Project automation in Jira: The Automation and Projectrak integration

Leo Díaz
May 14, 2020 4:30:00 PM

Achieving project automation in Jira is important because it brings more time, productivity, and elevates teams collaboration. In this post, we will show how to automate some tasks in Jira, which will make your project information automatically respond to its actions, also we'll go over basic concepts, a bit of history about the integration between Automation for Jira and Projectrak, and some technical aspects regarding the configuration. Oh, yeah... we also have this eBook with use cases you can download for free.

Automating projects in Jira mainly come from using apps from the Atlassian Marketplace until Atlassian itself chose to buy Automation for Jira, which have granted the instant benefit to users and Admins of getting rid of repetitive tasks, trigger actions according to different criteria, and modeling a process beyond those provided by Jira. These are, basically, the main advantages you get from automating everything. Through this blog post, especially by the end, we will be showing how to use Automation goodies applied to project information stored with Projectrak and how to automate that. But first, let's go over the basics:

What is the automation of a project?

Before defining this concept in its entirety, it is important to define each particular aspect for the sake of fully understand how to get these interactive projects;

Project Jira Project Automation


What is a project?

A project is a series of tasks that need to be completed to achieve a defined goal, or as the Project Management Institute (PMI) defines it, “It's a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.”

 


What is a project in Jira?

A Jira project is everything you need to be, but we define it as a container that hosts issues (tasks, incidents, bugs…) with information (projects, services, products…) relevant for the team and/or person.  The definition Atlassian gives to it: “is a collection of issues... A Jira project can also be configured and customized to suit the needs of you and your team.” 


What is automation?

Automation consists of all those technologies, machines, and processes that reduce human/manual work.

 

Consequently, a project in Jira does not necessarily have to be the same as a project. As a result, we can affirm: the automation of a project is the action of delegating all possible tasks to reach projects’ objectives to technology (Jira, in our case.)

How to automate projects in Jira?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, one of the ways is to rely on the option of using apps from the Atlassian Marketplace: Projectrak (formerly Profields) and Automation for Jira; with these two, it is possible to achieve the project automation in Jira based on the automation of tasks which are directly related to the project information in Jira. Let's take a look at what each of them does:

  •    Projectrak for Jira Data Center, Server, and Cloud, is an app available on Atlassian Marketplace that enables project tracking based on fields and customizable properties of a project, notifications, bulk operations, and reports at a glance about Jira projects. Learn more about it in the following video:
  •   Automation for Jira is also available on the Marketplace that enables automating actions that would otherwise need manual intervention or coding. This can be achieved through rules where Triggers, Conditions, and Actions are configured.

But first, history lessons are important to get the context:

How did the integration between Projectrak and Automation for Jira come up?

In 2016, a company called Code Barrel surprised the Atlassian Ecosystem with an app called Automation for Jira. This app succeeded in making the difficult task of automation easy, making the less advanced users succeed without the need to develop or create complex configurations.

Automation for Jira was such a success that it won the Codegesit prize as the best IT app that year, and they became a seller of the year the following one due to its significant growth.

Code Barrel’s latest step has been marked by the acquisition of Automation for Jira by Atlassian, and recently, its addition by default in Cloud instances; Learn more about it in the following video:

The new face of Projectrak (previously Profields) is the definitive solution in handling the project information in Jira.

Consequently, in DEISER, we have been considering the possibility of integrating Projectrak with Automation for Jira. But it was in 2019, after interviewing some users, when they need to integrate both applications became a reality since users were demanding it.

We contacted Andreas (co-founder of Code Barrel) to tell him our idea and get to know his impression of our proposal. Once approved, we researched to prioritize the functionalities this integration could support. After performing their prioritization and definition, we designed the components to be developed, which would take the automation beyond the issue tickets in Jira.

When mentioning “taking automation beyond issue tickets,” we refer to the automation for Jira based on project information coming from their storage in Projectrak.

Technical challenges when automating a project in Jira

The automation in Jira is one of the challenges we, the ones in charge of the Jira administration and the “fine-tuning” of the tool, have historically faced, either for making a process easier and/or reducing repetitive tasks.

The most technical common challenges we usually find when automating projects in Jira are:

  •    Updating a project field according to an X event.
  •    Notifying X users about a change within a project.
  •    Performing a concrete action in Jira only if a particular field in the project has a concrete value.

Let’s get on with it!

How to automate projects in Jira with Automation for Jira & Projectrak?

This integration coordinates Projectrakwith Automation at every level that this other app offers, that is, the following elements:

  1. Three Triggers.
  2. A Condition.
  3. An Action.

The integration of Automation for Jira and Profields to track projects in Jira represents a  turning point in the automation of tasks directly related to project informationProjectrak and Automation for Jira are integrated at every level possible related to automate project information.

We posed an integration around Projectrak’s fields for every case, and we have incorporated two components in the Triggers that will allow users to capture events even beyond Projectrak.

1. Triggers

These are the elements allowing the automation to be triggered. Remember that, with this integration, we added three new Triggers, which are aimed at:

  1. Automating tasks when a Jira project has been created (Project Created): Setting up this trigger will notify your Slack or Teams channel when a Jira project has been created.

  2. Automating tasks when a Jira project has been removed (Project Deleted): If you want to notify the Jira Administrators when a project has been removed, choose this Trigger, and configure the action “send email” to the desired group.

  3. Automating tasks when the value of a Projectrak’ field has been modified in a Jira project (Project field value update): Among other possibilities, this Trigger generates a notification for the Jira Administrators indicating they can archive a project. To achieve that, configure a task to be delivered to administrators once the Project Lead or responsible sets the project in “archived” status.

Automatically excecute rules for Jira projects using Automation for Jira TriggersAutomate events based on changes that occurred in a project property from Projectrak.

We have not only focused on Projectrak fields. Instead, we have made a step further by enabling users to capture those events of project creation and removal.

2. Conditions

In which cases should automation be executed within Jira projects? When defining these situations, the conditions offered by Automation for Jira are needed for making that decision.

Considering that users make their decisions on their projects based on the fields offered by Projectrak, we added a Condition that allows users to choose whether the automated action will or will not be triggered, according to a Projectrak field.

If you want to receive a daily notification with only the information about the “high” priority projects updated, this condition will prevent receiving notifications about every project in Jira instead.

The list of conditios to create with Automation for Jira and Profields
Automate projects according to one or more values associated with one or more fields previously created in Projectrak.


3. Actions

Actions are, basically, the tasks you want to automate, and this integration enables you to automate the update of the Projectrak fields.

Create automated actions that reacts for project information in Jira with Automation and Profields
Automatically update one or more project property field values with Projectrak and Automation for Jira.

Imagine you want to change the status of a project every time an issue is created. In the video below, you can see how to achieve that with this integration.

Allow the project information stored in Jira (through Projectrak) to respond to automation by integrating it with Automation for Jira. It will take three simple steps:

  1. A default Trigger from Automation is added: Issue Created.
  2. We added an Action in Automation to update the project status to “Live.”
  3. We fire the automation by creating an issue and checking how the project has changed.
Post_automation_4


So, Why is project automation important in Jira? Automate projects in Jira is vital to reduce errors in different processes, allow teams to focus on activities beyond the tool, and save time. It's time to make the tool work for you and not the other way around.

Share your experience automating projects! We want to learn how you use this integration or how you think it could be useful. Tell us about your experience using Automation for Jira and Projectrak.

If you want to know more about the app, get a free trial of Projectrak available at the Atlassian Marketplace; if you doubt its functionalities, check our blog, contact us, and/or pass by our Customer Support Desk. We will be more than happy to assist you.

Do you feel ready yet to start tracking and automating projects in Jira using this solution?
If that's the case, take a look at the e-book below. It contains different use cases explaining how to automate tasks directly related to the project information in Jira, with Projectrak and Automation for Jira.

This blog post is the product of a collaboration between Leo Díaz with the support of the Marketing team.

Get seven Jira project automation examples

Get seven Jira project automation examples

When integrating Projectrak and Automation for Jira, you'll get a wide range of possibilities on making your Jira projects react to issue automatic changes. Download this eBook and start learning from these best practices.

In this ebook, you'll find seven use cases showing how to build an automated reporting process for multiple projects, getting a better visualization of work progress, among others. Get it now!

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