This article was written by Ricksoft.
Misaligned goals, communication breakdown, or siloed operations are all common symptoms of poor collaboration. Successful collaboration is all about aligning efforts towards a common objective and getting obstructions out of your team’s way. Fortunately, with modern project management platforms like Jira and its ecosystem of apps, your teams don’t have to worry about status updates, getting timely feedback, or spending hours to figure out where to look for information. So in this blog post, we’re reviewing the essential Jira apps for efficient collaboration.
More project visibility and transparency and no finger-pointing and frustrating team members are all thanks to Jira’s powerful collaboration features and its customizability. Jira accommodates any project requirements, making it an ideal solution for cross-team collaboration. You can even facilitate cross-company collaboration on multiple platforms through Jira.
Continue reading to learn more about the key ingredients and the essential Jira apps for successful team collaboration.
At the outset of any project, clearly communicate the business goals to your team to make sure everyone is on the same page. For teams working on the same project, it’s best to document goals and objectives as a single source of truth. Confluence provides a great way to do so.
When you create a new project in Jira, make sure to connect it with a Confluence space. That way, everyone in the team can easily access the project documentation and stay on track.
To set goals is to set agreed-upon deliverables and targets. The OKR (objectives and key results) goal-setting framework can help with this. OKR allows you to measure outcomes as well as how the team’s progressing toward the common objectives.
In Jira, it can be easy to lose sight of goals amidst the sea of issues. While you can document OKR in a Confluence space, it doesn’t show real-time progress. Instead, track your team goals effectively right from Jira with an OKR app.
Get the OKR for Jira by Digital Toucan app in the marketplace.
To get an overview of your team’s collaboration effort across all projects, you can link your Jira issues with the team’s OKR using the OKR for the Jira app. By associating issues with specific OKR, you’ll be able to monitor the progress and identify potential risks. This also encourages individual accountability towards achieving shared goals.
Monitor your team’s OKR on a single dashboard right from Jira.
Hosting option: Cloud
Miscommunication is damaging to any collaboration. If not conveyed correctly or promptly, critical project information may fall through the crack. For instance, a new feature request from a customer gets lost in translation because no one documents it in Confluence. Soon after, your team would have to start over to correct their course. Worse, if left undiscovered, they would deliver a faulty product to customers.
So, make sure you have all the communication channels set up and managed properly.
At a basic level, Jira’s comments section does a good job for collaboration on a task with the @mention and the dynamic markdown formatting. However, it requires team members to constantly check their notifications, which can be frustrating.
To facilitate prompt communication, a messaging app like Slack comes in handy. And you’re likely already using it. Simply integrate Slack and Jira for frictionless communication.
Check out the Atlassian marketplace for the Slack Jira Integration by Bitband.
With thousands of integrations available, Slack offers scalable enterprise solutions for all your collaboration needs. By integrating the two platforms, you can create a Jira ticket directly from a Slack message. Vice versa, anyone can collaborate on an issue from a dedicated Slack channel.
Create and control Jira issues directly from Slack.
Stay updated on any changes by enabling Slack notifications on comments and events associated with an issue you’re watching. Want to fine-tune the information to receive? Use JQL to set up alerts by priority, resolution, status, type, assignee, reporter, and sprint.
Team members can now get the right information at the right time, all automatically, on important issues.
Hosting option: Cloud.
Another critical information that’ll enable a smooth flow of work is attachments and files.
While it’s easy to attach a file on a Jira issue for more contextual information sharing, collaborating on that document is another story. Every time someone makes changes to the file, you’ll have a new version attached without any order in place.
Fortunately, there’s a Jira app that can help you better manage document versions directly in the issue screen.
Smart Attachment for Jira by Stiltsoft is one of those Jira apps that comes very handy.
A key feature of this app is attachment version control, which saves your team from the headaches of extracting the right information from multiple sources.
Instead of having a growing list of the different attachments, any document revisions can be mapped to the original file. This way, teams can easily search for the correct asset by labels and review all relevant attachments at once.
Hosting option: Cloud, Server, Data Center
Proper documentation is not only necessary for project collaboration but also essential for on-going knowledge building.
Having a centralized information repository brings information accessibility across the organization. Whether it’s a how-to guide for coordinating a project or your company’s previous campaign materials, anyone in the team can easily find any content they need to perform a task.
With Confluence, you can create a robust knowledge base and even turn it into an intranet, where teams can collaborate, learn, and co-create content.
To better organize your Confluence wiki with intranet capabilities, enable metadata structure.
Find more details on Metadata for Confluence by Communardo in the marketplace.
Metadata for Confluence helps you label, sort, and organize your content based on predefined metadata sets, such as user and product info. For example, you can generate a location-based news feed within your wiki dashboard, so specific team members will be able to access information most relevant to them.
An example of a Confluence knowledge base with metadata enabled.
Hosting option: Server, Data Center, Could (beta)
Coordinating tasks across multiple teams is no easy feat, especially if they rely on different platforms for execution. Your job then is to make sure there are no siloed operations. In other words, to remove friction from cross-platform collaboration.
Chances are, your project stakeholders span across Jira instances, or perhaps coordinate tasks through different Atlassian products, and you wish to connect all these disparate platforms. No matter the case, there’s an app for that!
Check out Exalate Jira Issue Sync by iDalko.
The Exalate Jira Issue Sync app helps you sync issues across Jira instances as well as popular enterprise platforms like Zendesk, GitHub, ServiceNow, HP ALM/QC, AzureDevOps, and more.
Through cross-company integration, teams are able to collaborate autonomously and more effortlessly.
For instance, your development team uses Jira for issue tracking while your support team processes customer requests through Zendesk. The Exalate Jira Issue Sync enables both teams to come together to keep track of issues that could affect each other while working in their own familiar environment. For example, the development team is working on a ticket to rectify a bug raised by the customer.
The app also provides flexibility in selecting what data gets synchronized. Attachments, comments, custom fields, and work logs are just a few examples of what you can sync through Exalate’s pre-made synchronization templates.
For complex use cases, you can even go a step further by customizing what gets synced by configuring the scripts rules. Extending your Jira capabilities has never been easier.
Hosting option: Cloud, Server, Data Center.
Integration is a great solution for cross-company collaboration, how about a cross-functional project team where everyone has their own priorities? Or if you need to juggle multiple projects at once?
Jira’s limited big picture visualization makes it difficult to capture the priorities of tasks as well as the team’s health. You could have team members that are overcommitted or teams that execute non-priority tasks first, hence disrupting a project’s progress.
That’s why a proper workflow is needed to ensure smooth coordination. This is where the good ol’ Gantt charts come in. WBS Gantt-Chart for Jira by Ricksoft is one of the Jira apps you will find helpful when it comes to managing projects.
A project manager’s century-old weapon, Gantt chart is one of the most powerful visualization tools for managing large scale projects. Ricksoft’s WBS Gantt-Chart for Jira app transforms your Jira issues into a Gantt timeline and work breakdown structure (WBS).
Visualize your complete Jira project and monitor progress on a Gantt chart.
On a work breakdown structure, you’ll get a birds-eye view of all the work that needs to be done, the assignees, and their workloads. That way, it’s easier to prioritize tasks as the project plan plays out over time.
The Gantt timeline gives you the ability to track dependencies between tasks. That way, you can avoid conflicting workflows as everyone has greater visibility into how their tasks impact others.
Hosting option: Cloud, Server, Data Center
Successful collaboration means bringing together different teams and aligning them around shared goals. You can easily power up your teams and achieve seamless collaboration with the help of the right Jira apps and accomplish better results together.
Smoother, more effective collaboration eventually means more productivity which can lead to creating a happier and healthier working environment for your team.
What’s your favorite Jira collaboration app? Share with us in the comments below.