Using JIRA and Agile Project Management

Why Agile?

  • Better visibility (solves a lot of problems)
  • Better prioritisation
  • Less downtime between tasks
  • Improved Teamwork
  • More predictability - estimating the work you can do (can I do 8 things by next Friday?) over and over again you start to get a realistic understanding.

Creating tasks

What’s a task?

A task is something that takes more than 30 minutes to do (anything less is too small to write down). If it’s bigger than 30 mins it’s worth recording. Don’t make a task that takes more than 3 days (or even more than 1 day).

Waiting on others

Waiting is a good sign that your task is really 3 tasks. Write Blog Post becomes Write Draft > Review Draft > Revise Draft

How long will it take?

Estimating is hard. Jira uses “Story Points” not hours. 30mins = 1 story point (the smallest size task you put in Jira). 1 day = 16 points (8 hour day)

“Story point” is an agile concept. Avoiding estimating directly in hours avoids people from using it to judge performance (Didn’t complete a 30 min task? working too slow).

Scrum vs Kanban

Subsets of Agile. Scrum is used by teams with a target deadline they’re trying to work towards. The least important variable for a Scrub team is the quantity of work that gets done.

Kanban teams are like Scrum teams but without a target date. Support and Service teams. Work from a prioritised list as fast as you can. No plan mode, no sprints. Kanban doesn’t have a plan more (greyed out in JIRA).

Epics - Group together work of a certain theme. Like a tag.

A waiting task is really two tasks If you have to wait, split the task in two. You can’t control others time, so your part of the task is complete, the second part becomes a separate task.


Create a ton of tasks, put them in a Sprint, get those things done. Estimate how much work you can do in the next Sprint based on how much work you got done in the previous sprint.