How Jira Core works

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Jira Core is a collaboration tool designed to help teams track all activity considered 'work'. Work might include running projects, managing approval processes, performing daily and periodic tasks, creating documents, and a lot more.

In Jira Core, your team gets a shared view of what needs to be done, what is in progress, and who is assigned to what.

Jira Core is not like most other work tools, so if you haven't used it (or any other Jira products) before, here's a few key concepts to get familiar with.

Work is represented as 'issues'

'Issue' is the name we give to work items in Jira Core. An issue can represent an activity, a document, an asset (creative or concrete), a purchase or even a person. You can create your own issue types to suit your work processes.

For example, a marketing department might have these issue types:

- for doing any work task such as designing, invoicing, creating documents, etc.

- for keeping an inventory of creative assets, like branding materials, photos, etc.

- for tracking activity related to website changes

Issues are managed within projects

Projects are a way to group issues, and clearly define what and how work gets done.

Some people set up Jira Core with separate projects for business units, such as HR, finance, marketing, etc. Others set up their clients in separate projects; a creative agency or a construction company tracking big jobs might do this.

A project provides a shared view of work for the team, and enables leads and managers to see where more help might be needed or where an activity is not progressing. It also acts like a 'to do list', so tasks can be added at any time and then picked up after other tasks are completed.

Issues are tracked along workflows

A 'workflow' defines the steps that progress an issue from unstarted to completed. Workflows are made up of statuses (issue states) and transitions (issue actions).

Workflows are usually modeled on existing business processes, so they can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be. It is common for different issue types to have different workflows.

For example, a 'task' issue might have a simple workflow like:

But for a different issue type, say for the 'release' example given above, it might look like:

As work gets done on an issue, the assigned person moves it through the workflow, to transition the status. Issue status is critical for accurate visibility of work, for example, to ensure that all web changes include analytics before being published.

Admins make things better

Whatever kind of Jira Core project you work in, you are sometimes going to notice that things could work a little better. When you do, speak to an admin. There are two kinds. Here's some of the different things they do:

Administrator (global) Project Administrator

This person usually belongs to an IT department or is the product purchaser. They can:

  • Create new projects
  • Control user access
  • Manage shared configurations
  • Extend user licenses

This person might be a department manager, project lead or client account manager. The can:

  • Manage project settings
  • Control project-level access
  • Set up project-specific workflows and custom elements

Customizing can be complex, though, so if you haven't worked with a Jira application before, check out how to get started as a project administrator.

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Last modified on Mar 7, 2018

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