Throughout the summer, Tahzoo will publish a blog series on productivity tips and tricks we use. For now, however, I want to focus simply on why JIRA is such an important tool for us and our clients.
At Tahzoo, we’ve chosen to embrace JIRA (formally known as Atlassian JIRA) as the project management tool to help our teams manage our “agile” projects. In the world of website development, that term “agile” is overused and its true meaning is usually misinterpreted. “Agile” most often refers to the project management principle of incremental management of the design-and-build activities of information technology/business areas to provide development in a highly flexible and interactive manner.
If I were a prospective client of Tahzoo or any other technology company, I would want a realistic idea of what my project is going to cost ahead of time and what’s going to be delivered. This is where the power of JIRA becomes apparent. Through a paid scoping activity, both parties (client and consultants) can dig into requirements and fill out the product backlog—the high-level list of customer business requirements the project will need to satisfy.
Once the backlog has been created, a subject matter expert can review the tickets and assign story points (essentially, the level of effort based on the Fibonacci Sequence principle). Here’s an example of our level of effort-per-story point:
Points / Hours
1 / 2
2 / 5
3 / 10
5 / 20
8 / 30
13 / 40
21 / 100
The next step involves having an open dialogue. You, the client, have defined the body work and level of effort, now it’s time to hone in on the team size and pricing based on the number of sprints (a sprint is a set period of time during which specific work has to be completed and made ready for review) and overall goals.
A cross-functional team is a group of individuals with different expertise working on a common goal. This group should be fully dedicated to the project and be self-directed based on specific tasks as assigned through JIRA.
I like to recommend team sizes around SPF-15. As it is the beginning of the summer, you are probably thinking that this refers to “sun screen protection,” but, in this case, it is an acronym for a new term that I’ve coined, “standard performance formula.”
In my experience, 15 sprint-based resources is the right size for new project development. Typically, a team would consist of Business Analysts (x3), Back-End Developers (x3), Front-End Developers (x3) and a User Experience Designer (x1). To supplement this team, there is a dedicated Delivery Lead (x1), Project Manager (x1) and Quality Assurance Testers (x3). Collectively, this is your SPF-15 team.
Within an Agile sprint, a single person can complete approximately 16 “velocity” story points in a two-week period. So, with our ten “development” related/assigned resources from above, a client should expect 160 story points on average to be completed every two-weeks.
Working collaboratively, the burden of determining priority, total number of sprints and budget fall onto the Delivery Lead, Project Manager and Client to agree on what will be delivered at the end of each sprint and, eventually, the project. This step takes away the ambiguity of “what am I really paying for,” and draws a complete picture for all parties involved ... ahead of time.
Over the upcoming weeks, we’ll review different topics, reports and general best practices Tahzoo leverages to ensure successful planning and execution of our Agile projects within JIRA.
Contact Tahzoo to learn how our smart, happy (agile) team can help you implement your next web project using our SPF-15 teams with Jira.
image by Dicklyon.