5 apps to integrate with Jira Software

From cloud document repositories to more powerful reporting and analytics tools, take Jira to the next level with these third-party tools

5 apps to integrate with Jira Software
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As agile teams get used to managing backlogs and requirements in Jira, there are opportunities to expand capabilities and the scope of the platform using third-party apps and integrations. As of this writing, Atlassian offers more than 1,000 applications in the Jira Marketplace that can improve the productivity, collaboration, and reporting by agile teams and larger agile organizations.

[ Also on InfoWorld: How to configure Jira to support multiple agile teams ]

Here are some options to get you started.

Integrate cloud document repositories

It’s very common for agile teams to create documentation as part of epics, user stories, defects, and other Jira issue types. The default way to include these documents is to upload them as file attachments to the Jira issue.

Jira is not a search engine, document repository, or wiki. You can attach a file to a Jira issue, but once the Jira issue is done and marked completed, agile teammates may not be able to find the attached documents easily.

Documents such as architecture documents, user experience designs, data dictionaries, and other requirements or implementation documentation need to be easily findable by audiences outside of the agile team. Furthermore, the development team should maintain these documents when new stories and releases create enhancements and changes.

One way to address this issue is to integrate Jira with your document management tools. Jira offers document management integrations with popular document solutions such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and DropBox.

For agile organizations looking to go beyond documents and wanting a wiki for documentation and knowledge sharing, Atlassian offers Confluence. It’s a full-featured wiki that has comprehensive integration into Jira Software.

Enable the full software development lifecycle in the agile backlog

Jira’s backlog becomes a fully functioning agile development tool when it’s integrated with other software design, development, testing, CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery), and service desk tools used by scrum, Kanban and operational teams. Specifically:

  • Designers working on user experience, wireframes, and designs, as well as architects diagraming APIs and application architectures can integrate visuals directly into Jira. Design tools such as Gliffy, Balsamiq, draw.io, Lucidchart, and many others have application integrations.
  • Source code integrations allow developers to link Jira Issues to code changes. Jira has source code applications that will enable integrating with commonly used code repositories, including Git and Subversion.
  • Jira lists more than 100 testing and QA tools that enable integrating test plans and other quality assurance capabilities. These are critical tools for agile organizations implementing a shift-left testing strategy and incorporating more test-driven methodologies. Jira also lists several integrations to support code quality, code review, and security that can be used to bring security into the development process.
  • Devops teams can take advantage of the continuous integration apps with CI/CD tools such as Jenkins, CircleCI, and Azure Pipelines to visualize the pipeline and track Jira issues by deployment status. Other integrations support feature flagging, security vulnerability scanning, release notes generation, and customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Once applications are in production, it is a best practice to integrate the IT helpdesk or service desk platforms into Jira to support incident management and onboarding defects.

If the integration required isn’t available through Atlassian, then other IFTTT (if this then that) tools support a more comprehensive range of options.

Simplify backlog refinement with automation

Agile coaches, scrum masters, and other agile team leaders should use tools and applications in addition to integrations to minimize some of the administrative work required to maintain the backlog.

For example, one common requirement is to add maintenance and recurring user stories and tasks onto the backlog. Agile teams may want to do this to help schedule non-urgent application patching, review operational dashboards for performance degradations, or address selected areas of technical debt. Recurring Tasks for Jira Cloud is one app that creates an issue template and then schedules when to add new issues based on the template onto the backlog.

Another common need is to automate administrative work with a simple IFTTT type of logic. This can be performed outside of Jira using IFTTT tools and Jira workflow apps; Atlassian just announced Jira Automation, a low-code tool to help implement automation natively inside Jira.

Some common examples might be:

  • When an epic is marked done, then orphan all of its child issues that are not done.
  • When a user story is updated, add a comment to all dependent stories on the nature of the update.
  • When a high-priority bug is added to the backlog, set it to the current active sprint.

Enhance reporting and analytics with Tableau and PowerBI

Jira comes with powerful reporting features, including burndown reports, issue analysis, and capacity forecasting. These reports may be good enough for small organizations with only a few projects and teams, or for groups that are just getting started with agile methodologies. Larger and more mature agile organizations may outgrow the out-of-the-box reporting capabilities or want to create dashboards that integrate Jira data with other data sources. For example, many agile teams connect agile, devops, and website metrics to help develop key performance indicators between development, operations, and end-user impacts.

AIO has one app to connect Jira to Tableau and another to connect to PowerBI. If you’re using a different BI tool, then CData has an ODBC driver for Jira.

Enable product and portfolio managers

Once the team has adopted agile methodologies, streamlined its workflow across the software development lifecycle, and enhanced its reporting capabilities, the next opportunity is to connect with business teams and their workflows. Product managers and portfolio managers are two groups highly dependent on the priorities, commitments, and releases of agile development teams

Several tools and integrations are available, including Portfolio for Jira, Aha!, and other product management add-ons. For product managers, these integrations enable them to manage stakeholder expectations and collaborate on product roadmaps. Portfolio managers can use the integrations to update executives on the organization’s progress against defined strategies and to help with capacity planning.

For agile development organizations looking to empower many teams, connect with business stakeholders, and support IT operations, expanding Jira Software’s core capabilities is one step to enabling an end-to-end agile operation.

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