Close
Product Guides & Tutorials

Everything you need to know about buying, using, and customizing Jira Software.

Illustration of people walking into a monitor with Jira displayed

Getting started with Jira tutorial: 6 basic steps

Before you begin this tutorial, sign up for Jira Software for free. This guide will help you set up your first project, so keep this tab open while you sign up. Go on, we'll wait here.


Step 1 - Create a project

  1. In the top-left corner, click the Jira home icon (Jira Work Management logo , , )
  2. In the top-right corner, select Create project.

Step 2 - Pick a template

The Jira template library houses dozens of templates across a variety of different categories, and is designed to get your team started quickly and successfully. You can choose a template from all the Jira products you own (Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Jira Work Management). Today, Jira Software offers three templates:

Scrum icon

Scrum

For agile teams that work from a backlog, plan and estimate their work in sprints, and deliver work on a regular schedule.

Kanban icon

Kanban

For agile teams that monitor work in a continuous flow (rather than in sprints), with a focus on managing in-progress work. (Includes the option of a kanban backlog.)

Bug tracking icon

Bug tracking

For teams that don't need boards and prefer to manage development tasks and bugs in a list view.

Project Types

For the scrum and kanban templates only, you will also be prompted to choose a project type. 

  • Team-managed projects are suited for independent teams who want to control their own working processes and practices in a self-contained space.
  • Company-managed projects are set up and maintained by Jira admins. This project type is designed for teams who want to standardize a way of working across many teams, such as sharing a workflow.

The fundamental difference between the two project types is how they are administered, and whether that occurs at the team level or at a company/Jira admin level. Looking for more information about how company-managed and team-managed projects? Learn more here


Step 3 - Set up your columns

A board can display issues from one or more projects and visually represent a team’s workflow. Boards provide flexible viewing to help manage issues and report on work in progress. How you setup the columns on your board in the scrum and kanban templates depends if you’re in a team-managed (directly from the board) or company-managed project (in board settings).

Although there are many things you can configure on your board, we suggest just setting up columns for now. When you're getting started on a new Jira Software project, it's important to make your board reflect the way your team works.

If you're not sure what your team's workflow is or should be, here is a resource to help you get started.

To set up board columns:

  1. Navigate to your team's board by selecting Active sprints (for Scrum projects) or Kanban board (for Kanban projects) in the project menu on the left.
  2. Select more (•••) > Board settings in the top-right corner.
Screenshot highlighting settings button

3. Select Columns.

4. Select Add column to add a column for each step in your team's process.

For example, if work needs to pass through a QA step before it's considered to be complete, you could add a column called "QA" and put it before Done.

The most important part about setting up your board is getting the columns right. Ideally, your board should reflect the way your team works. Select + to add a column to your board.

Screenshot highlighting new column button

Rearrange columns by dragging them in the order you want.


Step 4 - Create an issue

Issues are the building blocks of your Jira Software project. An issue can represent a story, epic, bug, feature to be built, or any other task in your project. 

Scrum and kanban are two frameworks for agile project management. In Jira Software, scrum vs. kanban projects have different features to help teams that are using either framework. 

For Scrum teams:  Select Backlog in the project menu on the left and then hit + Create issue to start adding work to your team's backlog.

Screenshot highlighting backlog

For Kanban teams: Navigate to your Kanban board and select Create in the global menu. Your issue will appear in the Backlog column.

Screenshot highlighting Kanban create new ticket button

Both Scrum teams and Kanban teams can add large pieces of work on their Roadmap. The Roadmap is a place to visualize, plan, and manage work. Learn more about managing work on the roadmap.

  1. In the project menu, select Roadmap.
  2. Start typing, then hit enter to create your first epic.
Roadmaps screenshot

You can then add smaller pieces of work to the issue. Hover over the epic. Click + Add a child issue.

You can configure issues in lots of different ways. Learn more about creating and configuring issues.


For Scrum teams:  Select Backlog in the project menu on the left and hit + Create issue to add an issue to your backlog. You also have the option of adding an issue directly to the sprint, if that's what you prefer.

Screenshot highlighting create issue button

For Kanban teams: Select Board in the project menu on the left, hover over any of your columns, and click +. You can also create issues on the Backlog, if you have it enabled.

Both Scrum teams and Kanban teams can add large pieces of work on their Roadmap. The Roadmap is a place to visualize, plan, and manage work. Learn more about managing work on the roadmap.

  1. In the project menu, select Roadmap.
  2. Start typing, then hit enter to create your first epic.
Next gen roadmaps screenshot

You can then add smaller pieces of work to the issue. Hover over the epic. Click + Add a child issue.


Step 5 - Invite your team

It’s time to get the party started! Once you have enough work represented on your board, start inviting team members. To get your team involved, start by adding each team member to your Jira site:

  1. In the project menu on the left, select Project settings.
  2. Select People.
  3. In the top-right corner, select Add people.
  4. Search for your team member's email address, and select Add.
  1. Navigate to either your Board or Backlog.
  2. At the top of the screen, select Add people.
Screenshot highlighting add new person button

3.    Search for your team member's email address and select Add.


Step 6 - Move work forward

Now that your team is in your Jira site, you're ready to collaborate and track work together. If you're in a scrum project, you'll need to create and start a sprint to begin tracking work. If you're in a kanban project, you can start tracking work on the board. To track work items, move an issue from one column to another as it progresses through your team's workflow.

Pro-tip: Stay connected, and move work forward – anywhere, anytime the palm of your hand with the Jira Cloud app for iOS or Android.

Make sure to leave comments on issues so that everyone on the team can follow what's going on; this creates an open way of working, instead of restricting communicating between two people via private emails.

Gif showing classic Jira board
Gif showing Nextgen Jira board

Additional Resources

Bookmark these resources to stay connected with fellow Jira users, for ongoing updates about new features in Jira Software Cloud, and the latest documentation.

Learn agile with Jira Software

Jira Software Cloud product demo

See what's new