Jira for
Agile Teams

Agility in Mind is a business agility transformation consultancy.

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Unlike technical training that starts with Jira and adapts it to agile, this training course is based on our experience in agile delivery and how we’ve adapted Jira to support this work. While the focus of the course is not to teach agile practices, these techniques will form the basis of the case study at the centre of the learning activity. Delegates will follow the scenario of bringing a new product to market with Scrum. As this project grows in complexity, delegates will use Kanban to manage operational tasks and explore a wide range of Jira techniques.

 

Learning Objectives

This course is designed to leave delegates more confident in five key areas:

1.     Defining projects in Jira for Scrum and Kanban.

2.     High-level planning and analysis using product backlogs and work items.

3.     Short term planning and task breakdown.

4.     Understanding how Jira supports forecasting, reporting and dashboards.

5.     Using Jira with multiple teams.

Audience, Pre-requisites and Assumed Knowledge

As an introduction-level course there is no assumed knowledge of Jira, and it can work well for teams that are new to agile or teams that are already experienced in this way of working . Typical attendees include:

  • Software development teams who use Scrum or Kanban, and are about to start using Jira.
  • Teams that already use Jira but want to get more out of it.
  • Teams that are not building software, but are providing other services including support, integration, or analysis.

There are a wide range of adaptations that can be made to this class to ensure that the learning is focused and relevant. Examples of adaptations available are:

  • Combining the course with our Introduction to Scrum or Effective use of Kanban classes: great for teams that are new to Jira as well as being new to agile ways of working.
  • Focused courses that only cover the workflows intended to be used by the team.

Approach

We are a friendly team of practitioners and we like to provide a personal level of support, before, during and after the class:

  • Pre-course reading designed to expose questions so that they can be explored in class.
  • Contact details allowing delegates to ask questions to the trainer before and after the class.
  • Access to a comprehensive set of guidance after the course so that delegates apply what has been learnt.
  • Digital course effectiveness surveys with results sent out to delegates and sponsors straight after the class.

Course Content

Product Kick-off

Teams will log into their accounts and learn the basics of Jira by creating a new project. The fundamentals of Scrum and Kanban will be defined, and their corresponding Jira templates will be discovered.

Scrum in Jira: Confluence integration, backlogs, sprint boards

Teams will simulate kicking off and building a new product using the scrum framework:

  • Creating a vision in Confluence and linking it to the Jira project.
  • Using product initiation workshops to create a product backlog.
  • Creating a sprint.
  • Estimating how many items may be delivered by doing a full task breakdown.
  • Running a sprint using the Scrum board to co-ordinate their activities.

Managing the Product Backlog: Task types, fields, multiple sprints and dashboards

Teams will learn how to use Jira to co-ordinate their analysis activities during Scrum delivery by creating a rolling backlog projection and managing their backlog refinement activities with the right fields. We’ll then see how to use Jira to establish an empirical approach to sprint planning and forecasting, creating a dashboard to maintain visibility.

Release planning: Jira versions, story points, report types, and dependencies

Teams will create a release plan and explore tools to track forecast delivery dates such as story point estimation, velocity, release reports, and burnup charts. Dependencies and other relationships between items will be tracked.

Kanban: using Jira Kanban templates, creating boards, advanced filters and queries

Teams will create a new project to handle a flow of work that doesn’t fit the Scrum template, instead using the Kanban template to model and support their process. Teams will learn how to use Jira to apply the five principles of Kanban:

  1. Make work visible: create a bespoke Kanban board based on simple filters or advanced JQL queries.
  2. Limit work in progress: apply minimum and maximum board limits.
  3. Help work flow: create exist criteria in confluence and apply Jira flags to highlight blockers.
  4. Use metrics to measure work: understand the control chart and cumulative flow diagrams.
  5. Continuous improvement: highlight the supporting role Jira plays in helping teams take control.

Agile at scale: Programme Kanban boards, multiple teams, simultaneous sprints

Worked examples of enterprise-scale agile delivery will be described, and practical solutions for establishing a pipeline of major enhancements that are progressed through to teams in large technology departments. The final exercise allows delegates to design and create multiple Jira projects to support their whole department’s flow of work.

Jira for Agile Teams Outcomes

Delegates will leave the course having directly applied all of the skills required to use Jira effectively, and will have an awareness of many of the common traps to be avoided. Delegates will know how to get started with all of the techniques needed to use Jira to support effective planning and execution of agile work.

Other related services include:

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