This article was updated on October 31, 2022.
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.
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.
No fear, though, because there are ways that might be our life-savers at work. Being a Platinum Marketplace Partner, we’ve come up with four solutions to those common Jira Software problems.
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. 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-Synchronization for Jira 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. Let’s add that our app supports synchronization between different hostings – Data Center/Server and Cloud.
To make it easier for users to create issues, we should:
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.
If you would like to know more about applications, try a free 30-day trial from the Atlassian Marketplace.
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.
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.
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:
That’s why with carefully chosen and properly configured apps, we can easily enhance our team’s work in Jira Software.
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