In 2002 the software world looked quite different.
Bugzilla was the main bug tracking tool available, and a small company named Atlassian just launched their software, named JIRA.
JIRA, in reference to Gojira (Japanese for Godzilla), was intended to be a modern alternative to the market leader Bugzilla. Fast forward to 2018: JIRA is used by more than 75,000 customers globally, who use JIRA for their entire software development lifecycle.
While all sorts of department and teams use JIRA, its core use case is still its issue tracking and ticketing functionality.
And with this article, we show you how to collect feedback from colleagues, and track bugs with JIRA more effectively.
Everything’s an issue inside JIRA
While, JIRA is used nowadays by marketing teams to track their agile marketing planning, as well as by development teams tracking their daily tasks, JIRA’s origin is still visible.
JIRA does not distinguish between different types of “work“. Everything’s an issue. 🙂
So while every task might be an issue by definition, JIRA distinguishes between various issue types. Therefore, tasks, support requests, feedback, and bugs can be categorized along these types (obviously you can create your own types as well):
- New Feature
JIRA recently introduced an all-new JIRA experience and we were eager to find out how to collect feedback from colleagues, testers and users with the new experience.
So, let’s start by creating a new feedback & bug tracking project inside our JIRA account.
Secondly, we need to choose a template for our new project. As there are important differences between those project types, I’ll quickly go into the details of the most relevant ones:
- JIRA Bug tracking template
- JIRA Kanban board
- JIRA Agility
Bug tracking template from JIRA
The JIRA bug tracking template is the traditional way to start your project with JIRA.
This basic template – originally known as software development template and now called bug tracking template – can be used to manage a list of tasks, feedbacks, and bugs.
- Easy way to get started
- Great for small teams with few tasks and feedback items
- Great for teams who don’t need kanban or scrum boards
- It can get messy when receiving a lot of feedback items and bug reports
- Not usable for medium- to large teams
- No “board” functionality
All in all, the bug tracking template works great for most small teams, as it’s easy to set up. The more feedback items and bug reports you’ll receive, the more I’d recommend switching to a Kanban or Agility board of JIRA.
Similar to other project management tools, a JIRA Kanban board is a collection of tasks, organized in columns. These columns can be renamed and changed in order to fit your team’s working style.
The standard ones include a …
- backlog list
- selected for development list
- in progress list
- done list
- Easy overview of team activities and open feedback / bug reports
- Allows a flexible working style on a team level
- Advanced features for filtering and analyzing your feedback items
- An overhead for small teams with few issues
- Not as flexible as other Kanban boards
The Kanban board is the best template for mid- to large-sized teams that receive quite a few feedback items and bug reports regularly.
JIRA Agility board
Last but not least, there’s the new Agility template. Although it still claims to be “beta”, it feels a bit like a Trello board inside JIRA (and since Trello was acquired by Atlassian a while ago, this could be one of the first results of the cross-pollination between the two).
It’s a simple, lightweight way to start your feedback project, as you can easily rearrange columns and issues.
- The most intuitive template for JIRA
- Easy to set up and use for small- to mid-sized teams
- Lacking some core features of JIRA
- Not suitable/still too early for deeply invested JIRA teams
All in all, the Agility board looks like an improved, modern version of the JIRA Kanban board. It feels like Atlassian tried to create a Trello-/Kanban-version inside JIRA.
As it’s still in beta, I’m not entirely sure if this is a good or a bad thing. Overall, there are definitely some features (such as issue types) missing in the Agility board.
The most efficient ways to get feedback and bug reports with JIRA
After you chose the best template for your team, it’s now time to think about the feedback process itself. How should your colleagues leave feedback and report bugs?
When using JIRA you’ve got two options to create a new issue (= leave feedback):
- Inside JIRA
- On your site / in-app
1) Create feedback inside JIRA
The obvious way to collect feedback and bug reports is through JIRA itself. Creating an issue inside JIRA is pretty straightforward.
First of all, you need to make sure that you’re on the right JIRA project. Then watch out for the “create an issue” link in your project.
When collecting feedback from colleagues, testers or users, you should request the following information (besides the one shown above):
- Page URL
- Operating system
- Browser version
- Screen resolution
- Ticket priority
Creating a new issue inside JIRA is pretty easy and straightforward. No additional setup or addon is required. On the other hand, the reporter must conduct research and provide a detailed description to make the issue understandable. For developers working on various issues, it might be hard to reproduce written feedback / bug reports. Last but not least, many teams end up following up with the reporter to fully comprehend a new issue.
While this is the standard way of creating new issues, it might not be the best way to leave feedback and bug reports, especially when working on a frontend development for a website or application.
2) Collect feedback & bugs on your site / app
Sometimes feedback is really hard to describe. Or maybe the detected bug is so complex to describe that it takes quite some effort and time to leave feedback or file a bug report.
At this point, you should think about different ways to collect feedback and bugs.
With the website widget from Usersnap – for example – you can collect feedback and bug reports directly on the site or app which needs to be tested.
When collecting issues and feedback on your site, you can set up a super-efficient way to get feedback from colleagues and your users.
With annotated screenshots, your team can fully understand the feedback it receives and automatically added information (such as browser version and screen resolution) help developers reproduce the bug faster.
All in all, I’d recommend you to give Usersnap a try as it allows you to get better feedback and easy-to-understand bug reports. You can give Usersnap a free try.
Custom workflows for feedback & bug reports
As you probably get all different kinds of feedback which must be sent to the correct person in charge, you might want to take a closer look at JIRA workflows.
Workflows allow you to funnel the right feedback to the right teams. For example, a general feedback should be sent to your customer team, while a bug report should directly go to your developers.
A workflow consists of statuses and transitions and basically describes which statuses a new issue should be assigned to. To create a new workflow for your project, you need defined statuses and transitions.
The following statuses could make sense for your feedback project:
- In progress
- To be validated
Transitions define the relationship between those statuses.
A transition enables an issue to move from one status to another. An issue can therefore only move between two statuses when a transition exists.
It’s worth to note, that a transition is only a one-way link, as an issue cannot move forth and back between two statuses. This would require two transitions.
Analyzing your feedback reports
Keeping track of your feedback efforts with JIRA is easy. While an easy-to-use widget like Usersnap helps you to collect great feedback, JIRA offers you a variety of reporting possibilities.
Personally, I’ve found the created vs resolved issues report pretty helpful. This report compares the created ticket with the resolved ones in order to display a trend on how the tickets are progressing.
Wrapping it up.
All in all, Atlassian managed to successfully update not only the frontend of JIRA itself but the whole experience when using it. In combination with a feedback widget – like Usersnap – you’re definitely ready for a great JIRA experience.
Bonus – Try Usersnap & JIRA
In order to start with JIRA, make sure to connect your JIRA project with Usersnap. Used by small to large companies, like Microsoft, Hawaiian Airlines, and others, it helps you manage your feedback projects more effectively.
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