Tips for writing better Jira tickets

Contractor working on phone

Tips for writing better Jira tickets

Jira is an extremely useful product that has made working easier for countless businesses – but it does occasionally get something of a bad name. The key issue here is not that Jira causes problems by itself, instead it is the human input issue that creates the challenges. When Jira is poorly managed or misused it can make everything feel far more complicated than it needs to.

If you can start using Jira the way it is intended, it can have positive influences on productivity and efficiency. In this blog, we present tips for writing better Jira tickets.

Remember your audience

It is crucial when writing Jira tickets to remind yourself that this ticket isn’t for your use. It is so often the case that Jira tickets are too short and simply don’t provide the kind of useful information that they need to have on them. Take a look back at tickets that you have written – you might find that while they make perfect sense to you, they could easily be misinterpreted or may be missing crucial details that allow someone else to work with it.

For example, Jira tickets are often written by designers for developers. In doing so, it can be easy to forget that people in different departments don’t use the same software or hardware as you day-in day-out.

Be precise 

One of the most common problems with Jira tickets is ambiguous language. Writing good tickets means being precise with your word choice and ensuring that only one possible meaning can be inferred by reading the ticket.

Remember that you understand what you mean but if you use language that doesn’t make everything extremely clear, it can be misinterpreted. For example, if you were describing a user interface you should avoid vague phrases like “the third section” or “the footer” – make sure it is unambiguous and clear which part of the interface you are talking about. It is better to over describe than to assume.

Make use of templates 

It is often the case that key information is left off Jira tickets. This information inevitably has to be queried and corrected, and this whole process can take longer than the query even would have taken to resolve in the first place. It is tempting to just say: avoid making mistakes. But these mistakes don’t happen on purpose, they are simply oversights.

It is often the case that key information is left off Jira tickets. This information inevitably has to be queried and corrected, and this whole process can take longer than the query even would have taken to resolve in the first place. It is tempting to just say: avoid making mistakes. But these mistakes don’t happen on purpose, they are simply oversights.

Make acceptance criteria a yes or no

 

One of the biggest problems with ambiguity in a Jira ticket comes in relation to the acceptance criteria of the ticket. You are often going to be dealing with fairly complicated issues, so it can be a great idea to break it down to something like a checklist that requires either yes or no answers.

Once again, this comes back to making everything as easy as possible to understand and removing the possibility of misunderstandings.

Use screenshots and GIFs

It is far too often the case that Jira tickets are simple, plain text. Not only are tickets like this dull to look at and read, they also are often not as effective as visual aids. It’s a great idea to use screenshots of what you are talking about to illustrate what you mean. Even better is creating a GIF that shows the issue happening.

At ClearHub, we are specialists in finding high quality Jira contractors and matching them up with businesses. If you are interested in hiring a Jira expert don’t hesitate to get in contact with the team at ClearHub today.

Is there a skills shortage – or are you just looking in the wrong places?

Is there a skills shortage – or are you just looking in the wrong places?

The government website updated its skilled worker visa list in February 2022.

According to this list, the UK’s skills shortage is deep; everyone from senior care workers to dancers is in demand, and visas are on offer to those who can fill those roles.

One of the most surprising fields to see in the list is “IT business analysts, architects and systems designers” – solution-makers, DevOps practitioners, tooling specialists, developers… 

And we’re surprised because, as far as we can tell – there’s no shortage at all.

In fact, our cup runneth over with Software Architects, Cloud infrastructure specialists, freelance DevOps engineers and freelance Atlassian experts. Some of these people are the best in the world at what they do.

So, why are we talking about a skills shortage in the UK?

Is it really a skills shortage – or are you trying to fill “roles”?

We believe that there’s an abundance of skills, but employers are either unwilling to look beyond the superficial metrics of skills, or are blind to the possibilities of recruiting outside the box.

Sometimes, people in a completely different role can display all the skills and competencies that your open roles require. But they fly under the radar, because their job title doesn’t match.

Or they’re not experienced enough.

Or they don’t have the certifications, or the degree, or the technical chops.

Here’s a thought; an inexperienced individual with the right attitude is a better choice than an experienced person in it for the wrong reasons.

People who are driven and proactive enough to take responsibility for their own learning and development will become experienced. They’ll earn their technical ability. They will not rest on their laurels, or chase a salary or title, or get bored waiting for a promotion.

They’ll want to learn and evolve, and will actively fill your skills gaps.

Contractors, full-time employees, interns or CEOs – it makes no difference. Finding people who will level up and gain skills is fundamental to tackling the skills shortage; not attempting to marry up prior experience and job titles to vacant roles.

Look for skills, not job titles.

Widen the net – let them work from the place that suits them best

There’s also the fact that WFH has completely transformed the way people want to work – and yet, so many employers are seeking to end it.

Read more: Cancelling WFH caused the Great Resignation. Why push for it?

Overseas recruitment, accommodating accessibility requirements and allowing remote working can potentially turn a candidate pool of ten amazing people into a pool of thousands.

The shortsighted push for an end to WFH, shutting down remote work in the process, is going to harm employers in the long run; especially when you take into consideration the sheer volume of freelance talent emerging from the rubble of the pandemic.

Creative recruitment: embrace contractors

One of the positive consequences of the Great Resignation is a larger pool of freelance talent. Freelancing exploded during lockdowns, and then again as offices took away the option of WFH. Some of the UK’s (and the world’s) best talent went solo, operating as specialist contractors.

Freelance talent is highly skilled, confident, and experienced. It carries a different set of risks – but overall, the benefits are truly worthwhile.

Download FREE ebook: how to increase the productivity of any contractor

Innovation, imparting their knowledge, opening their methodologies and practices to your business – contractors can do it all. Plus – as long as they have the tools and project brief to do so – contractors don’t need hand-holding or pulling up to speed. They’re self-sufficient, business-minded and capable.

Just give them a clearly defined task, and off they go to do it.

Hiring contractors is an excellent yet often overlooked recruitment channel; it can feed the short-term hunger that a skill gap instils, but can also lead to long standing work relationships, and even full-time hires where the cultural fit is just right.

Working with a mix of full-time staff and contractors does pose challenges, that’s for sure – but most problems can be avoided with effective communication:

  • Great briefs and project goals
  • Introductions and integrations with the team
  • Giving them access to assets and tools

What about the risks?

Well, contractors can terminate a project if it’s not working out – and that’s up to them. IT could be for a million reasons, but poor fit, feedback or communication is usually top of their list.

And it’s rare – but sometimes, freelancers don’t have the skills they’ve advertised. And that can be much more difficult to navigate.

ClearHub offers a solution to that problem – by finding technical contractors who are vetted, tested and fully qualified. We bridge the IT skills shortages  in your company, while making sure your contractor is a great fit for your team – and go the extra mile by continuing to assist you and your freelancer, with a combination of dedicated project management and technical support.

Our goal is to make your skills gap disappear, and we’ll do anything we can to make it a success.

So, maybe it’s time you started looking for skills in a new place?

Hire a freelance Atlassian expert

ClearHub specialises in finding the best Atlassian contractors in the world; vetted, skills-checked and ready to maximise your productivity.

Want to know more? Get in touch with the ClearHub team today. Call +44 (0) 2381 157811 or send your message to info@clearhub.tech.