If you’re starting out your journey with Jira, the platform might at first seem intimidating. Jira is complex, but that’s the good thing about it — that’s why it allows organizations to carry out complicated processes. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Welcome to Deviniti Guide to Jira – a series of articles in which we plan to provide everything you need to know about this software. The first one covers the basic terms that define the functionality of Jira for task management.
Basic Jira Elements
Organizations use Jira to track different types of issues. Depending on how a given organization is using Jira, an issue can represent many different things, for instance, a project task, a helpdesk ticket, or a software bug. Users can access issues from dashboard gadgets or through search results.
You’ll see many elements that make up a Jira issue, but we won’t talk about all of them. Here is a breakdown of the most important things you find on every Jira issue.
You can use Jira to track many different types of issues. Here’s a list of some default issue types, but remember that a Jira administrator can customize them and come up with new issue types that suit the aims of the organization:
- Task — a task that needs to be completed.
- New feature — a feature of the product.
- Improvement — an enhancement to the feature which has already been created and implemented.
Jira administrators can create a wide range of custom issue types to match the needs of their organization.
Priority of the issue indicates its importance in the project. Note that all priorities and their meanings can be customized by Jira administrators to suit the needs of organizations. Here are some default priority types you can see in every Jira issue:
- Highest /Blocker— this type of priority is given to a task or problem that needs to be completed as soon as possible, otherwise it will block progress.
- High — this priority type indicates that the issue causes serious problems and requires urgent attention.
- Medium — this one indicates that the issue has a significant impact and needs to be dealt with in a timely manner.
- Low — that priority indicates that the issue has a relatively minor impact.
- Lowest — this is the lowest priority issue.
Every Jira issue has a status. The status indicates where the issue is currently located in its lifecycle, or workflow. Naturally, a Jira administrator can customize the available statuses to match the needs of the organization. Here are the default issues statuses available in Jira:
- Open — the issue with this status is in the initial phase, which means that it is ready for the assignee to start working on it.
- In Progress — the issue with this status is being completed by the assignee at the moment.
- Resolved — that status indicates that the resolution has been identified or implemented, and the issue is waiting to be verified by the reporter. From here, users can either open or close issues.
- Reopened — every Reopened issue is an issue that was once Resolved or Closed, and now it’s being re-examined. For example, an issue may be Reopened when more information is available and the issue becomes reproducible. Starting from this status, issues are either marked as In Progress, Resolved, or Closed.
- Closed — the issue with this status is complete.
Jira allows users to resolve an issue in many different ways. A resolution is usually set when the status of the issue changes. As expected, Jira administrators can customize the resolution types to serve your needs. Here are some default Jira resolutions:
- Fixed — that resolution indicates that the issue has been implemented.
- Won’t Fix — the issue will not be fixed, for instance because it may no longer be relevant to the project.
- Duplicate — this issue is a duplicate of an already existing issue. It’s smart to create a link to the duplicated issue when assigning that type of resolution.
- Incomplete — users don’t have enough information to work on this issue.
- Cannot Reproduce — this resolution type applies to issues that can’t be reproduced at this time or that there’s not enough information available to allow reproducing the issue. Users can Reopen the issue once more information is available.
- Won’t Do — that resolution type indicates that the issue won’t be actioned. It’s similar to the resolution Won’t Fix, and it’s available only for software projects by default.
A Jira project is nothing else than a collection of issues, defined according to an organization’s requirements. Many things can stand for a project, for instance a marketing campaign, a request management system, a software development project, a helpdesk system, or a website enhancement request system. Every issue needs to belong to a project, and each project has a specific name and a key. The project key will be part of the issue key in every issue that belongs to the project.
You will often see product components in Jira projects. A component is a group of issues inside a project. Each project can include various components (or none) depending on the needs of your organization. For example, a software development project could include components called Backend or Documentation. A marketing campaign project may include components such as Content Marketing, Email Newsletter, or Social Media. An issue can belong to multiple components within a project. It can also belong to no components at all, or just to a single one.
If your organization uses Jira for software development, you will find it useful to associate an issue with the particular project version (like 1.0, 1.2, etc). Issues in Jira have two fields that relate to project versions — Affects Version(s) and Fix Version(s).
While Affects Version(s) is about the version(s) in which the issue is manifesting, Fix Version(s) is the version(s) in which the issue was or will be fixed. Project versions in Jira come in three states: Released, Unreleased or Archived. All versions have a release date and will be automatically highlighted as ‘overdue’ if the version is unreleased when the date passes.
Atlassian Marketplace apps
To enhance functionality and usability of Jira even more, Atlassian added the possibility to create apps for the software, which provide extra features and tricks. There are tons of them at the Atlassian Marketplace, both free and paid. For example, Issue Templates allow to create tasks that occur frequently from templates and automate this process, and Issue Sync synchronises issues between different instances of Jira.
You can see why Jira is known as such a flexible solution on the market. Practically every single of these elements can be customized to match the existing processes in an organization or the changes applies to processes as the organization grows.
Are you interested in improving your processes with Jira? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy to help organizations boost their efficiency by implementing smart solutions from the Atlassian toolset.
Also published on Medium.