Welcome to JIRA Software! This tutorial will help you set up your workspace, and create and edit a project for your team. To get your project up and running, we’ll also show you how to create, set up, and organize your scrum board.
By the end of this tutorial, you will have:
- Created a new software project
- Added users
- Prepared your backlog
- Started and completed a sprint
- Evaluated the results
But first, let’s set up your JIRA Software workspace.
Setting up your workspace
When setting up your JIRA Software workspace, you’ll need to do the following:
- Sign up for a JIRA Software site.
- Create your project.
- View your Scrum board.
Sign up for a JIRA Software site
If you want to install JIRA Software Server instead of signing up for JIRA Software Cloud, see these instructions: Installing Jira applications, then skip to the ‘Create a project’ step below.
You will need your own JIRA Software site for this tutorial. Let’s set you up with a JIRA Software Cloud site. Cloud is our hosted offering and will allow you to set up your own site without installing a thing! If you already have a site, you can skip this step.
Signing up for JIRA Software will provide you with a fully functional JIRA Software site for one month.
- Open this link in a new tab to view the Atlassian Cloud signup page.
- Follow the signup form steps to enter your site URL and administrator username.
- Once you have completed the signup process, grab a quick coffee (tea works as well!) — it takes about 10 minutes to create your JIRA Software Cloud site. You’ll receive an email when your Cloud site is ready.
Create your project
A JIRA Software project is a collection of issues and tools that allows your team to coordinate the development of a piece of software. Every project contains configurable boards and workflows that you can create and customize to fit your team’s workflows.
- Log in to your Cloud site using the link and credentials you set when you signed up. You’ll see the System Dashboard, as shown below.
- Choose Projects > Create project, and then select your project type. Typically, you would choose ‘Scrum software development’ for iteration planning, or ‘Kanban software development’ for constraint-based task management.
For this tutorial, let’s do Scrum since most software developers use scrum in agile projects.
- Choose Scrum software development > Next.
- In the Name field, enter Teams in Space.
- Choose Submit to create your new project.
View your Scrum board
A Scrum board is automatically created with your new project. Use your Scrum board to view and work on issues, such as new features or bugs. You can rank, view, edit, and track issues on your scrum board via the Backlog, Active sprints, and Reports. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss these three along the way.
This is what your Scrum board will look like:
Congratulations, you now know the basics of the JIRA Software interface, and have just created your first project! Let’s go ahead and customize it!
Customizing your project
JIRA Software makes it easy to customize your board to fit your workflow. In this step, let’s set up your software team, which will be the Teams in Space team. Teams in Space is an imaginary new company pioneering space travel for innovative travel providers.
A software team without any members just won’t cut it! Let’s go ahead and configure Teams in Space’s development team. The team consists of you (the manager) and two developers (Jennifer and Kevin).
- Choose >User management.
- Select Users.
- In the Create new users page, enter the following details for each user:
4. Click Create users.
Configure estimation and tracking
One of the first things you need to do for a new Scrum project is to configure estimation and tracking. This is essential for understanding how much work your team has and how much it can do, as you build a backlog, run sprints, and review reports.
Scrum teams use different methods to calculate the amount of work involved in completing an issue, and in turn, a sprint. Many teams separate estimation (used for measuring the amount of work in the backlog and calculating velocity) from tracking (used for measuring burndown of hours used during the sprint), using different units for each. For example, some teams estimate tasks in story points, then track tasks using hours.
In this tutorial, Teams in Space uses story points for both estimation and tracking, as per the instructions below.
- Navigate to the desired board, then click Board > Configure.
- Click the Estimation tab.
- In the Estimation Statistic field, select Story Points. Leave the Time Tracking field set to None.
Great! You’ve successfully added users and configured your project to use story points for estimates. Now, let’s work on your backlog!
Creating your backlog
Your backlog is a list of tasks that represents outstanding work in a project. Usually, a project would have issues in the backlog, and you can add these issues to a sprint so your team can work on them. Since Teams in Space is a new project, you won’t have issues on your backlog. Let’s create some work for your team.
How do I get to my board? If you navigate away from your board, you can easily return to it by selecting Boards from the top navigation menu, and selecting your board "Teams in Space" from the list of recent boards.
The Backlog gives you a place to organize your sprints. You can create new issues or sub-tasks, organize your backlog, create versions, organize via epics, and start sprints.
By default, any team member can create issues. In this tutorial, however, you will create all of the backlog issues.
- On the Teams in Space board, choose Create at the top of the screen.
Fill in the fields using the data shown below. Only the fields with * are mandatory.
- Project: Teams in Space
- Issue Type: Story
- Summary: Expand travel to destinations outside of The Solar System
- Priority: High
- Leave all other fields blank or at their default values.
- Choose Create to make a new issue. An issue key (TIS-1) is created for this issue, which comes in handy when searching for issues later.
Tip! If you select the Create another checkbox, JIRA Software will create your issue and automatically pre-populate a new 'Create Issue' dialog box with your previous issue details.
Add more issues
One issue isn’t enough to get your team working! Let’s add more issues so you can create and run a complete sprint. Create the following issues using the same steps as above.
|Story||Build out a local office on Mars||High|
|Story||Add support for teams larger than 20 people||High|
|Story||Next Generation version of SeeSpaceEZ travel platform||Low|
|Story||Plans for our Summer Saturn Sale||High|
|Story||Make working with our space travel partners easier||Low|
|Story||500 Error when requesting a reservation||Medium|
|Story||Requesting available flights is now taking > 5 seconds||Highest|
Great! Your backlog’s all set! Now, let’s plan some work for your developers to do!
Grooming your backlog
An essential part of agile is regularly “grooming” or reviewing the contents of your backlog, particularly before starting any new work.
Adjust your backlog
Before starting your sprint, you need to prepare your backlog. You can easily adjust your backlog by:
- Right-clicking on issues to view, estimate, or add details
- Ranking your issues by dragging and dropping
- Creating new issues
- Editing an issue using the issue detail view
Now, let’s add some estimates to the issues in our backlog. This way, you can easily determine what you can accomplish, and your team can also have a way of measuring the success of the sprint.
- On the Teams in Space board, select Backlog.
- Select each issue on the left-hand side of the screen to display the issue details on the right-hand side of the screen.
- Click the Estimate field on the right-hand side of the screen for each of the issues, and enter the following information for each issue:
|Expand travel to destinations outside of The Solar System||6|
|Build out a local office on Mars||2|
|Add support for teams larger than 20 people||4|
|Next Generation version of SeeSpaceEZ travel platform||3|
|Plans for our Summer Saturn Sale||8|
|Make working with our space travel partners easier||16|
|500 Error when requesting a reservation||6|
|Requesting available flights is now taking > 5 seconds||4|
Rank the backlog
By default, the issues in your backlog are ranked in the order in which you added them. You can change the rank of your issues according to their relative priority. This helps you organize the issues in your backlog more effectively.
Rankings let you determine whether an issue is more important or urgent than another issue. For example, you may have two separate issues that are both of ‘High’ priority. Using JIRA Software ranking, you can assign one of the issues a higher ranking than the other.
- Find issue TIS-8 in your backlog. This issue has the ‘Highest’ priority, and therefore should be at the top of your backlog.
- Select TIS-8 and drag it to the top.
- Move issues TIS-2 and TIS-5 to positions two and three in the backlog. These issues have ‘High’ priority, but they’re not as high a priority as TIS-8.
Great! You’ve just groomed your backlog. Now, let’s plan out the details of your sprint!
Planning your sprint
A sprint is a short period (ideally two to four weeks) during which a development team implements and delivers a discrete product increment, e.g. a working milestone version. In this tutorial, your team will be working in two-week long sprints. Let’s go ahead and create a sprint for your team.
Before creating and starting a sprint, your Scrum team would typically hold a sprint planning meeting. In this meeting, your team should:
- Review the estimates for selected issues
- Break down the selected issues into an initial list of sprint tasks
- Consider upcoming employee time-off, holidays, and other issues that may impact the completion of these sprint tasks
- Gauge the team’s capacity team to complete these sprint tasks
By the end of the meeting, your team should be confident enough to commit to completing the work in the sprint.
In this tutorial, we will assume that the Teams in Space team can handle 20 story points of work in a sprint, and that everyone is available for the full sprint. Typically, you would know how much work your team can complete in a sprint by reviewing information from past sprints, usually through velocity and sprint reports.
Need help scheduling? By using JIRA Software in tandem with Confluence, you can embed your sprints using Team Calendars for Confluence. This helps you see the duration of your sprint and how your team's availability or other team events could impact the sprint.
Create a sprint
- On the Teams in Space board, click Backlog.
- Click Create Sprint at the top of the Backlog.
- Your new upcoming sprint will be added to your board, below any other future sprints. Select the Sprint 1 text and edit the name of the sprint to ‘Spring Cleanup’.
- The top 4 issues in the Backlog are equal to 20 story points. This is what the team estimated that they could accomplish in the upcoming sprint. Drag and drop the top four issues from the Backlog into your new sprint.
Streamline your work By connecting your JIRA Software instance to a Confluence instance, you can link Confluence pages to your sprints via JIRA Software to build stronger user stories and to better plan for sprints or releases. For example, you may want to write up the sprint meeting notes in Confluence and link them to the sprint.
Start your sprint
Now that you have created a sprint, you can go ahead and start it.
- Click Start Sprint.
- Today’s date and current time become the start date and time for the sprint. For the purpose of this tutorial, enter an end date of 5 minutes from the start date and time.
- Select Start to start the sprint and move the issues into Active sprints.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully got Teams in Space up and running! Now, let’s look at Active sprints to track your team’s progress.
Tracking your progress
During your sprint, you and your team will need to monitor your progress to make sure that everyone is on the same page. There are several tools that you can use to do this, which are described below.
The Active sprints page is where you monitor the progress of your team’s work during a sprint. Here, your team can transition issues through a series of columns (statuses), allowing everyone to quickly visualize the progress being made in the sprint. You can also edit issues by adding information, such as descriptions, attachments, and comments.
More about Active sprints Issues that you ranked higher in your backlog appear at the top of the column, to make it easier for users to select the most important issue to work on.
During the sprint, let’s say your team was only able to finish three issues, TIS-1, TIS-2, and TIS-5. Issue TIS-8 remains in the ‘To Do’ column since no team member was able to work on the issue. Let’s show on the board what happened during the sprint by transitioning issues from one column to another.
- On the Teams in Space board, click Active sprints.
- Select TIS-5 and move the issue to the ‘In Progress’ column.
- Select TIS -5, TIS-2,and TIS-1, and then move the issues to the ‘Done’ column.
Tip! Use <Ctrl> or <Shift> to select multiple issues, and then drag and drop the issues to a column.
View the Burndown Chart
You’ve just seen how your team is progressing, from the Active sprints of your board. The Burndown Chart is another useful tracking tool, which can help you visualize your team’s progress, as well as determine whether your team is on target to achieve the sprint goal.
- On the Teams in Space board, click Reports.
- Select Burndown Chart.
The grey line in your Burndown Chart is a guide showing the rate of work required to complete the sprint. The red line, on the other hand, shows the actual work completed by your team.
If your Burndown Chart shows the red line above the grey line, your team may not achieve the sprint goal. You may want to consider removing some issues from the sprint. Any changes to scope (e.g. issues added to sprint, issues removed from sprint) are shown in the table below the graph.
Well done! You now know how to track the progress of your team’s sprints! Next, let’s wrap up your work!
Wrapping up your work
After your team finishes the work in a sprint, you and your team can then perform a retrospective of the sprint. Sprint retrospectives help determine where the team succeeded, and where improvements can be made. The more sprints completed by your team, the more data you can use to find significant areas for improvement.
End the sprint
Once your team reaches the end date of the sprint, you need to end the sprint — regardless if this means some issues in the sprint are not yet completed.
- On the Teams in Space board, click Active sprints.
- Select Spring Cleanup from the Active sprints drop-down.
- Click Complete Sprint. The Complete Sprint dialog box will be displayed, showing the number of issues that are completed in the sprint, and the number of issues that were not completed.
In this case, the incomplete issues are moved to the backlog. However, if you had more sprints planned, then they would be moved to the next planned sprint. Note, you can always add issues that are returned to the backlog to another sprint, if you wish.
View the Sprint Report
After a sprint, your team can hold a sprint retrospective meeting, to determine your wins for the sprint, as well as point out the potential areas of improvement that your team can tackle in future sprints. You can use the Sprint Report during sprint retrospective meetings to do this.
The Sprint Report shows a status list of issues in each sprint. It also provides a breakdown of the progress, status, and estimation information for each issue. You can also use the Sprint Report to perform progress checks in the middle of a sprint.
- On the Teams in Space board, click Reports.
- Select Sprint Report from the Reports drop-down.
- Select Sprint 1 from the Sprint Report drop-down.
Looking for more reports? There are many other reports available for your team to use in the Reports page. You can also create your own reports, or use reports in the Atlassian Marketplace.
Other tools you can use
Other useful tools can give your team a better visual of the improvement areas – and more importantly, these tools can help your team figure out action plans for these areas. For this tutorial, some of the tools you may want to use are:
- Velocity Chart
- Release Hub
You can use the Velocity Chart to track the amount of work your team completes from sprint to sprint. Using the Velocity Chart lets you predict a more realistic amount of work that your team can commit in future sprints.
- On the Teams in Space board, click Reports.
- Select Velocity Chart from the Reports drop-down.
Aside from using reports (like the Sprint Report and Velocity Chart), you can also monitor the progress of a version after you complete a sprint. Monitoring a version’s progress helps you see problems early, as well as determine the likelihood of releasing a version on time.
One more step to go! Let’s look at some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of JIRA Software.
Doing more with your agile projects
Want to become a JIRA Software ninja? Take a look at these advanced topics!
A workflow is a set of statuses and transitions that an issue goes through during its lifecycle. JIRA Software makes it easy to create and edit workflows that fit your team’s needs. Click here for more information on creating and editing workflows.
JIRA Software can be connected to a range of development tools, such as repository managers, code review applications, and build and deployment managers. These tools can help you keep your project tracking in sync with your development work. Click here for more information on integrating development tools.
Email other JIRA users a link to an issue either by sharing the issue with them, or by mentioning them in an issue’s Description or Comment field. See Editing and collaborating on issues for more information on notifications in JIRA Software.
Customize issue cards for your boards to bring the right information to your team’s attention at a glance.You can change the card colors to help people quickly identify cards on your board as being of a particular issue type, priority, assignee, or any JQL that you want. Click here for more information on custom cards.
You can link your JIRA Software instance to a Confluence instance to create and link Confluence pages to your sprints andepics. For example, you can link your sprint meeting notes in Confluence directly to the relevant sprint. This makes it easy for your team to quickly share information about the sprint. Click on sprints or epics for more information on linking your project to Confluence.
A wallboard runs on a wall display and is used to monitor vital data about a project’s progress. You can use wallboards to share information with your team during stand-ups. You can also add gadgets to a wallboard – make sure to add gadgets that are useful to your team, such as a gadget that displays the status of a sprint, including issue status, time remaining, and build status. Click here for more information on creating wallboards and setting up other gadgets for JIRA Software.
So that’s it — we hope this guide has helped you get a feel for JIRA Software. You can continue your training by completing the Getting started as a JIRA Software user tutorial, checking out our documentation, or visiting our community on Atlassian Answers for more information.