Software developers are always under pressure to get more done with fewer resources. That’s the reality of a struggling economy and strong global competition. One of the areas in which there’s often room for improvement is the management of issues within an organization. That doesn’t mean just bug fixing but managing the influx of ideas and requests for features and improved design. We’re finding that more and more developers are turning to Atlassian and their JIRA product to gain this productivity boost.
Why Atlassian JIRA?
Firstly, it’s extremely simple to use. Atlassian JIRA offers a quick configurable online interface with plenty of shortcut keys to keep the maintenance down to a minimum. That’s backed up by a recent Gartner group study which places Atlassian JIRA as the industry leading solution for Application Life Cycle Management.
Secondly, it reflects the processes and workflow you use within your organization, as it allows you to configure the software to adapt to real-life working practices. That means less time spent training your people and much more time producing results.
Here we find another reason to invest in Atlassian JIRA, the ability to integrate the tool with another Atlassian product – Confluence. Confluence is the best collaboration tool on the market and by linking it up to your JIRA installation you can manage communication between your developers and your business units simply and in a way that both parties can relate to.
In fact Atlassian JIRA offers a whole host of methods for integrating with third-party tools and their workflow. You can use it to respond to a helpdesk ticket raised in a package like Zendesk or to assist your marketing people if they’re using Salesforce or a similar CRM package. This helps overcome a major business issue regarding the visibility of development within organizations. Instead of producing a road map and then constantly updating it – progress can be shared throughout the organization at the touch of a button. Then everyone has a clear picture of the direction your development is taking.
Bug and Issue Tracking
One of the main strengths of Atlassian JIRA is the simple way of reporting bugs and the overall lifecycle management tools that progress from there. In fact it’s also possible to integrate the Bonfire tool (also from Atlassian) with JIRA to allow for thorough web-based application testing with built in screenshot capture (which can be annotated) to ensure that all your issues are collated and managed in harmony.
There’s a nice component of Atlassian JIRA that allows you to deploy a mobile tool with automated tracking for mobile applications. This is JIRA Mobile Connect and it can harvest crash reports and collect pre-defined data-sets which it then imports directly into JIRA so that you spend more time on analysis and less on data collection exercises.
One last thing of note regarding adoption for Atlassian JIRA is that you can automatically import data from any existing tools you use for bug tracking - so there’s no heavy lifting to be done when you migrate from one platform to JIRA.
If you’re considering turning to Atlassian JIRA but you’re wondering how to make the most of the tool when you use Scrum or Kanban development methodologies, then you can always add Atlassian’s GreenHopper which supports Agile development techniques.
However, if that’s not a concern you can get right down to managing your projects using JIRA’s built in project reports, tracking tools and workload and issue analysis. You can even use a JIRA plugin to push output straight from the software to Microsoft Project to help maintain the look and feel of in-house reporting and to keep project management on a standard platform throughout your organization.
Implementation of Atlassian JIRA
From our brief run through of JIRA’s capabilities it should be obvious why so many hi-tech companies are choosing to implement the solution. The time and effort saving components offer a great return on investment as well as making life easier for development teams. There’s also the added bonus of improved business communication which allows for better focus at the client relationship level (and thus greater returns from sales and marketing efforts).
However, we’ve found that it’s best to use a consultancy to assist with implementation rather than going at it alone. They can help map workflow, train users and import data from existing systems to ensure turnkey implementation. That allows you to get the best value from Atlassian JIRA without distracting from your core business activities.