New Old Street Apps Enhance Planning, Visualizing, and Brainstorming in Jira and Confluence

Screenshot of an Agile Planning for Jira board

Two of the Atlassian Marketplace’s most promising apps have now joined the Old Street product suite: Planning Boards for Jira and Brainstorm Boards for Confluence. These apps dramatically enhance teams’ abilities to plan, visualize, and brainstorm work in Jira and Confluence, eliminating post-meeting data entry so that everyone can maintain momentum on their projects.

We want to say an enormous thank you to all those who have taken part in the community-driven development of Planning Boards for Jira over the past couple of months. With your help, our developer Geoff Bullen has refined and improved it so that features like the smart drop zones, which use automation to update your Jira issues, are now much more powerful.

Planning Boards for Jira and Brainstorm Boards for Confluence pull your notes, tables, and charts from the physical world to the digital world. They do this using the best optical character recognition (OCR) technology to detect and understand even the messiest of handwriting, converting physical sticky notes into digital ones.

Brainstorm Boards for Confluence goes a step further in that it can detect diagrams and make those editable as well. It is currently the only app in the world that does diagram detection.

Screenshot showing diagram detection in Brainstorm Boards for Confluence
Diagram detection in Brainstorm Boards for Confluence

Once all your notes are in the intuitive digital editor, that’s where the fun really starts. Planning Boards for Jira will transform your notes into Jira issues automatically – no manual data entry required. You can then use the editor to organize and visualize your Jira issues in all kinds of ways using drag and drop. For example, you can change the priority or release of a Jira issue in the editor and it will automatically update in your Jira. The tool gives you much more freedom in sprint planning and retrospective meetings than native Jira.

Meanwhile, Brainstorm Boards for Confluence enables you to pull in, edit, and reorganize your work ideas more quickly than in native Confluence alone. Once ideas can be freely moved around, changed, and redesigned, brainstorming in Confluence becomes much more dynamic and versatile. This is particularly important for remote and distributed teams.

“Planning and brainstorming in native Jira and Confluence isn’t easy,” says Chris Cooke, CEO of Old Street Solutions. “These apps provide a free-form space for pulling in everybody’s thoughts before they’re fully formed. Then, when you’re ready for those ideas to become tasks, you can instantly create Jira tickets out of them. Best of all, you can continue manipulating those Jira tickets in the editor and sync any changes with your Jira instance. The planning and visualization possibilities are endless and are going to make meetings and workshops much more interesting going forwards.”

Organizations practicing the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and doing Program Increment (PI) planning will find these apps especially useful. Chris adds, “SAFe can be a massive headache, so the ability to visualize the flow of work in real time as a team makes planning a much more hands-on and collaborative experience.”

These apps are now available on the Atlassian Marketplace. So if you’re an agile team with a desire for more freedom when planning, or a Confluence team yearning for more brainstorming capabilities, check ’em out.

Planning Boards for Jira

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Brainstorm Boards for Confluence

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Chris Cooke CEO Old Street Solutions

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.”