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4 Common Jira Challenges and How to Overcome Them

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Introduction

As a system admin or a project manager you often find yourself torn between management requirements and users who find the tools not as comfortable as they would like them to be. Jira is without a doubt a tool that can raise mixed emotions among users. Lucky for you, most of the users’ challenges can be easily handled.

 

1. Complex workflows and too many required fields

The challenge:

The most common challenge users experience when working with Jira is complex workflows. Many project managers love to stay in control and with Jira’s capabilities it’s quite easy to do; You make users fill required fields, add screens and validations between status changes and in no time you have created the most complex workflow ever! Congrats! But hey –  what about the end users?

Can we handle it?

When creating workflows, plan ahead, stop every few minutes and think how would you feel if you had to pass this workflow for every issue. Create simple workflows that have minimum requirements from the end user. If possible, assemble the required fields into one screen before closing an issue. Trying to think like users will help you find many non required fields that can be removed from the system. Win win situation.

 

2. The many views confuse users

The challenge:

Putting aside addons that enable more issue views, any Jira user can view a single issue on several different screens; An issue can be opened on a full screen view, or as a ticket with some details on a board. Also, it can be viewed on a quick view on your board or in a search query with defined fields. Different views can cause confusion between team members, who may miss critical information if working with a view different from the other team members.

Can we handle it?

If you are working with a board, I would suggest fitting the quick view to provide the needed details so it will provide the best view for your needs and everyone will be able to work inboard mode. If it’s not possible and working in board mode will not be sufficient, you can make it a collaborative team decision which view they all agree to work with.

 

3. Excel is still required; Jira cannot provide me everything I need

The challenge:

Many times, project managers can find themselves looking at Jira and trying to figure out how to do a simple thing but just cannot. It may also be a simple automation that you thought should be integrated into any Jira project yet it seems Atlassian does not agree with that.

Can we handle it?

Yes, there are things that you can’t do in Jira such as calculation of velocity by team vacations, or mixed reports of story points and time estimation combined. yet, in most cases you can extract everything from Jira. You just need to know where to look; As stated on issue #2 above, there are many ways to view issues and there are many ways to find what you are looking for. Even if Jira wasn’t able to provide what you needed, in most cases you can easily find an addon for this purpose.

 

4. It takes a lot of time to load pages

The problem:

When working with Jira on a daily basis you may feel that Jira becomes slower over time; It takes more time to load pages and extract queries; Editing issues may take more time to perform and the frustration makes you use Jira less and less.

Can we handle it?

The most common reason for  slowing down is too many admin privileges and uncontrolled changes. The first thing you want to do is  removing privileges from users that don’t need them. If they need an extended super user then create one but don’t give them admin. The 2nd step is to remove addons that are not in use and make it a difficult process to request more addons. Let good old bureaucracy help you. Next you need to remove and unite as much custom fields as possible. Then do the same with the workflows. In most cases you can use the same workflows and similar fields for at least 80% of your projects.

 

Conclusion

Jira doesn’t come with a manual for best practices, but still, it is expected from you, as a project manager or as a system administrator to know it all. There is a huge database of answers online, but if you can’t find what you needed, you can always contact an expert. if your team experiences difficulties or you have found other solutions for the mentioned problems, please share with us in the comment section below.

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