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Make your team agile with Jira Software – Scrum


Katarzyna Dorosz-Zurkowska - 30 October 2018 - 0 comments

Agile is a set of methodologies that inspire project managers to change the way in which they organize work and their teams for higher productivity and faster response to change.

In my previous article, I showed you how Jira Software supports the agile method called Kanban. In this post, I wanted to take a closer look at one of the most popular methodologies used by development teams that also belongs to the agile ecosystem called Scrum.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile methodology where teams build products in a series of fixed-length iterations. For example, they build product features within cycles lasting one or two weeks. Four elements make the foundation of the framework are: project planning, standup meetings (also called daily scrums), sprints, and retrospectives.

Jira offers support for each of these elements to help Scrum teams become more agile.

Sprint planning

During meetings called sprint planning the team agrees on what to complete during the following sprint on the basis of the backlog or list of work to be done. The backlog is the center of sprint planning, and Jira Software makes working with it easier by helping teams estimate stories, adjusting sprints, and the re-prioritizing issues in real time.

For example, teams can easily track different versions, features, and the overall progress of their iteration smoothly. Jira also allows to re-prioritize user stories and bugs by using the drag-and-drop feature to reorder them in the backlog. By creating quick filters, your team can surface issues with critical attributes in just a few clicks.

You can visualize all the work that needs to be completed in a single sprint on a special Scrum board. Jira offers scrum boards that can be customized to match the unique workflow of your team. For example, users can add swimlanes to separate projects or epics.

When the sprint comes to a close, you’ll get a quick snapshot of all the issues that were completed and unfinished issues that will be automatically moved to the backlog – and addressed during the next sprint planning meeting.

Sprint management

A sprint refers to the fixed-length iteration of work that usually happens over one or two weeks. It’s important to scope and prioritize work during the sprint planning meeting so the team can get started working on tasks as soon as the sprint begins. Jira has it all to track and manage sprints properly.

For example, you can use sprint permissions to define what particular users can see or do in a given project. That helps in task delegation and dividing responsibilities in a team. You can configure custom workflows, fields and issues to help your team manage work according to the requirements of the project.

Jira can update issues automatically based on events happening in other systems, or you can define criteria an issue must meet before it can progress. All of that helps teams to fine-tune their process for higher productivity.

Daily standup meetings

Sometimes called daily scrums, these are short meetings that happen every day where the team comes together to quickly go through the list of what has been done so far and what everyone will work on next.

With Jira, your team can get a snapshot of work in progress at a glance and prepare for the daily standup quickly. The Jira Query Language (JQL) allows to quickly search for issues that are assigned to a particular person, those that have been updated during the last 24 hours, or any other issues that are relevant to the daily standup meeting.

Retrospectives

The final element of the Scrum methodology are retrospectives where teams come together to discuss the work that has been completed during the sprint and learn what to improve in the upcoming sprints.

Jira provides teams with agile reports that offer critical insights into their process and allows making data-driven retrospectives that point to areas that need improvement. For example, you can take advantage of charts where you get to track the total work remaining in the project and likelihood of achieving the sprint’s goal. That way, you can manage the progress of your team and respond to any changes.

Understanding the work that has been completed during the last sprints allows checking whether your scope is right or too excessive. You can do that with the help of sprint reports. To determine your team’s velocity and estimate the amount of work it can realistically achieve during future sprints, you can use the velocity chart.

A control chart, on the other hand, allows checking the cycle time for your sprint, version, or product to help you see whether data from your current process can be helpful in determining the future performance of your team. Jira includes many more types of reports that come in handy to agile teams for retrospectives.

Have you got any questions about taking advantage of Jira for Scrum?

Reach out to me at katarzyna.dorosz@deviniti.com; I help organizations make the most of the tools that boost their agility and help them reach the next level of productivity.

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