Charlie cmyk cyan

JIRA Review
Using this for backlog prioritization is the key to either kanban or scrum processes.

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Valuable Features:

Multiple features make this product a delight to use. Using this for backlog prioritization is the key to either kanban or scrum processes. JIRA does a great job of articulating the story and adding elements to the story to help in the prioritization. If you are overseeing multiple projects, it allows you to easily follow the teams progress.

Another feature is the ability to incorporate add-ons. It’s great to have for those one-off processes you need. For example, the integration with Confluence.

Improvements to My Organization:

Working in a dev shop that is 100% scrum, this tool is invaluable in its insights to how the process is working. Are the stories written well? Is the team executing on the highest priorities? How is the team executing sprint by sprint? All these can be found easily within JIRA, either with their out-of-the-box reporting, or the ease with which search queries can be downloaded to CSV to manipulate in a data visualization tool.

Room for Improvement:

The reporting out of the box is minimal; I would like to see a report-building capability out of the box. Teams have access to more than a dozen out-of-the-box reports with real-time, actionable insights into how their teams are performing sprint over sprint.  Examples include Burndown, Sprint, Cumulative Flow, Epic , release, Velocity.  However most will find these reports too simple and want some sophistication.  Luckily Jira gives the ability to export results where you can work offline with them in a tool like Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel or other preferred data parsing tool.  For additional spend you can purchase their reporting plugin.

Use of Solution:

I have used this application for approximately five years over several different roles: product management, development manager and delivery manager.

Deployment Issues:

We deployed on premise. The amount of time to deploy was simple for a trained technician. Would highly recommend if installing on premise to shy away from any customizations in workflows; will make upgrades a pain in the future. If you considering using this, I would recommend the cloud option first.

Stability Issues:

No issues with stability.

Scalability Issues:

Like any application installed on premise, you must be monitoring server and application logs to ensure the right level of performance. Scaling up is easy.

Customer Service:

Most of their customer service comes from the community. Robust community of evangelists who respond rather quickly. As the application is highly stable, contacting customer service has been few and far between. Responses came thru within expected timeframes and were helpful, even if pointing to already published articles.

Technical Support:

I would rate their technical support high.

Previous Solutions:

I've also used Microsoft TFS (Team Foundation Server) for another development team that was .NET based. Used both Jira and TFS at the same time, though for different project teams.

Initial Setup:

Atlassian built their reputation on building applications that were easy to install and using a community model to improve. The setup of JIRA was straightforward, just as the documentation indicated. Us technology people have a hard time reading thru user guides, but these were easy and quick.

Implementation Team:

It was implemented by one of our developers.

ROI:

Development teams, especially scrum teams, need some type of tool. For geographically dispersed teams, the ROI has a quick payback period, less than three months. Geography could be the dev team in one city and the product team in another.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Look to their cloud offering first; get using it quickly. Be wary of some of the add-ons, as there are cost components to them; if you need them, add them in.

Other Solutions Considered:

As indicated above, we used Microsoft TFS. We tried to have a JavaScript team use TFS, but it didn't really fit into all the other ALM tools a JavaScript developer uses, so we quickly scrapped TFS and moved back to JIRA. The same was true for a .NET team; tried to have them use JIRA, but it was difficult to break the Microsoft eco-system. Not impossible in that case, just a culture shift you want to address carefully.

Other Advice:

Review all your use cases for the tools to see if Atlassian matches up nicely to those you need; makes integration easier when all are from one provider. Be sure you understand what you are licensed for and what costs extra. For example, do you need portfolio management? Because, if you do, it's an extra cost.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
2 visitors found this review helpful
00be3934 34c3 4478 bdb5 71e3f19c03c6 avatarAimee white li?1414329795

3 Comments

Aimee white li?1414329795

"Development teams, especially scrum teams, need some type of tool. For geographically dispersed teams, the ROI has a quick payback period, less than three months."

True. JIRA is a good tool for working with multiple stakeholders.

Like (2)08 September 16
00be3934 34c3 4478 bdb5 71e3f19c03c6 avatar

This is an excellent review. I think most companies will reach the ROI within a couple of months, too. Although licence fees might be high, I think JIRA is worth the price.

Like (3)12 September 16
D9246b53 e695 4d12 a1b1 3416dd0d7494 avatar?1444504725
Orlee GillisCommunity Mgr

Joe, I certainly agree with Valentin, your review is very thorough and super helpful.

When you say that most would find the JIRA reporting capabilities to lack sophistication, how has this held you or your team back in your projects? What could JIRA be adding to their reporting that would enhance your productivity?

Like (0)14 September 16
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