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Jira Project Basics

Atlassian Tools, Jira

By Kevin Allen


Before I get into this too deeply, you really need to understand the context. There are so many Jira dudes/dudettes (admins) out there in the wild with little support. They are really my audience. It's totally true, Atlassian puts forth volumes of information on their apps, which is awesome!

However, I think in many cases this can cause some analysis paralysis. How do you get just what you need, when you need it? That's the challenge! One of the things we do at Isos is leave our clients with documentation in the form of Cheat Sheets or FAQ's or Tips & Tricks references based on their unique needs.

Those of us who do this full-time probably don't have too much trouble finding what we need, but what about the people we work with? Do they understand why you have to ask 1000 questions before you can 'make a workflow'? I hope this post will demystify some of the admin areas so that users know how to frame their requests and admins can get the info they need with less fuss.

Here's a pretty basic version of Jira project administration which covers:

  • Basic Project Creation
  • JQL
  • Jira Agile Administration
  • Project Customization and What Defines a Jira Project
  • Adding Magic to Jira

New Project Creation

  1. Navigate to and Select Create Project.
    project menu
  2. Select Project Type.
  3. Verify and preview your selection.
  4. Fill in the blanks and Select Submit.
    You can have up to 10 characters for Project Key. Generally 3-4 is sufficient.
  5. Welcome to your new project Summary page.
    summary page
  6. The Summary can toggle Activity and Statistics, depending on what information you'll need.
    summary project
    • Activity: Shows the project activity stream, project lead, and most active contributors to the project.
    • Statistics: Shows a variety of Issue based reporting gadgets and lists.
  7. Along the left margin are several icons. These will vary based on the project configuration.
    1. Expand/Collapse Margin
    2. Board Quick Links
      quick links boards
    3. Reports
    4. Project Administration
      project admin cog
    5. Project Icon is also a quick link to return to Project Summary.
      project icon

Jira Query Language (JQL)

JQL Primer http://blogs.atlassian.com/2013/03/jql-recap/

JQL is the language that drives reporting and visualizations in Jira or with Jira data externally.
Get started by navigating to the Issues Menu, and selecting either "Current search, Search for issues," or any of the Jira filters you have available.
issue menu

Issue Search

issue search
Below is an example with a few different variables expressed in both Basic and Advanced JQL.

Basic Mode

jql basic

Advanced Mode

jql advanced

Agile Admin

  • Agile Board Admin: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/AGILE/Jira+Agile+101
  • Simplified Workflows:
    • Pro Case
      • You really should show your users how to do this. It's a fantastic way for an admin to reduce their burden and satisfy their customers. Make the time!
    • Con Case
      • But it's sooooo messy, Agile Simplified this, Agile Simplified that. If you are a neat freak, this might drive you bonkers.
  • Columns, Swimlanes, Quick Filters
    • More on JQL below, but again, help your team help themselves.

Project Customization

This is where you lose direct knowledge amongst your user base, but I still think it's terribly important to share this information.

admin menu

Defining a Jira Project

As an Atlassian Admin, do you do requirements gathering with your customers? Or is it just a transactional, ticket-based relationship? Some of our clients have small, very knowledgeable teams where all of the project artifacts are understood, but most are larger and, understandably, the user base just can't prioritize learning all of this. Find a way to share the info, use the link above, copy/paste, whatever, but even if you are only spoon feeding information to the masses, you are still chipping away at the Knowledge Transfer process.

  • Custom Fields
  • Field Configurations/Schemes
  • Screens/Schemes
  • Issue Types/Schemes
  • Issue Type Screen Schemes
  • Workflows/Schemes
  • States/Resolutions
  • Transitions

Adding Magic to Jira

Link all of this in your apps! Well maybe not the project creator plugin, but you should take a look at that. It is a fantastic example of how you can drive tasks down to select users and make your support process more effective.



Best of luck!!!


Managing JIRA at Scale White Paper

TAGS: Atlassian Tools, Jira

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