September 13, 2017

How Scrum And JIRA Made Me A Better Team Member

Written by Alexis Church
Teamwork: "How Scrum and JIRA Made Me a Better Team Member"

Writing user stories can feel a little awkward until you have practiced a few times. It was even more challenging to make sure I had listed all the acceptance criteria in a way that my team members could understand without skipping a beat. Once we got the hang of it though we were able to see some big improvements to our project management process that I think you could benefit from too!

With JIRA It Is Easy To Know The Status Of A Project

We use JIRA, a software made by Atlassian, to manage our scrum projects. As a refresher, JIRA is a tool that allows you to plan, track, release, and report the status of development— or in our case marketing. Additionally, this tool provides a space for creating tickets to monitor the completion of ongoing issues for website or software development.

Using this JIRA, the marketing department can create tickets for tasks and then track those tasks to completion. Ok, I hear you sighing and saying to yourself GREAT, I can do that in a spreadsheet. I hear you, and sure you can. JIRA has it down to an art form and makes it simple to communicate with your team, tag people in notifications and track comments and progress. Check it out below:

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At a glance, I can know where my project is. I can answer the questions: Has my manager reviewed it? Do I need to make edits? Is it awaiting review? I no longer have to wonder or nag, I know immediately where a task stands. As someone who likes working autonomously, but still likes input and collaboration this system is awesome!

Always Know What To Do Next!

One of the core values of scrum is openness. With the JIRA board, using scrum, you have to be pretty open about what you are doing, what you have done, what is complete, and where anything stands. Additionally, you have a shared list of tasks to choose from called a backlog if you run out of tasks to do for a particular sprint— or period assigned to complete projects.

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Why is a backlog so helpful? It saves time— I don’t have to sit and brainstorm my next content piece or my next project it is right there for me.

A backlog also helps you on days when you aren’t feeling creative. In our marketing department, as we think of tasks we put them in the backlog. This makes it so if I’m not creative that day; I can pull up an old idea I cooked up and get started. This is great on two levels because it also helps me keep track of great ideas.

I’m one of those people that have a million ideas for projects and initiatives. Before scrum, I either forgot the ideas by the time I had a spare moment, or I filed it in a google document that I can’t find when it is time to get started. With scrum, if I have a new idea and don’t have time to prioritize it immediately it goes in the backlog with a clear description so it can get done when there is free time.

My Productivity Has Gone Up, Up, Up!

Using JIRA to track projects keeps you on track. You always know where you left off— check the in progress or to-do column! By not having to search for what to do next I can easily finish a project and jump to the next. This increase in productivity saves my company time and money.

By remembering innovative ideas, we don’t have to be creative from scratch. Again, this saves the company a lot of time and money because creativity isn’t just magical, it takes time and energy and effort to achieve.

What Are You Waiting For?

Learn more about scrum on our partner scrum.org’s website. You can also learn more about JIRA and how it helps the scrum process here.

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