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New in JIRA 5.106 -- Rapid Boards, Customizable Issue Fields, Mentions, and More Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Rob Goates and Tom Johnson   
Tuesday, 31 July 2012

All users who have access to JIRA, an application used for software defect tracking and project management on many LDSTech projects, may have noticed some important changes in the most recent update to JIRA.

In JIRA 5.10.6, you can now use Scrum Rapid Boards to manage the agile workflow, customize the Create Issue fields to hide fields that aren't relevant, include "mentions" to notify specific team members about updates, and more. Together these new features help improve collaboration and workflow on project teams.

Scrum Rapid Boards

Scrum Rapid Boards are a new tool in JIRA to help streamline and improve the agile workflow. Ray Maxwell, an application systems engineer over JIRA on the Application Lifecycle Management team, says, "JIRA Rapid Boards provide a flexible way to view, manage, and report work in progress. In this update, both Kanban and Scrum Agile methodologies are supported. The Scrum Board supports planning, prioritizing, sprinting, and reporting."

The best way to understand Rapid Boards is to create one for your project. To create a Rapid Board, go to your JIRA project page, and then click Agile > Getting Started. Click the Scrum tab, and then follow the on-screen steps to create a new Rapid Board.

Creating a new rapid board in JIRA

Most agile projects already have a list of items to work on in JIRA. In agile methodology, this list is called the "backlog." You assign items from the backlog to various "sprints." Sprints are planned work durations in which you try to resolve all backlog items assigned to that sprint.

With a Rapid Board, you first drag items from the backlog into a sprint. You can drag the JIRA items above the sprint marker, or drag the sprint marker below the items.

sprint marker

Typically each JIRA item has a "story point" weighting, which allows you to gauge the level of work for the item. When you drag the sprint marker down, the sprint marker bar calculates the total story points for the sprint.

When you're finished planning the items to include in your sprint, click Start Sprint on the sprint marker bar. Enter the start and end dates for the sprint, and then proceed to the next screen: Work.

Work provides three columns to organize your work: To Do, In Progress, and Done.

The Work screen in the Rapid Board

All the items you assigned to the sprint initially appear in the To Do column. As you start working on an item (which you note by clicking Start Progress for that item), the item moves to the In Progress column. When you resolve the item, the item moves to the Done column.

Through this three-column workflow, the new Rapid Board interface simplifies the work teams have for each sprint and shows the progress in a quick snapshot view.

Customize the Create Issue Dialog Box

In addition to the Rapid Board feature, JIRA has several other significant updates. When you create a new issue, you can now customize the fields shown. 

Customize the fields you want shown when creating issues

By clearing the check boxes next to irrelevant fields, you can hide these fields from view. Since JIRA typically has many fields available for each issue, and teams use only a fraction of the fields, the ability to customize the fields shown can speed up the creation of issues. Hiding irrelevant fields lets your team know which fields to ignore.

Notify Users by Mentioning Their Name

Another new feature in JIRA -- "Mentions" -- helps increase communication. You can notify others about updates by simply mentioning a person's user name in an item's comment or description field. When you type the @ symbol and a few letters of a team member's name, you're prompted with a drop-down list showing matches on your team.

Mentioning users to notify them

(Fictitious data in screenshot)

When you select the name, JIRA inserts the name in brackets [~robsmithjr778]. The user then receives an e-mail notification that he or she was mentioned in a JIRA item.

JIRA Video Tutorials from Atlassian

To learn more about the updates in JIRA, see the following YouTube videos from Atlassian.



Learn how to become a full time or part time Missionary.