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Welcome to JIRA Agile 101, an introductory guide to the JIRA Agile add-on for JIRA and a tour of the most interesting JIRA Agile features. Use this page to guide your evaluation process or quickly get up to speed with JIRA Agile.

The intended audience for this document is software developers who are familiar with Agile methodologies.

You may also like to watch the JIRA Agile 6 video.

Getting Started

First things first. If you haven't already got the JIRA Agile add-on up and running, carry out the following steps.

1. Installing JIRA Agile

 Installing the JIRA Agile add-on: (click to expand)

(warning) If you are using JIRA Cloud, you can skip this section. JIRA Agile OnDemand can be added to your account by configuring your subscription at http://my.atlassian.com.

  1. Log in to JIRA as a user with the 'JIRA System Administrators' global permission.
  2. Click the 'cog' icon on the top bar (or click Administation if using an older version of JIRA) and select Add-ons. The Universal Plugin Manager (UPM) page will be displayed.
  3. On the Find new add-ons page, type 'JIRA Agile' in the search box.
  4. The JIRA Agile add-on will appear in the list below the search box. Click the Install button. A confirmation message and the add-on details will display, if it is installed successfully.

 Entering your JIRA Agile License: (click to expand)

(warning) If you are using JIRA Cloud, you can skip this section. You may order and manage your JIRA Agile OnDemand license by logging into your account at http://my.atlassian.com.

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA System Administrators global permission.
  2. Click the 'cog' icon on the top bar (or click Administation if using an older version of JIRA) and select Add-ons. The Universal Plugin Manager (UPM) page will be displayed.
  3. On the Purchased Add-ons page, click Check for Purchases then locate JIRA Agile.
  4. Click the Manage button. The details for the JIRA Agile add-on will display.
    (info) Your Support Entitlement Number (SEN) is also shown on this screen.
  5. Paste your license into the License Key field and click Update.
    (info) You can copy your JIRA Agile license from https://my.atlassian.com, where you can either generate a new Evaluation License Key, or retrieve your old License Key if you already have one.

(info) For more information please see Specifying your License Details.

 Adding Users: (click to expand)

(warning) If your team members already have JIRA user logins, skip this section.

To add JIRA users:

  1. Select Administration in the top navigation bar.
  2. Select Users > Users, then click Add User.
  3. Enter the Username, Password, Full Name and Email Address; and (optionally) tick the box to send the user an email containing their account details. Then click Add.
    (info) For more details, please see the JIRA documentation on Managing Users.
  4. The User Browser will be displayed. Locate the new user and click the Groups link in the Operations column.
  5. Select the jira-developers group and click Join.

2. Getting Started: Scrum

Scrum is generally used by development teams who follow a roadmap of planned features for upcoming versions of their product. Scrum teams work in sprints.

 Creating a Scrum Board: (click to expand)
  1. Click the Agile menu in the top navigation bar. The Getting Started page will appear.
  2. On the Scrum tab,
    • If someone has already created a Scrum board for you to use, click Open an existing board (in step 2).
    •  Otherwise:
      • If you already have a JIRA project in which to store your Agile tasks, click create a new Scrum board (in step 2). Otherwise, click create a new project and board (in step 1). Type a descriptive Name and unique Key for your project, and select the Project Lead (that is, the person who will manage this project).
        (info) Note that you will need the 'Administer Project' permission  and the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission in order to create a JIRA project. If you don't have these permissions, you will need to ask your JIRA administrator to create a project for you. For more details, please see the JIRA documentation on Defining a Project.
      • Enter the name of your new board, and select the project(s) you wish to work on.
        (info) Note that you will need the JIRA 'Create Shared Objects' global permission in order to create a board.

For more information, please see Creating a Board.

 Configuring Estimation & Tracking: (click to expand)

Many Scrum teams estimate stories in Story Points, then track tasks using hours. JIRA Agile therefore gives you the flexibility to set your estimation and tracking statistics differently, depending on what best suits your team. By default, your Scrum board will use Story Points for estimation, and will also use Story Points for tracking.

To use hours (instead of Story Points) for tracking:

  1. Select Agile > Manage Boards from the top navigation bar.
  2. On the Manage Boards screen, click the Configure link corresponding to the board of interest.
  3. On the B oard Configuration screen, click the Estimation and Tracking tab.
  4. In the Time Tracking field, select Remaining Estimate and Time Spent.

For more information, please see Configuring Estimation and Tracking.

... or ...

Getting Started: Kanban

 Creating a Kanban Board: (click to expand)
    1. Click the Agile menu in the top navigation bar. The Getting Started page will appear.
    2. On the Kanban tab,
      • If someone has already created a Kanban board for you to use, click Open an existing board (in step 2).
      • Otherwise:
        • If you already have a JIRA project in which to store your Agile tasks, click create a new Kanban board (in step 2). Otherwise, click create a new project and board (in step 1). Type a descriptive Name and unique Key for your project, and select the Project Lead (that is, the person who will manage this project).
          (info) Note that you will need the 'Administer Project' permission  and the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission in order to create a JIRA project. If you don't have these permissions, you will need to ask your JIRA administrator to create a project for you. For more details, please see the JIRA documentation on Defining a Project.
        • Enter the name of your new board, and select the project(s) you wish to work on.
          (info) Note that you will need the JIRA 'Create Shared Objects' global permission in order to create a board.
Creating a Board

For more information, please see Creating a Board.

 Setting Column Constraints: (click to expand)

Constraints specify how many issues a column can contain. If the constraint for a column is exceeded, the constraint will be highlighted in red.

To set constraints based on the number of issues in a given column:

  1. Select Agile > Manage Boards from the top navigation bar.
  2. On the Manage Boards screen, click the Configure link corresponding to the board of interest.
  3. On the Board Configuration screen, click the Columns tab.
  4. In the Column Constraint drop-down, select Issue Count.
  5. To set the columns Max constraint, click the red box at the top of the column, type the new value and press the Enter key. E.g. if your business practice is to have no more than 5 issues 'In Progress' at any one time, you would specify 5.
  6. Click the Use Board button (at the top of the page). Your board will refresh with the column constraint applied. If the total number of issues in that column exceeds the maximum capacity, the column will be highlighted in red.

For more information, please see Configuring Columns.

 

From here on, everything is done on your board.

Planning your Work

3.  Creating an Issue

  To log one or more new issues/cards: (click to expand)
  1. Click Create Issue at the top of the screen.

  2. Enter your issue details into the 'Create Issue' dialog box.
    (tick) If you select the Create another check box, JIRA will create your issue and automatically pre-populate a new 'Create Issue' dialog box with your previous issue details, while leaving the Summary field blank. This allows you to rapidly create a series of issues with similar details.
    (tick) If you wish to choose which fields will appear when you create (or edit) an issue, click the Configure Fields button.

For more information, please see Creating an Issue.

4. Ranking Issues

Scrum teams typically try to rank items in their backlog in the order they should be implemented, starting from the top. Kanban teams (which do not have a backlog) organise their To Do column in the same way.

 To rank (prioritise) issues in your project (click to expand):

In Plan mode (if you are using Scrum):

  1. Select Plan mode on your preferred board.
  2. Rank an issue by dragging and dropping it to a higher or lower position within the backlog.

For more information, please see Ranking an Issue .

... or ...

In Work mode (if you are using Kanban):

  1. Select Work mode on your preferred board.
  2. Rank an issue by dragging and dropping it to a higher or lower position within its current column (highest priority at top).
 

5. Estimating Issues (Scrum)

 To enter Estimates for your issues (click to expand):
  1. Select Plan mode on your preferred board.
  2. Click each issue (story) on the left-hand side of the screen to display its details on the right-hand side of the screen.
  3. Enter an Estimate for each story by clicking the Estimate field on the right-hand side of the screen. For more information, please see Estimating an Issue.

 

6. Starting a Sprint (Scrum)

Once you have ranked and estimated your issues, you are ready to start a sprint.

 To create and start a new sprint (click to expand):
  1. Select Plan mode on your preferred board.
  2. Click Create Sprint at the top of the backlog.
  3. Your new 'upcoming' sprint will be added to your board, below any other future sprints. If you wish, you can edit the name, start date and end date.
  4. Drag-and-drop the relevant issues into your new sprint (see Adding an Issue to a Sprint).
  5. Click Start Sprint.
    (info) You will need to have the JIRA 'Project Administrator' permission in the project(s) whose issues are to be included in the new sprint.
    (info) If you do not have an estimation statistic applied to an issue, you will receive a warning when starting the sprint (unless you are using Issue Count, as this is calculated automatically).
  6. The issues will move into Work mode.

For more information, please see Starting a Sprint.

Working on Issues

7. Viewing your "To Do" List

 To view work-in-progress (click to expand):
  1. Select Plan mode on your preferred board.
  2. To see only the issues that are assigned to you, click the Only My Issues button.

For more information, please see Using Work Mode.

8. Filtering Issues

You can use Quick Filters to filter issues on-the-fly, enabling you for example to only see issues of a particular type (such as 'Bug').

 To create a new Quick Filter for your board: (click to expand)
  1. On your preferred board, select Tools > Configure.
  2. On the Board Configuration screen, click the Quick Filters tab.
  3. In the Name field, enter Bugs only (or whatever is appropriate for your needs).
  4. In the JQL field, enter type = bug (or whatever is appropriate for your needs).
  5. Click the Add button, then click Use.
  6. Your board will now have a new button for your new Quick Filter.

For more details, please see Configuring Quick Filters.

 9. Transitioning Issues through Statuses

 To move an issue from one column (JIRA status) to the next (click to expand):
  1. Select Work mode on your preferred board.
  2. Drag and drop the desired card(s) to the column that matches the status to which you want to assign the issue(s).
    (warning) If moving an issue causes a constraint to be exceeded, the affected constraint will be displaed in red (maximum) or yellow (minimum).

For more information, please see Transitioning an Issue.

10. Ending a Sprint (Scrum)

 To finish the active sprint: (click to expand)
  1. Select Work mode on your preferred board.
  2. Click the cog dropdown, next to the sprint name, to display a dialog box.
  3. If you wish, edit the Sprint Name, Start Date or End Date.
  4. Click Complete Sprint.
    (info) You will need to have the JIRA 'Project Administrator' permission in the project(s) whose issues are included in the sprint.
    (info) When you try to close a sprint, and you have parent issues not Done but all sub-tasks are Done, you will be prompted to make the parent Done before continuing.
  5. You will be taken to the Sprint Report. Your issues will move out of Work mode. Any incomplete issues will move back into the backlog and will be visible in Plan mode.

For more information, please see Ending a Sprint.

 To release a sprint as a version: (click to expand)

Many Scrum teams don't release a version at the end of a sprint, but if you need to, it's easy to do.

  1. In the Completed Issues section of the Sprint Report for your completed sprint, click View in Issue Navigator.
  2. You can then use JIRA's Bulk Edit to assign all of the issues to the relevant version (for details, please see the JIRA documentation on  Bulk Operations).

... or ...

Releasing a Version (Kanban)

 To create and release a new version: (click to expand)
  1. Select Work mode on your preferred board.
  2. Click the Release link at the top of the Done (rightmost) column.
    (info) You will need to have the JIRA 'Project Administrator' permission in the project(s) whose issues are to be included in the version.
  3. The 'Release' window will display. Enter the Version name and Release date (optional — will default to today's date).
  4. Click the Release button to save your new version and mark it as 'released' throughout JIRA and JIRA Agile.
Creating a Board

For more information, please see Releasing a Version (Kanban).

 

Searching and Reporting

12. Tracking Progress: Scrum

A Burndown Chart shows the actual and estimated amount of work to be done in a sprint , and helps you to project the likelihood of achieving the sprint goal.

 To view the burndown chart: (click to expand)
  1. Select Report mode on your preferred board.
  2. Select Burndown Chart from the drop-down at left to display the burndown chart for your active sprint.
  3. Any changes to scope (e.g. issues added to sprint, issues removed from sprint) are shown in the table below the graph.

For more information, please see Viewing the Burndown Chart.

A Sprint Report shows the list of issues in each sprint. It is useful for your Sprint Retrospective meeting, and also for mid-sprint progress checks.

 To view the sprint report: (click to expand)
  1. Select Report mode on your preferred board.
  2. Select Sprint Report from the drop-down at left.
  3. Select the relevant sprint from the sprint dropdown.

For more information, please see Viewing the Sprint Report.

A Velocity Chart shows the amount of value delivered in each sprint, enabling you to predict the amount of work the team can commit to in future sprints. 

 To view the velocity chart: (click to expand)
  1. Select Report mode on your preferred board.
  2. Select Velocity Chart from the drop-down at left.
  3. Select the relevant sprint from the sprint dropdown.

For more information, please see Viewing the Velocity Chart.

... or ...

Tracking Progress: Kanban

 To view the CFD: (click to expand)
  1. Select Report mode on your preferred board.
  2. Select Cumulative Flow Diagram from the drop-down at left to display the CFD.

For more information, please see Viewing the Cumulative Flow Chart.

Control Chart shows you the cycle time (or lead time) for your product, version or sprint.

 To view the control chart: (click to expand)
  1. Select Report mode on your preferred board.
  2. Select Control Chart from the drop-down at left to display the control chart.
  3. Hover over the graph at any point to display actual values of the moving average.

For more information, please see Viewing the Control Chart.

 

13. Displaying a Wallboard

A Wallboard displays vital data about project progress to anyone walking by.

 To create a JIRA Agile wallboard: (click to expand)
  1. Ensure that the JIRA Wallboards add-on has been installed. (This is similar to installing the JIRA Agile add-on as described above.)
  2. Click the Dashboard menu in the top navigation bar and create a new JIRA dashboard for your new wallboard.
    (info) Since existing dashboards may contain gadgets which are not wallboard-compatible, avoid copying an existing dashboard.
  3. On your new dashboard, click the Add Gadget link (top right). The Gadgets Directory will display. Find the JIRA Agile Wallboard Gadget in the list of gadgets and click Add it now.
  4. Add any other wallboard-compatible gadgets to your new dashboard.
    (tick) Tip: By default, all available gadgets are listed. However, many of these gadgets are not wallboard-compatible. To restrict the list of gadgets to wallboard-compatible ones only, select the Wallboard category at the left of the Gadgets Directory.
  5. Select View as Wallboard from the Tools drop-down on your dashboard and stare in awe at your fresh new wallboard. For optimal use of screen real-estate, enter full-screen mode on your browser (F11 in Firefox 3.6 and Chrome 5; Safari requires a plugin to enable full-screen mode) and refresh the page. Wallboards are optimised for 1920x1080 and 1920x1200 pixel resolution screens, but should also work in some other resolution modes.

For more information, please see the documentation on Using the JIRA Agile Gadgets, the Wallboards add-on and the JIRA Dashboard.

Tips and Tricks

14. Using Keyboard Shortcuts

  To work with issues without touching the mouse: (click to expand)
  • click 'a' to assign an issue.
  • click 'l' to label an issue.
  • click 'm' is comment on an issue.
  • click 'z' to display your board in 'Projector' mode (i.e. full-screen).
  • click '.' for the JIRA Operations dialog.
  • click 'j' to go to the next issue (down) in a column on a board.

  • click 'k' to go to the previous issue (up) in a column on a board.
  • click 'n' to go to the next (right) column on a board.
  • click 'p' to go to the previous (left) column on a board.
  • click 't' to toggle between hiding or showing the detail view of the currently selected issue on a board.
  • click 'o' to open the issue which is currently showing in the detail view on a board.
  • click 'Enter' to submit the content of a field being edited in the detail view on a board.
  • click 'Shift' + 'Enter' to add a new line to a field being edited in the detail view on a board.
  • click 's' + 't' to move an issue to the top of the current column on a board. (Only applicable if Ranking has been enabled.)

  • click 's' + 'b' to move an issue to the bottom of the current column on a board. (Only applicable if Ranking has been enabled.)

(info) For more information, please see Using Keyboard Shortcuts.

15. Making Agile Your 'Home'

 To go straight to JIRA Agile whenever you log into JIRA: (click to expand)
  • Go to your user dropdown and select My JIRA Home > Agile.

(info) For more information, please see Going to JIRA Agile Automatically.

Advanced Topics

16. Grouping Stories into an Epic (Scrum)

If you have a very large, complex story, you may want to create several smaller stories (issues) to cover various aspects of the work. You can then collect all these issues together using an epic.

 To create an epic (click to expand):
  1. Select Plan mode on your preferred board.
  2. If the Epic s panel is not shown at the left of the screen, select Tools > Show Epics Panel.
  3. Hover over the Epics panel and click Create epic.
  4. In the Epic Name field, enter a short name. The Epic Name will be used to identify your epic and the issues that belong to it.
  5. Your new epic will be added to your board's Epics panel. Drag-and-drop the relevant issues into your new epic (see Adding an Issue to an Epic).

17. Planning a Version (Scrum)

You may want to assign issues to versions, to help plan the upcoming releases of your product.

 To create a version (click to expand):
  1. Select Plan mode on your preferred board.
  2. If the Version s panel is not shown at the left of the screen, select Tools > Show Versions Panel.
  3. Hover over the Versions panel and click Create version.
  4. Choose the relevant project and type a name for your new version.
    (info) For more details, please see the JIRA documentation on Managing Versions.
  5. You can optionally specify the version Start Date and planned Release Date.
  6. Your new version will be added to your board's Versions panel. Drag-and-drop the relevant issues into your new version (see Adding an Issue to a Version).

18. Splitting a Story into Sub-Tasks

You may want to create sub-tasks for each work item that will be required to implement a story (issue).

 To create a sub-task (click to expand):
  1. If you are using Scrum and the issue is currently in the planning phase, click Plan; otherwise click Work.
  2. Locate the parent issue (story) for your new sub-task, and click its issue key (or type t in Work mode) to display the Issue Detail View on the right-hand side of the screen
  3. Click the sub-tasks icon:
  4. Click Create Sub-Task.
  5. Enter your sub-task's details into the Create Issue dialog box (see Creating an Issue).

Integrating JIRA Agile with other applications

If you have JIRAJIRA AgileConfluence and Confluence Team Calendarsyou can use them together to build stronger user stories and better plan for sprints or releases, while streamlining your team's work.

Thank you for reading this guide.

Thanks for taking the time to try JIRA Agile using this guide. To help continue your journey, our support staff are always ready to answer your questions in Atlassian Answers, or solve specific problems at our support portal http://support.atlassian.com.

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