Using JIRA for Project Tracking

Key Features for Project Tracking

JIRAs flexibility makes it great for all kinds of projects. Here are some of the features that will simplify your team's project management process:

  1. Reporting
  2. Monitoring: Activity Streams & Dashboards
  3. Custom Fields
  4. Custom Workflow
  5. Shares & Mentions
  6. Remote Issue Links

Reporting & Filters

With a large team or organization using a single JIRA instance, built-in canned reports make it easy to stay up-to-date on projects and progress. 

  1. Select 'Projects' from the top navigation bar.
  2. Scroll to view the 'Reports' section on the bottom left.

Documentation: Generating Reports

System Filters make it easy to access the lists of issues you care about most. Custom Filters let you set up your dashboard or agile board to show important information. Check out the demo videos: 

Monitoring: Activity Streams & Dashboards

Activity streams provide you with up-to-date information on everything happening in JIRA. Go to your JIRA dashboard and click 'Add Gadget' in the top right corner. Add the Activity Streams Gadget.

Streams can display all actvity, or filter by project, issue key, update dates, activity type, and more.

Place streams on your JIRA dashboard along with other Gadgets to stay up to date on everything happening in your projects. Other helpful Gadgets include:

  • Assigned to Me: displays all unresolved issues assigned to the current user
  • Created vs Resolved chart: a difference chart showing number of issues created vs number of issues resolved over a period of time
  • Filter Results: displays the results of any saved search in JIRA!
  • Road Map: shows versions (project milestones) due for release, and a summary of progress made toward completing the issues in those versions
  • Two Dimensional Filter Statistics: displays statistics in a configurable table format:

Documentation: Activity Streams, Using Dashboard Gadgets

Custom Fields

JIRA comes with a large number of fields already set up, but JIRA administrators can configure all kinds of new fields for any project - like select lists, check boxes, user pickers and more.

In the Project Tracking Set-Up section, you created a date picker field called Review Date, and placed that field on all the screens for your project. Create a new issue in JIRA and you will see that new field on the Create screen:

Pick tomorrow as the Review Date for your new issue, then hit Create at the bottom. You'll see this new date field appears in the Dates section on the right side of your issue!

Now click the Issues tab in the top navigation bar. You'll perform a search to find all issues with a Review Date in the next week. Switch to advanced search mode and type in this query:

"Review Date" <= 7d

When you hit search, the issue you've just created will appear.

This is just to give you a taste of the power of JIRA, custom fields, and search. You can save searches to display them on a dashboard dynamically - each time you open the dashboard you will see all issues with a Review Date in the next 7 days! You can also 'subscribe' yourself and/or other users to searches - for example, to get an email on Monday morning of all the issues with a Review Date set for that week. The possibilities are huge!

Documentation: Saving Searches & Issue Filters, Working with Issues

Custom Workflow

Finally, we come to workflow: the most powerful part of JIRA. Your workflow controls how your team interacts with JIRA, so you should make sure everyone is familiar with it.

Users can see the workflow for a particular issue by clicking the 'View Workflow' button next to the issue's status while viewing the issue. If the issue isn't assigned to anyone, you can assign it to yourself. Then you can start progress on the issue to begin moving it through the workflow.

Here is a diagram of JIRA's default workflow:

Documentation: Configuring Workflow

Shares & Mentions

Collaborating with team members has never been easier with bug tracking software. Instead of copying a link to an issue and sending it to someone using another application, JIRA gives you two ways to share an issue. You can click the share button in the top right corner of every issue and enter an email address (JIRA will suggest emails as you type). 

Or you can mention someone using the @ sign followed by their JIRA username in a comment or issue description. As you type in their name, JIRA will suggest users. Once you save the description or comment, the user will receive an email with a link to the issue.

You can link JIRA issues to issues in another JIRA instance or to external applications, such as a Confluence page, a Zendesk ticket, or a Salesforce.com opportunity.