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  1. Invision is a popular tool for visual designers and UX designers, but it is usually a pain to transfer the information over to Jira. With Invision for Jira that becomes less problematic since you can embed an inline prototype directly into a Jira issue that also include the inspect function that makes life easier for the developers. While this is very nice, it really is just a fancy way to link people to Invision because the links will take you to Invision and you get the same issue with making sure everyone have a login and understand the way Invision works. This does not solve the actual problem to bring in the information the designers need into the documentation, it just add a more convenient way to direct the users to Invision. So this leaves the designs in Invision, which is not a good place to keep designs once they are agreed upon since you need to ensure the designs are not continuously improved as that cause issues with requirements. This can be solved by transferring projects to a another, controlled Invision instance, but that is messy and prone to confusion and mistakes. What I would like to have is a way to embed this directly into Confluence where it can be version handled and controlled from a requirements perspective. The concept is amazing, but the solution right now is not enough for a good way to bring in design in a controlled way as a requirement into Jira unfortunately.
  2. Gliffy Projects for Jira is another great product from the Gliffy Team and this time they help bridging the gap between design and development. It's an easy concept that is easily understood by the designers using hotspots in the design directly connected to development tasks. The concept is super easy and it is quite nice to be able to just add work tasks directly to a design the way Gliffy Projects do it. The down side however is that you need to use another image manager which is the Gliffy Projects. If I am already using Invision for example it does not really feel natural to add the images again to another tool just to create the hotspots to Jira. For this to be a slam dunk I would love to see it integrated in Confluence like their other products so I can stay in one tool for requirements and from there simply connect the uploaded designs in the same way. I do hope Gliffy are working on this because that would make this an invaluable tool in any project using visual design or workflows that need to be translated into activities.
  3. Announcements in Jira is an important part of the Jira administrators job. The balance between being annoying and not keeping the users properly informed is a thin line indeed. While Jira provide email and banner options, its still a blunt tool to use and sometimes you even wish for your Jira Project Leaders to have the power to keep their projects informed. This is where Announcer for Jira can help. With it's flexible system it can inform users in many ways, including group selection, scheduled notifications, several types of notifications and more you can make your notifications as unobtrusive as your users need them to be. It's quite the tool to add to your arsenal of plugins and during upgrades and incidents your users will love you for giving them the power to be informed.
  4. One common question that often comes up is what the difference is between especially business projects and Software projects. In Jira Software this is not very clear and as a result I see almost all projects are created as Software projects. Lets go through the differences to see what a project type is and how it can be used in your project. In Jira there are three different project types that you can have: Business project - Jira Core. Software Project - Jira Software Jira Service Desk Project - Jira Service Desk The different project types comes with some specific features. This means that based on the project types you will see a different set of functionality in your project. These are referred to as Application Specific Features. In essence the choice between the different project types define a template that decides what the project you create will have in terms of functionality. If you accidentally choose the wrong type, then you can always change that later and the new choice will again create the functionalities related to the template. Business Project If you choose Business Project, then you will get the default functions that are included in Jira Core. This project type is best suited for projects that work a lot with tasks. Software Project If you choose Software Project, then you will get the default functions that are included in Jira Core plus the functionalities to work with Agile Boards, Integration with development tools and release hubs for software version release. This is the recommended project type if you work in an Agile way and need the scrum board, or if you work with development so you need the release information or integrate with development tools. Jira Service Desk Project This add the service desk functionality such as SLA's and the Que view. It also add some specific Service Desk gadgets. This project type is useful for projects where SLA's are very important and in projects where you need a specific flow for support. Unlike the Business Project and the Software project this project type can feel very different as the view is arranged in a different way to better fit the need of a service desk staff. A Summary of the Project Types Project Types are NOT the same as Project Templates It is very important to understand that Project types are not the same as project templates. Project types define the underlying functionality of the project while templates change the layout and interaction with the project. We will cover the template types in a different blog post if you think that could be interesting. If you want to read more about project types, feel free to read the Atlassian documentation here.
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