira is a popular Project Management software, but in 2002 it was designed to track issues in the Software Development process. The Australian company Atlassian developed it using the Java Programming Language. Over the years it has become a popular name in the world of Agile Methodology-based Software Projects. 

What is Agile?

An iterative approach used for project management and software development is termed Agile. This aids companies in adding value to their customers faster and at ease. An agile team generally delivers work in small and consumable increments. The follow-ups are monitored and evaluated continuously. The requirements, plans, and results of the process are all evaluated continuously for the team to act properly with accuracy at the right time.

What is Jira Agile Methodology?

The Agile practices of project management are implemented using the Jira software using the scrum or Kanban agile methodology. In the software development field, Jira is also used for bug tracking. Jira tracks the errors and bugs in software and mobile apps. Jira plays a major role in the process of managing, planning, and monitoring the agile software development practices. 

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Why do we use Jira Agile?

Jira plays a pivotal role in a software team operation. Jira is mainly used to assign and capture work priorities in the team without any ambiguity. This single tool performs various functions like a bug tracker, issue tracker, ticketing, and the management of the project. Here are a few reasons for using the Jira Agile Methodology implementation:

  • In the process of planning and tracking software development issues, Jira plays a major role. A lot of issues in software development include documentation, implementation, and testing of new features, improvement in the existing software, and bug identification and tracking. Jira seamlessly helps in managing and maintaining projects.
  • Atlassian Agile aids in the faster performance of the defined targets and to complete the task on decided timelines. With Jira tool for Agile, you can allocate deadlines for different tasks, and set reminders for the same. You can also customize notifications for activities and tasks defined by the operation team making the workflow seamless.
  • With Jira tool for Agile, the process of acquiring feedbacks becomes easy. Each team member can submit their respective feedbacks easily using the Jira software.

Salient features of Jira Agile

Jira Agile helps in solving both on-premises real-time issues. Jira has excellent features that make it a more productive software for agile software development and for implementing agile practices. Here are some of the highly useful features of Jira Agile Methodology:

  • Seamless Bugs and Error Management: Jira Agile helps in identifying the bugs in every stage of software development and eradicating them easily.
  • Excellent End-User Interface and Experience: Jira Agile, a multi-functional tool provides an excellent experience for the end-users. With just a few clicks, the end-users can raise requests and track the progress of their request easily.
  • Highly Flexible Work Environment: You can operate Jira tool for Agile on various operating systems like Windows, Linux, etc.
  • Advanced Reporting Feature: Jira Agile comes with highly advanced reporting features that are useful during meetings and presentations. The data representation is adaptable with different formats using features like macros and pie charts.
  • Strong Administration and Highly Secured: Atlassian Agile holds and combines all the data on a single platform. This provides powerful data administration and the data can be easily accessed only by the users who are authorized to access data by the Jira administrator.
  • Configuration and Integration: Jira was developed to meet the industry requirements with multiple roles and features. Jira is used mainly for the implementation of the Agile system. It serves as an agile project management tool for Scrum and Kanban systems making it highly customizable and adaptable.

Jira Agile Development

Jira Agile Development: Scrum and Kanban

Agile has two prominent methodologies: Scrum and Kanban. In Scrum, the work plans are split into shorter sprints. In Kanban, there is a continuous release of work times in little time frames. Kanban works better for projects with medium to long-term periods. For larger projects that have the potential to be tackled in interactive series, Scrum is preferable.

The workflow in Scrum is organized in sprints with a particular objective and targets that are released at the end of each time frame. It will have an elaborate backlog to-do list of tasks that must be done. The tasks both technical and user stories will be moved from backlog to active sprint in the order of completion. During this process, the estimated duration and importance of each task will be accessed by the team and assigned.

While in Kanban, all the tasks are given straight in the active queue without any planning or time estimates. The main motto of Kanban Agile methodology is to get the work done as soon as possible while reducing the number of open tasks. Though it is very easy to have a check on the tasks going on, only less planning goes into this planning. This does not mean that Kanban does not have backlogs. Backlogs will have a queue of tasks from customers or stakeholders until it reaches the point of commitment.

Apart from Kanban and Scrum, there are other Agile methodologies as well. It is known Kanplan, a tailored version of Kanban for continuous workflows, and Scrumban, which focuses on work in progress in fixed sprints.

Jira Agile Development: Creating Agile Projects in Jira

Here is the process of setting up an agile project in Jira:

  • Step 1: Navigate to the Projects drop-down and select Create Project.
  • Step 2: Under the Software Development tab, Choose your preferable project template (Kanban template Scrum template).

It is really important to select the right one since you can’t change it further. Now, you will have backlogs and boards with all the tasks from Jira’s standard options of tasks, sub-tasks. bugs, stories, and epics.

Jira Agile- Creating Agile Projects in Jira
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Jira Agile Development: How to Create an Agile Board in Jira

With Jira, you can create both Scrum and Kanban boards. You can go for sprint planning and time estimates. Here are the two ways with which you can create boards in Jira Cloud:

  1. While creating a project, a default board gets created automatically using a template like Kanban or Scrum. These boards are associated with the type of project that you have chosen earlier.
  2. Apart from the default board, if you want to create a new board for the project, here are the steps.
    • Step 1: Enter your Jira project and click on the three dots in the right top corner of the screen.
    • Step 2: Select Create board.  
    • Step 3: Then select Create a Scrum board or Create a Kanban board – depending on a board type you need.
Jira Agile- How to Create an Agile Board in Jira step 1
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Jira Agile -How to Create an Agile Board in Jira step 2
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Jira Agile Development: Sprints and Agile Reporting for Scrum in Jira

Here are the steps to create a sprint for your Scrum project.

Step 1: Navigate to your product backlog and click Create Sprint.

Jira Agile -Sprints and Agile Reporting
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Step 2: To fill your sprint, you must organize a sprint planning meeting to decide on the tasks that must be tackled before the next deadline. This will give you an estimate of how long they should take.

Step 3: To populate your empty sprint with tasks/issues, you can hover over the particular issue from the Backlog, After this, you can just drag and drop the issue into the sprint.

Step 4: Now you can launch the sprint by clicking the Start Sprint button only when at least one issue is agreed. You will also have an option to define the sprint’s objective and set a duration for the same.

Jira Agile- Sprints and Agile Reporting for Scrum in Jira
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Step 5: After the sprint is done, you must manually mark the status as completed. For this, navigate to Backlog tab in the left sidebar and select Complete Sprint. By this, the unfinished issues will be moved to the backlog. Here you can take decide if it needs to be added to your next sprint.

Jira software comes with different types of reports that are extremely useful for tracking the sprint status and for evaluating performance in sprint retrospectives. This Sprint Report keeps a track of all the task status whether it is incomplete, completed or newly added.

Jira Agile- Sprints and Agile Reporting for Scrum in Jira overview
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Jira Agile-Sprints and Agile Reporting
Image Source: idalko.com

This also includes the Burndown Chart which illustrates the estimated and real amount of work left in the sprint. This is updated automatically as the team works. This report is not really important for assessing your team’s workload and planning is matching reality.

Jira Agile - Burndown charts
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Jira Agile Development: Boards and Agile Reporting for Kanban in Jira

Jira Agile- Kanban in Jira
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You can set up the Kanban boards precisely based on your team’s requirements like adding or removing columns based on your team’s workflow. You can also deploy the Work In Progress (WIP) limit and cap the number of issues that a column can hold. By this, your team can clear the workloads and initiate new tasks when added.

Jira Agile Development: Boards and Agile Reporting for Kanban in Jira
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One of the most reports for Kanban is the Control Chart which portrays the time taken to complete each issue and the average team’s rolling. The chart shows the effectiveness of your team in addressing an issue and sees the effectiveness of resource allocation.

Jira Agile - Control charts
tImage Source: idalko.com

Cumulative flow diagrams show the number of issues in each state. If the lines on the graph run parallel, then all issues are going well. When there are blockages, then they’ll drift apart. They create significant problems downstream.

Benefits of Using Jira Agile

Here are some of the benefits of the Jira tool for Agile :

  • Version Management: Jira has in-built features to track the different versions and progress of the project. This helps your team to be prepared for any potential problem in advance. You can gather entire details of the status and development of software development with a single click.
  • Enhanced Visibility: This promotes transparency and visibility among the teams working on the software development. And also you have had a check on all the teams working and ensure to have an environment with less ambiguity.
  • Enhanced Productivity and Efficiency: You can leverage the productivity and efficiency of the team with better visibility and prioritization of tasks. By this, you can reduce the downtime for completing the task.
  • Prioritization of Task: With this, you can prioritise tasks and meet deadlines at ease. During any project management and delivery of products and services, prioritization of tasks is extremely crucial for delivering or completing the project on time.
  • Reviews and Retrospection: Jira has various agile reporting features like velocity charts to provide a clear insight into the project to the team. These features aid the agile team to find the weak and strong areas to track down the improvements.

Conclusion

From this blog, you would have learned about Jira and Agile methodology. You would now understand what Jira Agile is along with the reason for choosing it. You will now know to create and use the Atlassian Agile project workflows. The benefits of Atlassian Agile would now help you in deciding on incorporating this into your workflow.

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