Jira has a massive problem. And it’s not even Jira’s fault.
Does any of this sound familiar?
This is all because of Jira tickets; not how Atlassian has created the platform – but how we, as users, are writing them.
Jira tickets, when written badly, can destroy productivity, cause friction, and lead vocal members of your team to demand a switch to a different platform. To avoid this, it’s important to know how to write Jira tickets effectively from the get-go.
Here are five ways to write better Jira tickets.
Always be clear, concise, and avoid any chance of ambiguity. If you’re worried about the ticket sounding rude, don’t. Wasting time with a super-long, ambiguous ticket is rude – giving the person the exact information they need is far kinder.
Assign exact names to features and user interface elements, and stick to them. Give actions rather than a laundry list of problems.
Most importantly of all, write a good title.
Use verbs (doing or action words) to prompt the action. For instance, do not simply write the feature you want – ask for the feature to be implemented.
The clearer your ticket can be from the start, the more likely it will be done without back and forth.
Format your tickets clearly, with bold text, italics, and clickable text links. Using markdown for specific text types can greatly improve the speed of writing Jira tickets – but you can achieve the same result with keyboard shortcuts.
Messy tickets take longer to read and longer to action – so make sure you clarify at the start with clean formatting.
A picture is worth a thousand words. So show, don’t tell.
Adding screenshots to a ticket, or a gif if the issue is time-based, will clearly show the recipient what the problem is, without you needing to explain much.
Before you start, your Jira admin must enable specific user permissions so that you can add attachments and screenshots – You need the “create attachments” permission.
Once you have it, you can drag and drop images, gifs, and other files into your Jira tickets. You can also browse your files by navigating to More > Attach files within Jira, while writing your ticket.
Make it as simple as possible – because often, things get complex when you’re trying to figure out if you’ve done what was needed.
At its most basic, your acceptance criteria should be a checklist; done or pending, true or false. In more detail, this includes your Definition of Done: a clear and concise description of what qualifies a task as complete.
So, focus on the reason for the ticket, and the outcome. Give it a clear list of qualifiers for being done. Make the language precise, free of ambiguity. And if possible, simplify it to true/false statements – so there’s absolutely no question of what “done” is.
You could write your Jira tickets in Word or Google Docs, to get spell checking and grammar fixes on the fly – or you could use a browser extension plugin like Grammarly, to fix it in-situ. Much faster!
Speaking of plugins, the Atlassian Marketplace is full of powerful add-ons to make Jira tickets more effective: like the Bitbucket plugin.
The Bitbucket plugin adds to the already seamless Jira and Bitbucket experience, by allowing the two tools to talk to each other. Simply include a Jira ticket number in a commit or pull request, and the Bitbucket activity will be tracked alongside the ticket.
Or how about the Slack plugin, which gives you chat notifications for any relevant ticket activity.
Jira can be customised so deeply, from the template level to plugins – so use it! Make the most of your tools, and get the best results.
And if you need support making Jira work exactly as you need it, we’re here to support you – with the brightest talent in the industry.