Jira was introduced by Atlassian in 2002, and today it’s a robust project management tool used by almost 90,000 companies all over the world.
Jira comes in handy if you’re managing complex software development projects in environments that may change rapidly.
My teammates and I like to work with Jira because it’s an incredibly flexible tool. Companies operating in various industries that rely on software development (and let’s face it, practically all of them do) use Jira for different purposes ranging from issue tracking and project management to incident solving and customer support.
Jira is a feature-rich, highly customizable solution can be quickly transformed to match the changing needs of every organization with dedicated apps.
Welcome to Jira Apps
The popularity of Jira relies on its flexibility, but also its potential extension thanks to various apps.
Atlassian runs a Marketplace where Jira users can find free or paid apps that extend the functionalities of Jira and other Atlassian products. Instead of resorting to other software solutions, teams can get plenty of different features with Jira app.
Today, users can choose from more than 1500 dedicated apps for Jira and over 2000 apps made for other Atlassian products that are continually reviewed by the user community to ensure top value.
If you’re looking for an app but have no idea where to start, here’s an excellent guide to choosing the right Jira app from my colleague, Krzysztof.
In this article, I wanted to show you several areas in Jira that can get a serious boost if you pick the right apps that help to keep the entire organization’s workflow inside Jira.
Here are six most useful Jira apps that cover the following features:
- Project management
- Team process modeling
- Team collaboration
- Test management
Project management: Portfolio for Jira
This incredibly popular app was created by Atlassian. The tool is of great help for monitoring project development and planning it on a unique project timeline. The app also enables better team management by helping team leaders define the availability of teammates or assign various skills to individual team members. 16,000 downloads on the Atlassian Marketplace speak for themselves.
Reporting: eazyBI Reports and Charts for Jira
This app is a robust reporting solution that significantly expands the reporting functionalities in Jira. It allows users to model graphs and diagrams for data analysis that can be later easily added to dashboards for quicker access. The tool pulls data from standard Jira issues and custom fields, but it also allows importing information from sources like CSV, Excel, SQL, or REST.
Team process modeling: Jira Workflow Toolbox
Jira Workflow Toolbox is as a useful tool if you need advanced configuration of team workflows. You can set your validators based on regular Jira expressions, as well as a host of other practical post-functions. The app introduces calculated textual or numerical fields as well. To make the workflow mechanisms even more efficient, the app provides its users with project metadata that can be used for condition building or in JQL functions.
Communication: Jira Email This Issue
This app allows sending data featured in Jira issues in email messages according to user preferences to both internal and external receivers. You will get many configuration options for templates, as well as notification mechanisms or defined events in Jira. Users can also benefit from advanced processing features of incoming messages and fill in issue fields on their basis easily. In general, this app is just excellent if you’re looking for a tool for boosting email communication in a team that works with Jira.
Team collaboration: IssueSYNC
Keeping team workflows separate in different Jira instances make sense for many organizations. The difficult part is to make teams collaboration smooth and comfortable, as it’s essential for their productivity.
IssueSYNC enables automatic synchronization of issues between two Jira instances triggered by different Jira events like create or update issue. The synchronized data depends on individual preferences – you can define field and workflow mappings, but also enable attachment or comment synchronization. IssueSYNC also ensures the top security during synchronization, letting your team focus on relevant tasks.
Test management: TestFLO
Jira isn’t a dedicated testing solution, but it is an integrated platform where you can manage projects, users, and workflows in a single place. So instead of storing requirements in doc files, using a test management tool for test and defect tracking, you can keep it all in a single place. Teams that are used to Jira as their work environment will benefit from transforming it into a test management tool. TestFLO is an app that introduces test management to Jira, allowing for carrying out test cycles efficiently. The app offers the best integration with Jira when it comes to testing apps, enabling users to make the most of native Jira mechanisms. Moreover, TestFLO is an incredibly flexible app that can be customized to serve different testing processes.
Investing in Jira apps is a smart move. It’s thanks to these apps that you get to benefit from various functionalities in a single place.
Instead of acquiring new software solutions and training your team members, you can keep it all in Jira, the environment your team works with every day.
Have you got any questions about extending Jira with dedicated apps? Don’t hesitate to drop me a line or leave a comment here; I’m always happy to help organizations make the best choices for complementing Jira functionalities.
Did you enrich your Jira instance with a different app or feature? Share your experience in a comment to help the community learn more about the best practices in Jira project management.