Jira 101: Your guide to understanding Jira projects

by | Nov 23, 2022 | Jira

If you are reading this article, you are probably somewhat familiar with the concept of projects. Unrelated to the specific methodology or methodologies you might have been exposed to in your work, a project can be viewed as a series of tasks that need to be completed to achieve a specific outcome.

That outcome could be:

  • a mobile app,
  • a new website for a marketing agency,
  • migration of enterprise applications from one cloud provider to another.

Regardless of what a project is, there is always a set of defined tasks that need to be completed before we can get the outcome we expected at the beginning of the project. Jira projects are no different that, but they also provide a few extra features to help you make your projects successful.

Jira Project Components

A Jira project consists of a set of tasks. But on top of that, it also includes specific rules regarding the process that is followed to complete the tasks. It also adds consideration for people who are working on these tasks.

Hence, we can say that Jira projects consist of three components:

  • tasks (also called ‘issues’ in Jira terminology) which represent the work that needs to be done;
  • people who are working on those tasks;
  • workflows, which are sets of predefined steps and statuses that tasks go through. from creation to completion;

Let’s look at a couple of examples for each of the components.

Jira Tasks (Issues)

Tasks are the most obvious component. Assume the project is the creation of a website for an online store, and one of the requirements is allowing a user to have a wish list of products available in our store.

To meet that requirement, we need to write a code that will provide at least the following functionality:

  • Add item to the wish list;
  • Remove item from the wish list;
  • View wish list

Each of those three items represents a piece of development work that needs to happen to fulfill that requirement. In Jira, these three items will be represented by Jira issues.

Jira Users

No issue can be completed without someone doing the work necessary to complete the issue. During the lifetime of a Jira project, issues are assigned to people, team members, to work on them and to complete them.

For example, our developer Johnny will work on ‘Add item to wish list’ and ‘Remove item from the wish list’ issues, while Jenny will work on the ‘View wish list’ issue. People, Johnny and Jenny, who are working on issues and progressing them, are the second component of a Jira project.

Jira Workflows

At the beginning of the project, these issues are planned out and waiting to be done. They remain in ‘to-do’ status until someone starts working on them. It can take any number of days or weeks of work to complete each issue. During that time, an issue is considered to be in progress status. Once all the work is completed, the issue moves to Done status and ends its journey there.

The journey, or progress, from ‘to-do’; through ‘in-progress’ to ‘done’ is an example of a workflow, the third component of any Jira project.

This topic is covered in the beginner Jira course on Udemy.

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