5 Tips for improving Jira

Jira can get complicated for new and experienced users. Here are five tips to improve your use of the #1 tool for developers.

Jira

We can all relate to the frustration of trying to figure out or get the best use out of a piece of software. The fight or flight response often comes into play. We either fight by trying to master the application, or we get frustrated and give up on it (flight). Jira is one such application as it is so feature-rich. Here are five tips to improve your experience.

1. Set aside time for weekly maintenance.

It’s trivial things like duplicate issues that make Jira cumbersome and can lead to frustration for users — this is a job for Admins. Housekeeping issues is the way to a more organised Jira instance. By setting time aside weekly, you’ll create a more structured, streamlined instance for your users and establish a set of best practices.

Filing

Remember, whilst staying organised is one of the biggest challenges faced by Jira Admins, it is key to maintaining a healthy application.

There are several things that can help, such as making sure that essential fields are complete, adding keywords to issue descriptions, checking summaries, updating fields with missing details, removing custom fields that aren’t required, and keeping on top of dates.

2. Don’t over-customise Jira!

Customising Jira issues by changing the configuration and behaviour of fields to suit the needs of your users is great, but too much customisation can become a problem. Before creating fields, ask yourself, do you really need it? Are you ever going to query or report on it? Will labels work? How about reusing an existing custom field?

3. Encourage the use of favourites to find filters, dashboards, etc.

Remember how it was when you first started using Jira? It can be hard remembering where things are! Encourage new users to bookmark important screens on their browsers and to star those most visited by them so that they remain just a click or two away. If you’re not already doing so yourself, start, as it will make your life easier too!

4. Save time with Jira automation.

Time

Jira automation saves businesses time and money as teams don’t need to purchase add-ons to get their desired outcome. It works across popular tools like Bitbucket, GitHub, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more, so that you can work in your preferred way. Automation is included in every Jira Cloud instance at no extra cost, although functionality will depend on the plan you are on.

As an Admin, you can ensure you get these benefits by migrating to Cloud if you are on Data Center or Server.

5. Make Jira feel homely.

As humans, it’s natural for us to judge what we interact with based on appearance, be it people, pets, objects, or software. Jira is no exception. It may be as simple as customising the application to make it more user-friendly and easier on the eyes. Consider updating the colours by adding or changing the company logo, the title, favicon, and even date and time formats. This can make a big difference to new users as well who are familiarising themselves with the application.

Falling back in love with Jira

Whilst we’ve addressed some of the reasons Jira can become frustrating in this blog post, there are other factors you may find more relatable. Watch our carpool video below on falling back in love with Jira for expert insight and advice with a bit of entertainment.

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