This article was updated on July 17, 2020.
Last year, with its 65 million active users, Atlassian Jira was and still is one of the most popular project management tools. Now, the number is probably even higher. No wonder that we often hear people complaining about the amount of time they spend in this software. And, we’re not talking here about working on a project or checking off the tasks from Kanban or Scrum boards. There’s a number of problems that managers, end-users, and Jira admins need to face in order to work effectively.
Common Jira Software problems
The truth is, Jira is a complex piece of software. There is a number of more advanced actions to do inside Jira that aren’t as pleasant and easy as dragging and dropping tasks from left to right. That’s why people so often openly profess their hate for Jira, either managers, end-users, and (especially) Jira admins. Everyone simply gets sick of scrolling through endless issue creation screens when throwing tickets in a hurry, making mistakes as we go through all the questions (sometimes unnecessary), cursing under our breath, because no human being should be punished like that. For crying out loud, it’s not like we have to answer the never-ending flow of questions from children, because we’re doing business here. Not only that, but we need to duplicate the same ticket, especially the complex ones like onboarding a new employee or planning a marketing campaign, over and over again for professional life is hard and mostly based on repetition. Add to that copying the same task but on completely different Jira instance or an external tool like Trello, and we’re doomed. Especially when we don’t know a colleague from another team who’s assigned to help us with the ticket, and need to contact them right now. Let’s not forget about Jira admins who constantly are on the call and ready to help us with configuring it all for us.
How to make work in Jira Software painless
No fear, though, because there are ways that might be our life-savers at work. Being a Gold Top Vendor on the Atlassian Marketplace, we’ve come up with four solutions to those common Jira Software problems.
Enhance cross-team collaboration and external communication
Good news, we don’t have to give the third parties or colleagues from another team access to our Jira to boost cooperation between teams and communication with external stakeholders. We can find a way around it by synchronizing Jira instances or connecting our project with Trello boards and map fields that are a must on the ticket. This way we replicate the issues automatically with all the information we consider important for another party. On the Atlassian Marketplace, we’ll find a couple of apps that may help us with this. So, for example, we’ll go for Issue SYNC if we want to set up a connection between Jira instances with specific cases like push-pull (behind the firewall scenario) or even internal synchronization, when projects inside one instance are isolated from each other. Then, we can map both necessary fields and workflows, and search over remote issues with JQL.
Issue SYNC enables us cross-team collaboration between two or more Jira instances
Synchronizing Jira with Trello is another way to share our work with other departments that don’t use Jira or even external stakeholders who want to keep track of the progress we make. In this case, we can use Trello Sync for Jira to set up a one-way or two-way connection, depending on our needs, and map the most important fields from Jira issues to Trello cards or vice-versa. The best part is that we need to engage Jira admin only to give us permission to configure specific synchronizations, and afterwards they can go back to their tasks (whatever they are).
Design a smart Create Issue screen
To make it easier for users to create issues, we should:
- ask the right and necessary questions;
- structure the form in a smart way.
Sure, it may be that Jira Software doesn’t give us a chance to design intuitive forms natively, but that’s what the Atlassian Marketplace is for. One of the apps available there is Dynamic Forms for Jira which enables us to create conditions for fields to be displayed upon previous selection. This way, we don’t have to delete any of the custom fields to make the Create Issue screen shorter, but we’ll provide the user with context-relevant fields they need to create the issue instead. Other than that, we can bundle multiple pieces of information in a single custom field, and even display or hide the screen tabs based on a value of a dedicated custom field. And additionally, we can set user or group permissions on custom fields, provide users with custom tooltips, and required validator messages.
We can create smart issue creation screens using Dynamic Forms for Jira
Minimize manual issue creation
Smart issue creation may be fun, but not in the case of repetitive tasks. No one likes to manually fill in all the information time after time, even if it’s a simple copy-paste action. That’s why templates are a must when working in Jira. We need to only set them up once, and afterwards we can use them forever. The best solution here is to create templates for specific uses, like templates with automatically copied sub-tasks for onboarding procedure, Epic templates with synchronized Stories for event planning, or even structures of linked issues from a single template. Such templates use either static or dynamic variables, and autocomplete the sets of fields you select for them. Issue Templates for Jira is one of the apps we can use to enable the users to create error-free issues in a couple of clicks.
Using templates when creating issues may not only save time but also reduce the number of errors on the ticket
Manage LDAP user attributes in Jira
Last but not least, accessing information about our colleagues. There are times when we desperately need to contact someone we don’t know personally and who works in another office or city. Such situations happen, but usually, to get the phone number to that one person, we need to ask probably dozens of people if not more. To prevent that, we can ask Jira admin to synchronize the LDAP user database with Jira and configure it in such a way to display some important data, like position, manager details, location, and phone number inside the software, as well as in the Service Desk. Besides, connecting LDAP with Jira enables us to partially implement identity management, because we can create new users in Active Directory, update their attributes, lock or unlock their accounts, reset passwords, and add or remove them from the AD group. We can achieve that by using Active Directory Attribute Sync which helps Jira users, managers, and admins throughout all the employee’s lifecycle in a company.
Active Directory Attributes Sync enables us to display user attributes all over your Jira
May the force be with you
Even though we can pick and choose from the number of apps available on Atlassian Marketplace, we have to be careful in our selection. It may seem like each one may be good for our needs, but we need to take a closer look at what we need and want to get out of an app. For example, the abovementioned solutions do a great job when implemented separately, but together they create a perfect toolset for Jira Software. With this specific toolset, we gain:
- better flow and regularity of work;
- seamless cross-team collaboration and flow of information;
- one place to manage work;
- higher productivity;
- lower risk of making a mistake or lacking necessary information;
- better experience for non-technical Jira users;
- greater independence of users.
That’s why with carefully chosen and properly configured apps, we can easily enhance our team’s work in Jira Software.
Would you like to learn more about Atlassian software? Do you need help with implementation or extending the functionalities of these tools? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or book a live demo via Calendly.
As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner Enterprise and a Gold Top Vendor in the Ecosystem, we’ve been working hard on helping improve the user experience of Jira Software and add useful functionalities for over 2500 business teams around the globe. Apart from providing expert services and developing apps on the Atlassian Marketplace, we’re also sharing knowledge on the subject with useful tutorials and guides. Read on to learn more about how you can improve your team’s work with Jira:
- Why people use and love Issue Templates for Jira
- How to build a winning Jira Server UI with Dynamic Forms
- 4 little tricks to enhance Jira workflow with LDAP data
Karolina Lasoń is an Atlassian Apps Content Ninja. She’s the one who makes complex ITSM and Jira Service Desk subjects clear for the mortals by writing articles on the Deviniti blog and at the Atlassian Community. Also, she takes care of the Deviniti Atlassian Apps social media profiles, where she works hard on increasing our engagement in the Ecosystem. Her series of articles about improving customer’s journey through Jira Service Desk Server was promoted by the Atlassian team on the Community, as well as shared by the top Ecosystem influencers. Outside of work, she’s a bookworm, movies enthusiast, rock climber, sportswoman, Liverpool FC lover, and traveller.