Had some recent discussions on the subject of using tools or just sticky notes…
for me, a digital board representation of the kanban style 3-column view is merely one v-e-r-y small aspect of using something like jira.
though i could probably live with just post-it notes, i bet it would be an interesting challenge for me. i have been:
- doing only distributed work for so long (since late 90s)
- using jira so long, it is as simple as a pen and paper (or post-its)
- dissatisfied trying to do a project with something simpler like Basecamp, without the richness of jira
- working on long-term projects that have different people rolling through, and years of life (4000+ issues)
and i ask myself what other benefits do i derive from jira (plus, admittedly, a companion wiki)? why might i be uncomfortable with just post-its? do i have an unnecessary “crutch” in the form of jira? hmmm… do i do more than is necessary in the way of using jira/wiki to add other pertinent documentation for the project?
well, here are the following things i can think of off the top of my head:
- it is easy to
- assign myself to an issue
- move it to be in progress
- move it to be resolved
- our virtual chats hover around the greenhopper view
- we’ll edit stuff on the fly as needed
- quickly create a new issue if something pops up during the call
- everybody refreshes their browser
- we put a fair amount of supporting docs — details, helpful things — into the issue (or into the wiki and then that link goes in the issue)
- that way you always know where to look 🙂
- you can find it 24×7 and regardless of your GeoLoc
- sometimes we’ll have skype chats and voice calls about the issue, maybe about design ideas. I’ll shove those things into the issue.
- we can link related issues
- we can use the search to look up old issues and refresh ourselves on what was asked for/done
- we can have asynchronous, threaded conversations in the form of comments
- we can track any myriad of other stuff against the issue
- i log my hours against the issue
- useful for billing if you need it…
- i can use it to help generate pretty charts for management
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- we use the issue status to trigger QA (in addition to our chats)
- i use jira to help ensure product version notes are up to date
- jira manages the iterations
- pretty easy to maintain a backlog, even chunking it up into groups if needed
- easy to indicate that an issue has been rejected, and why
the point is, i find it incredibly useful to have modern technology at my fingertips…
in my experience, there is so much more to a project tracking “tool” than what post-it notes would seem to represent.
[important]but i have NO (zero, nada, zilch) experience being part of a co-located team using post-it notes. so take it with a grain of salt :-)[/important]