Using JIRA for Agile Planning
Killer Features for Agile Planning
Agile teams flex and adapt over time, and no two Agile teams are exactly the same. GreenHopper is an Agile tool that is as light and adaptable as your team and process - the last thing you want is a tool that gets in your way.
This section illustrates why JIRA with GreenHopper is a powerful, flexible tool for ordering the backlog, planning sprints, managing daily work, tracking progress, and communicating with stakeholders - for Scrum, Kanban, or any hybrid Agile team.
Virtual Index Cards
Managing an Agile project with paper index cards is can be difficult - you don't have automated reporting, visibility for distributed teams or an audit trail. Virtual index cards:
- Keep distributed teams up to date
- Enable automated reporting
- Are high contrast and visible using JIRA Wallboards
GreenHopper takes virtual cards to the next level with drag and drop ordering of stories and inline editing for speedy estimation sessions.
GreenHopper for Scrum Teams
Scrum teams are characterised by the use of timeboxed iterations, or sprints, when planning work. As work takes place in a sprint the team will estimate stories using Story Points or Hours and then plan those stories in a sprint backlog. The Product Owner will have ordered the stories in the product backlog prior to a sprint planning and estimation session with the team.
In GreenHopper the product owner orders stories on the backlog by dragging and dropping them. The product owner will also drag the sprint marker to the teams historical velocity to identify the amount of work the team may be able to complete in the next sprint.
The team will use walk though the sprint backlog and make a commitment once they are satisfied with the sprint backlog. Sprints can incorporate stories from one or more JIRA Projects enabling one team to, for instance, plan work for multiple products or clients.
GreenHopper for Kanban Teams
Kanban teams are characterised by a focus on the flow of work across the board. Kanban teams want to visualise the workflow, minimise the work in progress and continually improve their process to get work completed with minimum waste. For instance, Kanban teams often eschew estimation as they consider it waste.
GreenHopper allows a product owner to order their product backlog and enables the team to start pulling work off the top of the backlog immediately. The team may split the board into multiple swimlanes to allow them to visualise those issues which are high priority, in this example we see an Expedite swimlane configured for those issues that are Critical or Blocker.
Kanban teams will leverage the cumulative flow chart to help them minimise the work in progress. A cumulative flow chart displayed on a JIRA Wallboard is an early warning indicator for when the work in progress starts to grow - usually a sign that team members are taking on multiple stories at once and introducing the cost of context switching, another common area of waste in Agile teams.
ScrumMasters, Product Owners and Team Leads will utilise the reports that GreenHopper provides to track the progress of the team, identify impediments and work to resolve blockers.
The Story Point Burndown Chart provides the team an indication of how they are progressing towards their sprint goal.
The Cumulative Flow Chart displays how the amount of work in progress changes over time, allowing the ScrumMaster to identify bottlenecks.
The Control Chart displays the average time it takes an issue - Story, Bug or Task for instance - to go from To Do to Done. Kanban teams use contol charts to track the cycle time over time, this is a good proxy for velocity as they do not have timeboxed iterations.