The best way to understand how a team operates and plans to use Jira is by interviewing the team lead. Here’s how to conduct a good initial interview.
The application administrator should uncover and understand the following:
- Is a new project needed or can an existing project be leveraged?
- Example: The Email Marketing Team wants to use Jira. Can they use the existing Marketing Team’s project or do they need a separate project (special configuration) of their own?
- What are the reporting requirements? What data points are important to track?
- Are new schemes or assets needed? (Ex: a new custom workflow, a custom field, etc.)
- Who will maintain the project-level settings, serve as the primary contact for all project related questions, triage and monitor issues, and groom the backlog?
The requestor or team lead should:
- Understand, at a high level, the type of problems Jira can solve
- Receive answers to any “can Jira do X” questions
- Provide an example of a common request and how the team completes work
- Keep the conversation high-level. This is an info collection meeting, not a Jira demo.
- Listen more than you talk
- Learn the team’s process for a typical initiative
- Collect team reporting goals and specific data to track
- Choose terminology wisely. For example, a “project” is a collection of issues to a Jira administrator, but a “project” is something to work on to a team lead.
- Demo Jira. This is a fact finding session. Concentrate on listening, not clicking around Jira or hosting a “show and tell.”
- Lose focus or discuss low level topics. This is not the time to ask: What is your version number format? What board column will status X map to?
- Use industry or “Jira jargon” that’s unfamiliar to your audience
- Discuss methodology. Jira can support any or no methodology.
- Click around the Jira application admin area. This is confusing and extraneous info for non application admins.
Download the “Worksheet: Jira New Project Interview” at: jirastrategy.com/link/project-interview.
- Identify a team to onboard to Jira.
- Interview the team lead to see how Jira might help them track their work and automate manual tasks.
- Create a basic Jira project to get the team started. The project can be enhanced or further customized as the need arises.