Jira and Agile Methods - Part Two

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Jira and Agile Methods - Part Two

In this course, we explore two Agile methodologies: Scrum and Kanban. You'll be introduced to the roles included in the Scrum methodology and learn how they work together to orchestrate incremental software development. We look at the responsibilities of each role and what they contribute to the development process.

After that we move on to look at Kanban, a LEAN methodology that encourages continuous development. We look at how Jira can be used to implement Kanaban processes and we briefly touch upon the features and functionalities of Jira and how they are used.

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Learning Objectives

  • Get a basic understanding of Scrum and Kanban
  • Learn about how these methodologies can be used in your workflows
  • Learn the features of Jira and how they can be used to implement a Kanban process

Intended Audience

Anyone looking to improve the way they use Jira to manage their workflows and projects, through the use of agile practices. 


To get the most out of this course, you should have a basic understanding of Agile and Jira.


So Kanban originated Toyota as a lean manufacturing. The goal to reduce time to market. Understand predictable repeated processes to create something, and delivery value to the customer. But ultimately what it's looking to do is to eliminate waste and to also identify kind of multitasking and blockages within a process. And what they found is that very often what, what happens in a process is that when a task can't be completed then workers start working on another task and they leave the other one until it can be completed. And so that means that the worker hasn't finished one task and they start on another. And they're effectively then multitasking. And when that multitasking occurs the, the sort of rate at which you produce things will go down because very often that same block might become a block on other things. And so Kanban as a process will, will, is often used to eliminate those sorts of problems.

We can also use a Kanban process in Jira to help us identify these kind of issues. And we will see that as we move through the course. So let's get into Jira now because we've been talking a lot about Agile, I wanna show you a bit of Jira. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to go to the web press site I showed you earlier on. So I'll just give you that again just in case you joined late. I, didn't see absolutely everybody join. So, Amanda I sent it to you again, but, there it is. So that's the, this is the site I'm using. And I'm gonna connect to server A. And I've already logged in. And, and what I did earlier on in the course is I created a project.

So you can see once you log into Jira you get this dashboard. And a dashboard is a, a view that you get of Jira where you can have lots of these little gadgets. Each one of these little windows is a gadget. And you can create your own dashboard. Just like you've got a dashboard in a car. And when you create your own dashboard, what you can do from manage dashboards, you can add your own little gadgets to your own dashboard. And those gadgets can display graphs and report lists and lots and lots of other useful things that might identify results that were interesting to you in a project.

So that might be graphs of, it might be a graph of a burndown chart or there might be your, your other pie chart of bugs or something like that. And the nice thing about a dashboard is that you can bring the dashboard up and it will show you lots of different gadgets that you have put together than immediately summarize some process or issue that you're monitoring. Just like, like the dashboard on a car gives you the state of play of the current state of your car. You would use a dashboard to do that.

Jira centers around projects. And if you look at the projects menu you can see in the projects menu you can choose view all projects. So projects menu and view all projects. And there's already a project defined so I set this up this morning actually, this morning. And there's one listed already. So that was projects and view all projects. And then if I click on the project, you can see that this is, this is actually an agile project. And mine's gone to a view, yours probably looks a bit like this. But mine's gone to the reports view.

There's a tab bar on the left hand side. And on those tabs you can click on various buttons. The one that looks like a stack of Jenga blocks is our backlog. Because this is a sprint project. That's, sorry, a Scrum project. It has a backlog. And if you look at that backlog you can click on an item in the backlog, and then you can move it, you can move it up in its position. And we already said didn't we that the higher an item is in the backlog the higher its value to the product. So the product owner would be refining this backlog. So in concert with the stakeholders and the development team they'd say well actually these are the things that are gonna add the most value next.

Now if you go to the projects menu again, and you can obviously click on an item in your backlog. And on the right hand side it gives you the details. If you press the create button, which is on the bar at the top, you notice that sort of blue create button just here. You can add a new item to the backlog. And it asks you to make sure you're in the right project. And it also asks you to make sure you're creating the right kind of item. And it's not, now in Jira we don't call them items or product backlog items, we call them issues. And just below the project drop down there is an issue drop down. 

So when you're creating an issue, you can choose what kind of issue it is. Is it a bug, is it an Epic, is it just a to do item? Or is a story? You come across stories before? What's a story? Well you'll see this in the next chapter. But a story would be the, they're called user stories. And the way that we might describe a requirement.

So a user story would be a description of what our requirement is but written on behalf of a user or an actor within the domain that we're trying to design for. Probably have a summary, we have a description. We have a priority. Alright, so the fields. Who, you notice that? Assignee we can assign to lots of different Jira users. Actually you can do that. I'll show you in another chapter how we create a spring but I'm sure you can spot that, there's a button create sprint. And we'll see that later in the course.

Now if you wanted to create your own project, if you check on projects, you can choose create project. So that's projects, and create project. And this is what I did this morning. I created a QA cinemas project. You're gonna create your own QA cinemas project in a while. Where you're, and you're going to use your initials.

So you're gonna say QA cinemas, my initials are C, L, S. So I'd probably say CLS QA cinemas. You're gonna create a unique name or something cool, or create, create or use a different name completely. But we could say we're gonna do Scrum development or basic software development or Kanban development. But you create a project. If you're using the cloud version of Jira, you could, the cloud version of Jira uses this info, next gen projects, in which case you can only choose Scrum and Kanban. But the same kind of idea. So, let me do that, create a project. Say next.

When you create your project, it shows you the kind of issues that can be created in your project. Now you're not limited by this because Jira's very configurable. And if you want to you can define your own issue types. So when you create a project it's possible to change that and to have your own issue types, or add new issue types. So it's very flexible. It's also possible to add your own statuses.

So you can see the workflow at the moment is the issues can start in the to do state. They can move to in progress, and then to done. But potentially you could change that to have an in test, or test state. Or in analysis or whatever your workflow needs to be you can change that. So you've got multiple different states that an issue can be in.

I gave my project a name, Demo Scrum Project. I indicate I am the project lead. The key needs to be unique in Jira and it's always the first letter of the name of your project, so DSP. And then I've created my project. And you can see it's gotten an empty backlog. And then again from Jira we can add issues, stories, or bugs, or whatever it is we need to add into our new project.

So in Jira a project contains issues. And an issue can be of one or more issue, well it can be of an issue type. Be it a bug, a story, a task, or an Epic. Anyone know what an Epic is? I was gonna say it's almost like a project or? Or is it a particular feature like you've got an existing product and you want to add, a large new feature that's gonna involve lots of Scrums, lots of cycles. Yeah, yeah. So, so the key there was large wasn't it? So that's right.

So an Epic, if you think of, if you think of it, a user story, a user story would be a requirement that is deliverable inside a sprint. And if you think of sprint as between two and four weeks, your user stories should be small enough to be deliverable within a sprint. An Epic is bigger than that. If it's bigger than what can be delivered in a sprint, it's an Epic. And an Epic is broken down into user stories.

So you might have an Epic that is payment system, and the payment system might have pay with PayPal as one user story, pay with credit card as another user story. Well that's just creating very very short titles. But you get the idea. So the whole, the whole bit of, the whole thing is to do payment processing. But individually we need to do a certain number of things to achieve that. And we certainly couldn't do the whole of payment processing in one sprint. Okay, so that is the getting started with Jira.

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