The Bite-Sized
Guide to Managing Projects in Jira
and Confluence

Master the four phases of project management with Atlassian apps.

Let the
project begin

Project management is complicated. You have to juggle between teams to plan, coordinate the execution of project work, and monitor overall performance.

Things can get messy once you miss out on the big picture: overcommitted team members, conflicting workflows, siloed information, or worse, miscommunication on the project requirements during hand-offs. All these problems can easily sink your project.

Modern software like Atlassian Jira and Confluence can help you avoid these issues and get you on the fast-track to project management success.

In this interactive guide, we help you navigate Jira Software with a hand-picked selection of PMP-grade Marketplace apps for successful project delivery, from start to finish.

Initiation &
Planning

From recipe to business reality

You can’t dive into cooking before developing a recipe. Likewise, project planning doesn’t start until you identify the business case, team members, goals, and solutions. With a clear vision, your project can finally take shape.

Envision your plan

There are many components to defining project scope. Envision the composition of your project by answering the question: What does the project aim to achieve? What work must be done to accomplish it?

Using Confluence, you can easily visualize your project plan and communicate it to stakeholders. Be it conventional documentation or an immersive prototype with flowcharts, the software can handle it all.

The best part? You can instantly convert every action item into a Jira task as the project kicks off.

App view Jira dashboard
Gliffy diagram UI

Gliffy Diagram

Install Gliffy Diagram add-on to visualize ideas and processes right within the Confluence page.

Confluence macros UI

Confluence Macro

Tag team members, assign tasks, and get creative with macros to customize your project plan.

Jira tasks UI

Jira tasks

Convert action items into tasks and track them in Jira.

Expand the (+) markers to learn about the apps in the diagram.

When you are ready to launch the project, translate the project scope into tasks in your Jira backlog, with epics (a unit of work) and issues (tasks) indicating what needs to be done.

App view Jira backlog
Jira Epics

Break down the project scope into smaller pieces of work.

Jira sprint

Build your backlog and set target completion dates.

Jira backlog

Assign team members to individual tasks.

Expand the (+) markers to learn about the apps in the diagram.

Knowledge Space

You can capture the information needed to execute the project in a Project Poster. It’s a dynamic document that PMPs create to convey the objectives, how the project will be carried out, and who the stakeholders are, to align teams throughout the project. Get started with a Project Poster template on Confluence.

Plan it out

Jira’s roadmap feature is great for long-term project planning, enabling you to group related tasks and keep track of what everyone is working on at a glance. Despite its robust capabilities, Jira roadmap only allows you to visualize dependencies between epics. It lacks a granular view of work order, as well as the relationships between tasks.

But there’s a workaround. You can easily break down tasks and organize the entire project with WBS Gantt-Chart for Jira, an app by Ricksoft. Not only that, it allows you to manage team capacity and clearly see the relationships between tasks.

Knowledge Space

Traditionally, PMPs use the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to plan project work. It’s a list of tasks you need to get done to complete the project, organized in a hierarchical order. That way, you can draw the relationships between tasks and execute them accordingly. In Jira, your to-do list is stored in the backlog.

App view Excel-like Issue Editor

Manage tasks in a hierarchical order with the work breakdown structure (WBS).

Drag-and-drop task relationships to visualize dependencies.

Allocate team resources according to capacity forecasts.

Chef’s secret: Prefer good ol’ Excel for content editing? Utilize Excel-like Issue Editor add-on to transform your backlog into a spreadsheet.

Expand the (+) markers to learn about the apps in the diagram.

Execution

Mastery of Inventive Cooking

Remember that software doesn’t make a project manager. However, it can help supplement your project management skills.

To make the most of Jira, take advantage of workflow customization. With a basic understanding of Jira system administration, you’ll be able to configure your instance to meet your project needs.

Before making changes to issue types, workflows, and custom configurations, make sure that your teams are on-board to avoid conflicts.

Process management

First things first, personalize your Jira workflows to cater to your project needs.

Jira workflow

Once you have a standard workflow scheme, it’s easier to manage handover across teams.

Take it to the next level with the built-in Jira automation feature, a no-code rule builder that helps you encode task transition logic.

With a dash of automation, you can ensure hassle-free task management, and avoid disruption while freeing-up your team from machine-capable tasks. Plus, there’s no coding required!

Comala Workflow

Customize approval workflows to manage the entire process without manual intervention.

Expand the (+) markers to learn about the apps in the diagram.

Comala Assign Viewers

Assign reviewers or approvers to ensure transparency for cross-collaboration.

Expand the (+) markers to learn about the apps in the diagram.

Using Comala Document Management (formerly Comala Workflows), you can also elevate the workflow automation capability to Confluence. Need to get approval for content or proposals? Utilize Confluence editor to facilitate collaboration.

Iterative and
incremental development

Behind every recipe is a series of trials. In fact, it’s the small adjustments that refine the dish. Similarly, your goal is to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) with continuous improvements throughout the project life cycle. And what makes Jira such powerful software is its agility.

Once you’ve identified your project milestones, work backward to focus on your customer needs and prioritize the right portion of work. Hold stand-up meetings and retrospectives to monitor your team progress. Pay attention to potential hiccups and prevent them from spoiling your projects.

Knowledge Space

A standup meeting is usually a 10-minute long check-in, where teams get together at the beginning of the day to go through what everyone has accomplished the day before, their focus for the day, and if there are any roadblock. Meanwhile, retrospectives happen at the end of the sprint, encouraging teams to reflect on the previous sprint and discuss improvement opportunities.

Delivery

Prepping for Consumption

Now that your project is well underway, keep the feedback coming to refine your project deliverables.

As they say, “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” The completion phase doesn’t mean signed – sealed – delivered and it’s done. Testing is a major part of a project life cycle to ensure that the project fulfills the defined business outcomes, especially for iterative software development projects.

That’s where the test management app Zephyr for Jira comes in. Empower teams with integrated test plans right within Jira to diagnose your project health and success. That way, everyone can boost the quality of deliverables, rather than focusing on outputs alone.

Zephyr for Jira

Keep track of your issue delivery with a comprehensive dashboard.

Connect with external stakeholders and departments beyond the project team through Email this Issue. You don’t have to leave your Jira instance to get information or approval from external stakeholders. Create rule-based events to trigger emails and deliver important information to your contacts, even if they are outside of Jira.

Reporting

Bon Appetit!

Finally, your recipe is ready to cook. Need to report on your team’s performance? Fortunately, project reporting with Jira doesn’t require manual effort. You can generate relevant data on charts and diagrams to instantly assess the project’s health, as well as its completion rate.

Be sure to add Tempo Timesheet to record the time spent on every task. With it, you can track billable work hours, analyze team velocity, and forecast resource allocation for future projects.

eazyBI Dashboard

To wrap it up, review your project delivery timeline on a comprehensive dashboard. With a sophisticated app like eazyBI, you can customize your reporting in Jira so you can digest the right insights.

Is that it?

The Project's Manager's Guide to Atlassian Apps

Not quite. It’s time to reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and how you can deliver better outcomes. Once you ship the MVP, anticipate customer feedback to define the next project scope.

These tips and tools aim to help you make the most of Jira and Confluence for your project management practices. Learn more about the featured Marketplace apps from the eBook: The Project Manager’s Guide to Atlassian Apps.