JIRA Project Management – how it can help digital agencies?

Is JIRA right tool for project management and how it can support digital agencies? Check in our subjective overview followed by the example.

Silverlining Technologies is Atlassian Products consultancy company. In these articles we will be writing how different products delivered by Atlassian can help boost productivity, predictibility and scalability of business operations and goals. No matter if your company is from IT sector or maybe from medicine or advertising sector – Atlassian’s products are suitable for each size of the business. They are great for different type of businesses too.

 

We start from explanation what is project management and then we will move to give you an overview of JIRA project management. This means we will refer to the concept of JIRA as a single, one fit for all type of tool you can use to manage your different type of projects.

 

Then we will move to explain specifically why JIRA project management can be of help for digital agencies specifically. We will do it to break overall market assumption (which is slowly being removed) that JIRA is good and suitable only for software development teams. Finally we will show you some usefull cases which hopefully will be handy for you and your digital agency team to consider when implementing or customizing JIRA. So let’s start!

 

What is project management?

Project management is a discipline. It is organized approach to the way how team or company start the project, plan it, deliver and control each stage of the project. Project management is all about time, scope and budget. Successfull project is the one which is delivered within the budget, agreed scope and on time. It is tricky to make sure that this is the case because there are a lot of factors which influence and impact project delivery. It vary from the size of the project too. That is why companies use skilled project managers who knows methodologies and frameworks for managing the project to deliver and mitigate the issues. That is also why companies use tools which suport all team members working on the project in following some organized, clear work flow to plan, review and deliver the work outcome(s).

 

What is JIRA Project Management?

JIRA Project Management is a term you can use to describe the managerial approach which is consist of the tool and the framework or methodology. JIRA software is a project management tool which was created several years ago by Australian based company – Atlassian. It was firstly created purely for software development teams, but then over the time it evolved into end to end solution for teams from different sectors and backgrounds. These days JIRA is used to manage projects not only in IT sector companies but also in media and advertising sector (The Telegraph, Yellow Pages Group) as well as digital media sector (Twitter, Virgin Media).

JIRA software is powerful because it comes with a range of highly customizable features. If you are looking to have a tool which will adjust to your organization needs and specifics then JIRA is good for you. You don’t sign up for something where your organization need to adjust, it’s vise versa and this is whole beauty of it. If you would like to create project related and dedicated teams and invite your external client to the project – you can do it with JIRA. If you would like to seperate different type of users access to specific project(s) you can do it with JIRA. If you are looking for a very custom list of issue types you can do it with JIRA. Last but not least the most interesting part is with different type of projects you can select to use to manage your client’s or internal projects (i.e. software development type of project, business type of project etc.). Depending the project type you will select to go ahead with you can configure board where you will get quick access preview and overview of what is happening either in your team active sprint or inside of the product release the team is working on.

 

Let’s look at how JIRA project management is used at UK based digital agency

Digital Agency Overview:

This UK based agency provide full end to end services for software development (websites, e-shops) and online marketing. They specialize in external software integration and most of their clients come from healthy, fitness and booking type of businesses. The agency was using other too before and decided to transition it’s business to JIRA software. They needed help to get JIRA and Confluence customized and train the team how to use it.

 

Agency needs:

  • Separate different group of users from accessing and seeing projects they are not working on
  • Create custom workflows for different type of issue which are groupped into the operational areas
  • Introduce Scrum for all software development projects
  • Create  Knowledge base per project

 

Solution:

Silverlining Technologies helped to determine the overall structure of the team members and their roles inside of JIRA system. We have been working with the client to understand who is working on which project, create team matrix and assign roles. From this place we managed to asses what permissions each team member will have going forward. Next area we looked at was service offering from the agency – we wanted to understand what type of services this digital agency provide and how then can be converted/translated inside of the JIRA tool in order to suport daily operations for each service. This resulted in predefined list of different areas (i.e. SEO, Content, Display Ads, Email Marketing, UI Design etc.) which were implemented inside of JIRA. Each of this different service received dedicated screen inside of the system together with dedicated (customized) fields being displayed on this screen. This way we made sure that the information provided and gathered for specific service are the only one relevant for this service. Finally we have customized Dashboards to display the info and reports on the ongoing work on the JIRA home screen. Each JIRA Dashboard has slightly different purpose and was targeted to different type of user. There was one for non technical/business users who just wanted to quickly see where is the project and what are the plans for upcoming week. The other was more hands on dashboard for people working in the project so they can check how the original estimates given in the project were met once the project was kicked off. We have implemented revised version of Blog Post and Website Content Workflow which suport digital agencies in managing content creation tasks inside of each project.

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