What is Jira?
Jira Software is built for every member of your software team to plan, track, and release great software. Jira is the number one software used by Agile teams in the world. Jira can be tailored to fit different organisational structures and is highly customisable.
It is mainly used for software development to track and manage the development progress, but has continued to expand to other teams and functions in businesses. The product was developed an Australian company called Atlassian. It provides bug tracking, issue tracking and project management functions.
There are three main parts of Jira. The first is Jira Core and it is intended for project management. The second is Jira Software - this includes the base software with the agile project management features. Finally there is Jira Service Desk and this is used by IT or business service desks. Jira integrates with source control programs such as Clearcase, Git, Mercurial, Perforce, Concurrent Versions Systems and Team Foundation server.
Another great feature of Jira is real time reporting. The real time data allows people to act fast on improvements along the process of your project.
What is Agile?
Jira supports all Agile use cases, whether that is Scrum, Kanban or another view of Agile. You can plan, manage and track all your agile software development projects in Jira.
Atlassian gives us a great, succinct explanation of Agile:
"Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of betting everything on a "big bang" launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments. Requirements, plans, and results are evaluated continuously so teams have a natural mechanism for responding to change quickly."
What is an Epic?
An agile epic is a body of work that can be broken down into specific tasks (called user stories) based on the needs/requests of customers or end-users. It may take several sprints to complete the work that sits under an epic.
What is a User Story?
A user story is an informal, general explanation of a software feature written from the perspective of the end user. Its purpose is to articulate how a software feature will provide value to the customer. It helps create a simplified description of the requirement from the user story. A standard user story uses the following structure:
As a user
I want to be able to click this button
So that I can get a result
This format can be described simply as 'persona + need + purpose.'
As an Atlassian Partner, LPS encourages our staff to be skilled in this tool as it is becoming more common to use it on client site. The software is used all over the world and has a rapidly growing presence in New Zealand, as well as Australia where it originally was created.