Atlassian tools are extremely popular. Jira, the subject of this article, in particular is an invaluable way for teams to organize their work, collaborate on how to get it done and to track it to completion.
Jira is incredibly configurable and can quickly become difficult to use or provide noisy reports when its flexibility is not used in a way that reinforces and improves how we do our actual work. Do we really need 5 required fields to communicate an improvement that will save our customers time and improve our bottom line?
Frequently we work with teams to norm up their projects to improve the user experience, ensure accurate and timely reporting and reduce the time required to maintain the application.
We have found forming these three teams addresses the change management of maintaining a Jira instance:
- Governance Team
- Jira Administrators
- Project Leaders (Administrators)
The governance team ensures we configure Jira consistently with how we want our teams to work and report. They review requested changes that impact process and/or reporting so that the changes made to Jira are aligned with how we work.
Providing a consistent user experience between similar projects configurations is also of interest. When the organization adds new capabilities or dramatically reorganizes teams, it’s the governence team that reviews the new configurations they will use.
This team makes the changes to the configurations. The governance team will frequently provide this team direction on specific implementation requirements. Sometimes the Jira administrators will be left to implement them in whatever way they see fit.
The Jira administrators will work with the Project Administrators and the Governance team to help them learn what’s possible with their organization’s configurations and with Jira in general.
The Jira administrator team is also responsible for maintaining Jira so that it performs well, is secure and provides a good user experience. When changes are recommended that degrade any of these, they should not implement those changes, but provide alternative configurations or tools instead.
Project Leaders (Administrators)
A well configured Jira instance empowers the people leading teams and Jira projects to set important context for the work being done and for which people on their team can use specific features in Jira.
The project administrator can make it easier for their team to organize work into milestones by creating versions. They can add a way to collect work into focused sub-sections of a project by creating components (and assigning a component leader).
They often suggest and improve the process details expressed in workflows. “We should make sure that when the story ’s feature branch has an open pull request, we update the issue status to In code review and change the assignee to the person doing the code review.”
Often solutions that the Jira Administrators creates can directly impact how Project Leaders use their project. This is particularly true for Roles. If a project’s workflow only allows storys to be moved to In code review if they are assigned to the “Senior Developer” role, the Project Administrator will need to make sure that there are resources assigned to that role in their projects.