Atlassian’s heritage and success is largely based on having created tools that made it possible for software development teams to create better software. Yet Jira adoption is growing faster for projects that are not software development projects. Why is this? How can a set of tools that evolved from the needs of software developers be so useful to people who aren’t creating software?
Should we start with defining what software development is? No, we definitely should not. This isn’t an easy question to answer for people who have spent their whole lives developing software. It’s impossible to answer for people who haven’t tried to write software or study how software gets created.
Jira’s proven usefulness for teams doing something that’s hard to describe makes it both adaptable and organized. This is what makes it useful for teams that want a tool to organize the work they need to do now, and reorganize the list of work they have to do tomorrow... without losing momentum.
Put another way, software development is software development, and that’s enough. Your business project, and by that I mean your “not software development” project, is easier to manage when you let it be its own thing too.
Jira doesn’t require teams to agree on a descriptions of what their activity is, in terms of how to explain the activity to others. Jira doesn’t care what your process is similar to. This is a strength not a weakness. Your project's process is defined by what makes the most effective sense for your team and your organization as a whole.
Jira cares very deeply how it can help you get done. Jira cares that your team can:
- describe the processes in terms of states and transitions
- agree what the word “done” means for tasks that go through these processes
- group different kinds of activities into types of tasks
- decide how much detail you need in order to do these tasks based on the kinds of tasks they are
- relate tasks to each other based on what part of the solution they affect
- schedule and prioritize tasks
- reprioritize tasks quickly without having to re configure the whole project
Because Jira was born of a project activity that is as hard to describe as software development, it created a tool that helps with any kind of project activity. Jira is incredibly relevant for the biggest challenges every kind of team faces today: (1) finding new and better ways to work while they are working (2) finding better ways to reduce costs, improve quality and get to market faster. That’s useful for everyone.