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  • Jira and iteration tracking

    I know it's not a Spring specific question, but here goes:

    As good as Jira can be for tracking bug and issue status and associating them with a release, very few developers seem to use it to answer the question "What are you working on now? and how will you know when you're done?". (WAYWON? HWYKWYD?)

    There are multiple new features, enhancements, etc. for 1.2 RC1 (for example, Declarative rules-based validator). This might take a while to do, need to be broken down, have sub-tasks assigned to different people. In particular, if you were trying to time-box iterations leading to the release, how would you know if this part of that Jira issue was likely to be done in such-and-such a time period?

    Really it's a question about how the Spring team organizes work behind Jira. I admit that I have an agenda. My team (I'm basically a tracker/release coordinator) keeps telling me that they just want to put stuff in Jira, I keep asking them WAYMON? HWYKWYD? and they can't tell me.... except that they are working on the stuff for the next release from the Road Map and they will be done when it's released.

    Personally I am a big list on the wall kind of guy (features and tasks to be done this month). Maybe the list starts in a wiki so detail can be linked. I plan a chunk of work, break it down, check things off for two weeks then start a new list. Repeat 'til ready to release.

    I'm stumbling over the role of Jira in the process and how to integrate it. Any insight appreciated.

  • #2
    I think Jira (or any equivalent) first of all is a great place to track bugs. W/regards to tracking ongoing work on a day to day basis though, I'm not sure it's the best tool. I think it's good if most of the stuff being worked on gets into JIRA, then you can associate checkins in CVS directly to issues, and when a release is out, put out an automated list of what has been added and fixed. But for day to day tracking of ongoing work, I would just use something like SCRUM.

    I'm a very big fan of Scrum, to the point that I got ScrumMaster certification back in Feb, although I think that anybody can learn it even from just the original book:



    • #3
      I am a fan of SCRUM and agile methods too. The problem is adapting to an organization where a) They want more control - i.e. all requirements in triplicate up front signed by the, and b) the developers have not, um... developed... a disciplined approach themselves.

      Maybe I'll do a mini-white paper on "Why Issue Tracking Is Not Planning". I find myself saying "Let's try the simple pencil and paper way first". We have the advantage of be co-located.

      BTW, Craig Larman ("Applying UML & Patterns") has "Agile & Iterative Development - A Manager's Guide" out now. A good compare and contrast for Scrum, XP and lightweight RUP.]


      • #4
        GreenHopper for JIRA

        Shameless plug.
        If you are using Agile methods and JIRA, you should consider GreenHopper (

        The main goals of this plugin are to provide JIRA users with an interactive and simple interface to manage their projects (AJAX-based) and tools to increase the visibility and traceability of ongoing versions. Based on card views, GreenHopper offers a Planning Board that will help you dispatch your issues by version or components, a Task Board that will help you with the workflow of your issues and a Chart Board that will help you track your progression.

        There is a two minutes video on the web site that presents an overview of GreenHopper.