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 your free trial of Jira Software Cloud. 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 (,  ).
  2. In the top-right corner, select Create project.

Step 2 - Pick a template

Project templates help teams get up and running quickly with default settings and features for a variety of use cases. In Jira Software Cloud, there are two types of project templates:
classic and next-gen.

Classic templates include the advanced customization and flexibility that Jira Software was originally built for. Next-gen templates showcase the reimagined Jira Software experience with simplified configuration and customization options.

Check out our documentation for more info on next-gen projects.


All the power and options that Jira Software is known for

Scrum icon


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

Kanban icon


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.


A reimagined, redesigned, and simplified experience

Scrum icon new


For teams that want a fast setup and less configuration. Deliver work in sprints using a redesigned, simplified experience.

Kanban icon new


For teams who want a fast setup and less configuration. Monitor work in a continuous flow using a redesigned, simplified experience.

Step 3 - Set up your columns

A board displays issues from one or more projects, giving you a flexible way of viewing, managing, and reporting on work in progress. The type of board you set up depends on the project template you chose (classic scrum or kanban, and next-gen scrum or kanban).

Whether you work with scrum or kanban, Jira Software can create a perfect board that adds a touch of productivity magic to your team's process.

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 create new ticket button

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.

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.

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.

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