Development / Tools

JIRA Gets an Overhaul to Reach Entire Software Development Teams

10 Oct 2015 9:30am, by

Atlassian recently announced its massive overhaul of JIRA, marking a shift forward in terms of serving entire software development teams, even those not working in programming. The three new products announced were JIRA Core, JIRA Software, and JIRA Service Desk. Together, these offerings present new tools for teams to add to their workflow pipeline in order to not only address the needs of programmers, but those in developer relations, marketing and IT.

1. JIRA Core

When working in marketing  and developer relations, it’s crucial to track campaigns, insights, impressions, and tailor messaging on the fly in order to better reach a particular audience. JIRA Core differentiates itself from offerings such as Odoo.

JIRA Core provides any business team the ability to plan, track and report on any type of project. Every team works differently, with strengths and weaknesses needing to be adjusted throughout the course of a product’s launch or campaign maintenance. Rather than requiring team members to shift their workflow process to learn a difficult new tool, JIRA Core is adaptive, able to understand how your team works best together.

Marketing and DevRel teams may use JIRA Core to track all aspects of a particular PR campaign, from beginning to end. An entire team will be able to view a project’s entire publication pipeline and track milestones or crucial items to complete. These include events such as when briefings should be scheduled, if all assets have been received, or if a team is still waiting on screenshots or interview files. Teams can also collaborate using JIRA Core, such as with Marketing to ensure that product quotes for customers are correct, along with notifying team members when they receive a message which requires their attention.

Pictured: JIRA Core setup for HR teams.

Pictured: JIRA Core setup for HR teams.

JIRA Core also offers benefits to those working in finance or HR, offering competition to accounting and hiring tools such as Odoo. With many other multi-service products available to software development teams both at startup and enterprise level, JIRA Core sets itself up to compete against these offerings firmly.

Atlassian’s JIRA Project Manager Anu Bharadwaj notes that,

“For example, when finance teams close the books every month, there are GAAP rules they need to follow to account for the proper calculations, but their methods of getting there might differ — JIRA Core tracks all of these tasks.”

For example, one finance team may require a senior manager and director to review documents before approval, and in other cases, only a senior manager review is needed to finalize a document.

Another important aspect of JIRA Core is that is delivers a consistent experience with Atlassian’s other new offerings to the JIRA product family, JIRA Software and JIRA Service Desk.

2. JIRA Software

JIRA Software is a purpose-built experience for software teams to plan, track and deliver software combining JIRA’s workflow engine with agile development tools such as flexible scrum and kanban boards.

All the capabilities that are essential for the team are now front and center in JIRA. Often, development teams need multiple tools to discern the status of a project throughout its building, QA testing and a product’s launch. The new JIRA Software project experience includes a sidebar where teams can add links to HipChat rooms, Confluence and code repositories. Bharadwaj also highlighted some of JIRA Software’s other features:

  • A planning section where PMs can easily prioritize tasks, assign work to epics, distribute tickets and create sprints.
  • A release section that gives you a view of the real state of your code and answers critical questions for software teams, like “Do you have pull requests (unreviewed code) that are still open and you’re about to ship?”
  • PMs can manage scope creep using the burndown chart.
  • Developer managers can track their team’s speed using the velocity chart.
  • QA can see how quickly they are fixing new bugs with the created vs. resolved chart.
  • Pulls all of the real-time status of issues, deploys and commits into a single dashboard.
  • Allows team members to release product ready code to servers without ever leaving JIRA.
  • Provides end-to-end traceability of project status, from ideation in Confluence to deployment in Bamboo.

JIRA Software also integrates with workflow tools used by many development teams already, such as Bitbucket, HipChat, Bamboo, GitHub and Jenkins.

Pictured: JIRA Software - Agile board

Pictured: JIRA Software – Agile board

JIRA Software is built in such a way to be useful to every member of a software team, including non-engineers such as technical writers, designers, DevRel, PR and Marketing team members. Distributed teams are continuing to become commonplace in today’s agile development world, requiring access to repositories, code and information from across the globe. JIRA Software delivers both accurate and up-to-date information, regardless of a developer’s location or the time of day a pull request is made.

In addition, JIRA Software integrates with project management tools one’s software development team may already be using. This provides team members the ability to pull information regarding a project’s status together in order to offer stakeholders a real-time view of a project’s current place in the development pipeline.

3. JIRA Service Desk

JIRA Service Desk works with automated systems in a way which focuses on connectivity. With JIRA Service Desk, one can leverage pre-built automation rules out-of-the-box to handle repetitive tasks or create custom rules based on specific events and conditions defined by the needs of the product in question. JIRA Service Desk extends its automation by also integrating with external systems via REST calls.

 Setting JIRA Service Desk Issue Priority

Pictured – Setting JIRA Service Desk Issue Priority

JIRA Service Desk is designed to meet all modern IT service management needs, rather than being offered as a transitional product for those working in a traditional IT setup. JIRA Service desk is especially useful to those working within ITSM principles. Designed for IT and service teams, JIRA Service Desk provides a flexible service desk experience which streamlines customer requests.

Bharadwaj also notes that,

“JIRA Service Desk delivers an intuitive interface, a revolutionary new take on SLAs, customizable team queues, real-time reporting, and everything your teams need out-of-the-box for incident, change and problem management.”

JIRA Service Desk combines the productivity and power of the JIRA platform with an intuitive user experience IT service teams can use to successfully improve their productivity while increasing customer satisfaction.

These three new offerings from Atlassian offer software development teams familiar with JIRA to bolster their efficiency, with a shift toward the needs of teams working across the entire product development pipeline. As technical writers, developer relations, and marketing become more involved with the life of a product throughout its launch, the need for teams to work well together is crucial. JIRA has provided the groundwork for a more unified project pipeline with JIRA Software, JIRA Core and JIRA Service Desk moving forward.

Feature image: “Control is an Option” by Frederico Cintra is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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