Agile Research with Jira?


Is anyone running their research planning / backlog / tracking via Atlassian? I feel like @katetowsey might have some pro tips here :smiley:


Hey Ryan, not yet! Only been at Atlassian for 1 month and I’m working on other things. We do use Jira as a research service desk - literally as a service desk for people doing research around the org and who need advice and support - but that’s likely all I can share.


I’ve been asked a couple of times by suppliers to put t-shirt sizes or story points on UR and refused. In fact, hell will freeze over before I ever do that to user research. Jira has become a performance management tool and it’s not about users. If you’re team is remote though and it’s the only way they can see the UR plan/activities then you could compromise and just record what your doing in it at a high level. The scrum master will soon be foaming at the mouth though when stuff gets carried over the to next sprint and give in. Our UR plan runs alongside what’s in Jira.


I am using Atlassian for research, but while the teams I work with are running weekly sprints, I run a more open and flexible kanban board due to the intrinsic nature of user research. Needless to say, I don’t really apply story points on anything in my board.
Basically it’s a good place to store some sort of project roadmap, track abd share progress on research stories and tasks, and allows to move stories back and forth between me and the product teams - outcomes from my bigger research projects may end up as stories in the product team’s sprint backlogs, and the outcomes from their sprints may generate new stories for the research backlog (which can become a big research project like an in-depth qualitative study, or just a smaller research task like quick and dirty guerilla user tests).


What I’ve been trying lately is to write Epics in the form of research questions and the associated issues as the research activities that we’re planning that aim to get answers to some of those questions. So far, it’s seemed to be working fairly well, but the task tracking and all those PM whiz bang features are not something that is really relevant so those just go unused. I’m thinking of it more of a communication tool rather than task management and it should satisfy those folks who are interested in understanding what we’re working on.