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Harness the Chaos in the game development – Jira 101

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Jira is a gamedev project management software designed for teams that use Agile workflows daily. It offers Scrum and Kanban boards. So whatever your team prefers – you can easily adapt your Jira software.

From A to GILE

  • You want to feel more freedom while planning? Great. It allows you heavy customization.
  • You don’t want to be tied to Atlassian’s (Jira’s producer) stuff? Perfect! This software lets you integrate a bunch of ultra-useful-external plugins and tools.
  • It’s not only for the programmers. Do you want to sync with the graphic designers? Make sure that the game design documents are prepared on time? Manage flow for the marketing team? That everything aligns well and that everyone on the team knows what’s poppin’?

Jira can help you out as well. And you don’t need any additional project management tools for that (unless you really want, I guess).

Let’s check the bigger picture! Roadmaps

Want to know where you stand with your game development plan? Generate velocity and burn-down reports! On Scrum boards, you can easily check and track what can become a problem in the future. Or what are the most critical needs of development teams?

You know what’s probably one of the biggest problems in managing the work between departments in the gaming industry?

Communication. Or a lack of one, to be precise.

Projects with a bigger scope that are being developed for years are very tricky. So it’s crucial to show your team a bigger picture. They need to understand where they are going.

And that’s why there’s no Jira game development without ROADMAPS.

  • Your team gets a broader perspective of what they’re trying to achieve. What still needs to be done, and what are the priorities.
  • You can use cross-project dependency to track to avoid any bottlenecks, even before they happen

Thankfully keeping your road map up to date is possible due to the real-time updates. So you don’t need to sweat it.

Bugs, bugs everywhere – Bug tracking in Jira software

Oh! Every Programmer and a QA tester loves this one!

(Actually, they don’t… but it’s one of the most essential features in Jira)

Bug tracking allows QA folks and programmers to keep track of bugs (surprise, surprise!), mark and index them as they are found, and assign them for correction.

Let’s save some time – projects and workflows

“Whatever can save you some time – it’s a thing that’s worth pursuing”.

It’s a quote that I came up with this second, but I guess it’s a good one. 😉

Suppose you need to create a new project. In that case, you can easily do that using various templates that can meet your game dev project management needs.

And how about workflows? Workflows are essential and can visually explain a cycle of working on specific tasks. You can track all the transitions and steps to get things done. You can easily set them up on your own. No programming skills needed.

Automation with Jira in game development

Automation = Ultimate Time Saver

You can set rules for automation and triggers that will automatically push your work forward without your input.

If you find it hard to set your own flow for the automation – you can pick and use the templates.

Prototypes, prototypes everywhere!

Agile is all about the game development process through iteration.

So let’s face it – Jira is an Atlassian tool perfect for prototyping.

You can attach images or other attachments. Designers can add a screenshot or a game design document to a project page so that everyone engaged can track their task’s current status. Visual references are always helpful for all team members.

Code review tool – treat for the Programmers 😉

Wanna have a good, inexpensive, and actually working code review tool? Ever heard of Crucible? It lets you collaborate with other members of your development team. You can write comments right in the code (you don’t need additional apps for this one – no thank you, Google Docs).

You can also follow what’s happening in the code/project in real-time, thanks to activity streams. So you can be sure that you won’t miss a thing!

Security – let’s not piss off poor dev-ops

And what if you don’t want everyone to see all tasks and details of the project?

Jira as a gamedev project management software offers really good security features and solutions.

You can assign members to specific tasks and restrict what a specific member of the team can see. So you don’t have to show every single task to the whole company. It’s also useful if you share info/access that only a handful of people should know about. That minimizes any security breaches risks.

Plugins and external tools

So, the apps and plugins!

There’s plenty of external tools that you can connect your Jira to.

Bitbucket or Github to provide backlog-to-deployment traceability? You, bet! G-suite, Slack? Sure. Check out other JIRA integrations!

Keep your ear on the ground

Jira is available on iOS and Android, which helps all team members, no matter the location, stay connected and up-to-date with the state of the game development project. (But as we care for your well-being – we strongly suggest not to check it out after work. Maintain this work-life balance, my gamedev friend. 😉 )

So this sums up the basics for Jira in game development.

We hope that you’ll see value in using a gamedev project management tool with our humble guide. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Jira. There’re plenty of other solutions in the market.

Want to know about gamedev project management? Read our Gamedev Insights episode with Guy Zaidenband, former VP of Product at Toya!