4 ways to improve communication using Jira

Agile & DevOps, Atlassian

20 May 2019 • 9 min read

    Efficient team communication is one of the most important factors that influence the quality of work the team delivers. Even with the best employees on board, work may become difficult and results may be  unmeasurable without the proper flow of information.  

    It’s important that managers take extra care of the team communication. In fact, it should be one of their most important tasks.

    Good communication has a positive impact on the moods of people working in an enterprise, or in a project. It promotes positive attitudes and prevents stressful situations or conflicts.

    The right communication throughout entire lifecycle of a product or service affects the final outcome. It is connected to the efficiency of work which consequently impacts the two most important factors in today’s world: money and time. A project without efficient communication can drag on or never reach completion, causing our budget to suffer. Only appropriately managed team members will communicate effectively with each other.

    Besides healthy interpersonal relationships, you can use access tools to plan your work. One of them is Jira which allows for easy communication and provides many useful statistics.

    If you don’t know what Jira is, look here.

    1. Understandable and clearly written tasks

    One of the most important elements that facilitate the team’s work is writing down tasks clearly and transparently. This is a very important factor in communication. If tasks are only discussed and not written down anywhere, it’s easy to forget about them. Managers often use the SMART principle when writing down tasks. That way, even the people who missed the meeting know how to perform a task and what results are expected. Applying this principle focuses people on the objective and allows them to do the job as best as possible instead wasting time on asking questions. In Jira, simply press the “Create” button and add the task’s name, description, and even subtasks if needed.

    2. Estimating time

    Another element that helps to build better communication is correct estimation of the time required to complete specific tasks. It’s important to determine it accurately. If a team has been completing similar tasks regularly, then use your experience to tell how much time is needed for a given task. However, when dealing with a new task, it’s worth consulting with people who have already completed it. In both cases, discuss it with your team – it will help you is estimating tasks more accurately. All the votes in this matter should be taken into account because the estimation increases the efficiency and predictability of the team’s work.

    3. Prioritization

    The next step to effective communication is  prioritization. If the team has many tasks to complete, it’s important that they do it in the right order. This prevents unnecessary chaos, so that employees first deal with the tasks that have the highest priority – which often translates into the highest value.

    4. Adding tasks status

    The last element important to team communication is adding the right status of tasks. That’s where the Kanban board which is available in Jira can be very helpful. Dividing tasks into columns marked as “to do”, “in progress” and “done” affects the team transparency. You can quickly find the task you still need to do. It’s also important to keep an order on the board. If the tasks that aren’t fully implemented, placing them in “done” column will have an impact on the overall project statistics and team transparency. Statuses help managers to control the project’s progress. In Jira, drag and drop can be used to change the status of a task easily.

    Communication between two Jira instances isn’t a problem  

    These methods for improved communication describe the situation where a team works on one Jira instance. However, what happens when we work with a client who uses their own Jira application? Communication can become even more difficult. In this situation, it’s necessary to ensure that the two parties are properly informed about the shared tasks. It often means copying tasks from one application to another. That takes a lot of time and requires frequent updates to ensure that task statuses are accurate.

    However, there exists a solution to this problem: IssueSYNC, an app that can integrate two separate Jira instances, allowing for automatic ticket synchronization.

    This solution will help your team in boosting their communication.

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