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Project Communication in Jira made simple

Jaime González-Capitel
08-ago-2019 17:15:00

Project communications in Jira can be a challenge, imagine... if it's already a struggle being on the same page with the most recent developments... here's when project notifications come into the game, an important ingredient of your communication processes. Keep reading to learn how to leverage project subscriptions and project watchers in Jira.

What's project communication?

Project communication processes ensure that each stakeholder of interest will be informed about meeting decisions, daily scrums, project changes and more, and that all the information about the project will be transmitted, documented, and archived. In order to achieve any common goal, project communication is key at two levels: internal exchange and information management. 

Project communication is tough

Project communication is tough even for the best leaders! Across tools, contexts, industries and cultures, it’s often recognized as one of the toughest barriers for effective collaboration.

Balancing how much information to share is hard: when there’s too much, it becomes cumbersome and difficult to digest; but when there’s too little, it’s extremely easy to miss important connections that eventually break down the process and generate delays, frustration, and poor business results. It’s not the only dilemma: When communication is formalized, it becomes bureaucratic and fails to capture exceptions. But when it’s informal, it’s even more unreliable.

Diagrama_Mesa de trabajo 1-2Frequency and Formalization are painful dilemmas in the project communication.

Finding the right balance between the extremes is paramount.

Jira has skipped this problem altogether by focusing in tactical collaboration and virtually ignoring project management… but for many of you, this is virtually an information war.

As it stands, Jira is both brilliant and catastrophic at project communication.

  •    Brilliant, because project teams can easily find any information they need regarding their own and their colleagues’ work. Proactive team collaboration in Jira is unbeatable!

  •    Catastrophic, because all information contained in Jira is often a silo for non-technical users, including supervisors and managers who should be basing their decisions on an objective assessment of the situation. Communication with project stakeholders is non-existing. Without Profields, it’s not even possible to store the budget of a project, its status, or the team makeup!

With a couple of simple tricks, it’s easy to go from catastrophic to stellar project communication, and make your mom, your boss, and your colleagues proud of the achievement.

Let’s see how to cure project communication in Jira with Profields notifications, which are absolutely game-changing for project stakeholders!

Try Profields and start reaping the benefits of automated project  communication >>

Announcing project subscriptions

We’re now very happy to announce the release of project subscriptions for Profields Server and Data Center!

Project subscriptions are scheduled reports you can receive directly into your inbox. In the reports, you’ll get a table with one project for each row, and all the information you have previously selected in the columns.

subscription-budget-status-genericThe projects and information shown are drawn from the query you are basing the subscription on.

This is fine for a current picture –but it’s static. If you want to have a more dynamic idea of what’s changed, you can choose to highlight the values that have changed since the last report.

template mailSubscription changes visualize relevant information that stands out in the middle of hundreds of data points

Throughout the article I’ll explain why subscriptions are filling an important communication gap, but remember that you can always go directly to our documentation for all the details.

Best practices for project communication with Profields

Profields has long solved the lack of project information in Jira and expanded tracking capabilities from issues to projects. It’s very normal for this app to extend features in Jira, although sometimes we make them a bit prettier 😊

It’s only natural that Profields notifications are inspired in Jira notifications. However, moving away from issue towards project data has important implications.

The main differences are:

  •    Project attributes changes less often (resources, due date, or budget); but when they do, the impact is much higher. Communication procedures have to be sufficiently refined, so that every team member and stakeholder is notified that there has been a change, and can easily retrieve the most current information.

  •    KPIs and metrics, on the contrary, can change all the time and “as we speak” (spent budget, total issues, last activity date, to name just a few). Particularly, cumulative metrics that show the summative value for all issues in a project can potentially change every time a team member logs time, completes a task, or analyzes a problem. Since they drink from a set of potentially hundreds of thousands of issues and different sources, the speed is such that notifying single changes doesn’t make much sense.

In this case, supervision and decision making processes can be supported with a comprehensive summary report with the most metrics, as they stand at a particular point in time.

With this in mind, let’s see how subscriptions and watchers solve different communication scenarios. We’ll have a look at two different options for project notifications:

Watching projects is for team members

watch notification

Of course, this is only a rough rule of thumb, but usually those watching a project take direct part in it and need to be notified as soon as a change happens so they can align their work with the new situation.

Some recommendations to watch Jira projects:

  •    When should you watch? In general, if you need to know that someone in your team has modified a project attribute asap.

  •    You can consider creating email filters for the projects that you watch. Keep in mind that having one folder for each project can be a synonym of archiving notifications.

  •    Do watcher maintenance: stop watching when your involvement is less than substantial, and remember to watch new projects.

  •    If any team members must watch specific projects, make sure that they do!

  •    Don’t watch projects if you want to know the current value of moving metrics and KPIs: use subscriptions instead.

Subscriptions are for managers

scheduling a subscription to a project query with ProfieldsSubscriptions are notifications based on a query in the project navigator.

If you happen to supervise multiple projects in Jira, subscriptions to queries in the Project Navigator will give you a digest that is both complete and easy to read.

Here is a very basic example that a Business Controller may want to create: Budgeted projects with the total spent until now, and the amount of open stories. Remember, subscribing to a query in the project navigator has different levels.

The two levels at the moment to subscribe to a query on the Profield's Project Navigator

  •    Selecting relevant projects. This can be anything from projects under leads that are in your team; all projects of the same type; or projects that correspond to the same type of service.

  •    Selecting the information that matters. In Profields, projects can have a lot of information attached to them. Subscriptions that include too many fields can be difficult to read, so make sure to select the 3-6 fields that actually matter in your specific use case.

The head of Atlassian services at DEISER uses a Profields subscription to keep track of the status of all our on-demand support projects.

Another advantage of subscriptions is the ability to schedule them at any intervals. This is great when it comes to creating mandated reporting policies that are semi-automated, like Atlassian’s project central: for example, every project owner should update project information and make a quick status write-up on Fridays before 5 pm so the subscription captures it.

Or if you have weekly follow-up project meetings, you can schedule a weekly subscription to be sent out every Thursday evening. Thus you will have a table with the most current information in your inbox, ready to be discussed with your team without even going into Jira.

simplify project communications in jira

Simplify project communications in Jira


If you’re ready to revolutionize how you discuss projects at your organization, give Profields for Jira a try, and implement efficient project communications and a controlled project transparency!

TRY IT NOW

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