Whether you’re setting up a small business, or expanding your company with a new team or project, there’s never been a better time to manage work more effectively. There are many opportunities to work remotely as a dispersed team, and as everyone’s had enough Zoom meetings to last a lifetime, so consider using a project management tool to replace the need for excessive check-in and update meetings.
There’s also a chance that you will have issues that Jira can help you track and manage by giving you access to these tools for free. So you’ll be glad to hear startups and small businesses with 10 or less users get a free Jira license for everyone!
Jira is a tool which is used to manage IT projects around the world but it also is used in business for project management. Jira works cross-platform i.e., windows, Mac OS and Linux for example, so you will be able to host Jira and integrate with your existing platforms and applications. However, this is a generalization so it’s good practice to check so that you will be sure Jira will work as expected for you, before creating your account.
New Jira Set-Up – Free version
- Start your free instance here https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/free
- When prompted to create your account you will be asked to enter a name i.e., your company name, which you will use to log in the next time. In my examples, you will see that I set my account up as email@example.com which is my company.
Note: if you follow my link you will be redirected to the login to Atlassian screen so you can login with your own Atlassian id from your own new account set-up https://id.atlassian.com
- As well as the Jira Software you will be offered a second product. I selected to add Confluence but you may choose Jira Service Desk depending on your business requirements.
- Depending on the criteria that you choose during the account set up your first project will be set up. If you select a set-up which assumes that no users have previous knowledge of agile processes you may be offered a Kanban project. In my example, once my project (OS – Old Street) was set up I was taken straight to the Kanban board and offered an opportunity to use the Quick Start function.
What is Kanban? It is Japanese for visual sign or card. In this case Kanban visualizes the workflow, and the actual work passing through the agile process. What is a Kanban board? The tool used to display the issues or tasks.
Before looking at the Board, let’s take a look at the Roadmap which is at the top of the menu:
- The Roadmap allows you to enter the details of a project plan or story, over time and to completion. This is done by creating Epics which is a group of related issues/tasks.
Project managers can use Epics to show teams and stakeholders the ‘big picture’.
For this example, I have added ‘Develop a template’ as ‘What needs to be done?’ as an Epic in the Road map.
Now back to the Board which is the next module on the menu:
The ‘Develop Template’ Epic that I created in the Roadmap as an example, can be pulled through as a filter in the Board, by selecting it from the Epic drop-down table. This allows us to create ‘To Do’ issues or tasks in the Board, which will be relatable to the Epic and the Roadmap and the ‘big picture’.
The next module on the menu is Code:
- If you are working on a software project and have your own developers then you may want to use this module which allows you connect your source code management tool to your Jira project.
[The Code module will not be discussed any further in this guide]
The next module on the menu is Pages. For this example, I have selected the Decision Template to attach to my Jira project.
Note: As mentioned earlier in this guide, I selected Confluence as my secondary product in the Jira suite. This is useful to demonstrate the Pages module, since clicking on the templates takes you to Confluence. The template will be modified and the page created here.
[The Pages module and Confluence will not be discussed any further in this guide]
The next module is Add Item and this is useful for adding shortcuts and links which are commonly used by the project team. For this example, I have elected to create a shortcut to Old Street website which is relevant to my sample project OS.
Note: The added URL appears on the menu under pages. I have added a thumbs up emoji as an example of how to make this added information stand out at a glance.
This basic guide should give you some ideas of how you can use Jira with little or no experience leaving room to expand with your business as you grow and develop your agile potential! ? For more Tips and Tricks on Jira, check out these blogs on getting started with Jira.
Chris founded three successful startups in Thailand: one was a Scuba Diving School/ Eco-Tourism company dedicated to saving turtles. Once he’d saved enough turtles, he moved back to the UK to pursue his dreams in software.
It was while working for the Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner Clearvision that Chris met Jacek. The two decided there was a gap in the market for easier-to-use Atlassian tools for Jira and Confluence users who don’t have a clue how to code (of which there are many).
“If we’re not making mistakes, we’re not trying hard enough.”