nprlogo_138x46.gifA few weeks back, I blogged about a great series of posts on how NPR.org migrated from Bugzilla to JIRA. The first two posts covered much of their high-level reasoning for making the switch, but in the third and final post, Kim Bryant, gets her “geek on” by diving into the nitty gritty details of how NPR.org uses JIRA to manage daily activities.

Project management

Kim gets specific about the 5 different user roles NPR.org has defined and what types of activities each performs regularly. She explains how they use projects and components to organise tasks and activities for Digital Media projects and requests, software applications and system administration. She also covers how they user versions to triage incoming requests, manage a backlog and plan tasks for release.
NPR.org also uses GreenHopper for agile project management and relies on calendars, charts, time tracking, dashboards and more.

Automated issue creation

jira_error_message_integration.jpgNPR have even setup a project to collect automatically-generated errors from their applications. Jason Grosman has written another great post about how they mine their server logs and push issues directly into JIRA. They even developed a way to capture client side errors without bothering their users:

As a result, we implemented something last year that we call jslog. With AJAX, we are able to send messages back to the server without reloading the page. Now, every time one of our pages has a javascript error, instead of making the user’s client browser handle the error, leading to a less than stellar user experience, we catch the error and send it to the server using AJAX to be logged in the Apache web server logs. This is completely transparent to the user and allows the page to keep loading, even if it is not 100% perfect.

Always improving

It’s great to see NPR.org taking full advantage of JIRA’s flexibility to manage their daily project activities. They are constantly “tweaking” JIRA to improve the way it works with their processes, not the other way around. I can’t wait to hear from Kim once they actually move to JIRA 4!

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