How to Create the Perfect Jira Ticket

JIRA is utilized for bug tracking, issue tracking, and project management. This article describes the need for a Jira ticket template, the pros and cons of a template, and outline the key components for a successful Jira ticket.

Problem Statement

Software engineers build, maintain, and fix applications and/or systems. According to Indeed, the average software engineer’s salary in the United States is $107,883 per year. For a price tag that big, time is money. It is important to put processes in place to ensure that time is not wasted on menial tasks. One of the best ways we can increase productivity for software engineers is by using Jira and creating tickets that effectively document issues or tasks.

Jira aims to help engineers build new products and features through continuous delivery and rapid software cycles. Through agile practices such as backlog grooming, sprint planning, and retrospectives, engineers are now able to have a clear vision of the work on what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed.

So what’s wrong?

Why does Jira not reach its potential?

Jira is as good as the implementation itself. More often than not, we stumble on a Jira ticket that has so little information that you have no idea why it was created or so much information that you don’t understand the purpose. As a result, your one hour grooming session becomes two hours, then three hours, and realize that you spent the whole day refactoring tickets and reaching out to people to get more information.

What’s the solution? Use a Jira template.

Jira Template

If we look at the Jira tickets at a macro level, we can see that almost all tickets fall into two main categories: enhancement and defect.

  • Enhancement: Functionality which needs to be built as a result of new requirements or specifications
  • Defect: Condition where a piece of functionality is not inline with the requirements or specifications

Guidelines for a Jira Title

Whether you are creating an enhancement or a defect, you need a title. A title is the easiest way an engineer can understand what is expected from them without having to read the entire description of the ticket. A great title will:

  • Start with a verb
  • Describe action to be taken

Enhancement Jira Ticket Template

If you have a system and you wish it had a fancy new feature that will make your job 10x better, then it is an enhancement.

If the business introduces a new product and IT needs to build software, then it is an enhancement.

An enhancement is comprised of the following:

  • Description: Concise sentence explaining the user story
  • Current State: What is currently happening? Functionality can be existing and needs to be improved or the functionality may not exist at all.
  • Future State/Business Requirement: What do you want the end result to look like?
  • Justification: What benefits will be gained once moved to the future state? Ex. Savings on time/cost/resources?

Examples:

Defect Jira Ticket Template

If you have a system that does something you are not expecting, then it is a defect.

A defect ticket is comprised of the following:

  • Description: Concise sentence explaining the issue
  • Impact: What will happen as a result of this issue? Users cannot log in? Data is incorrect? Bad user experience? This will minimize push back or re-prioritizing the work.
  • Steps to Reproduce: Steps needed to be taken to recreate the issue. Ex. SQL script, Screenshots of the Application and what needs to be clicked, etc
  • Expected Results: What do you expect the outcome to be?
  • Actual Results: When you check the system, what do you actually see when you follow the steps to reproduce?
  • Resolution: Steps taken to fix the issue
  • Root Cause: The reason why the issue occurred
  • Preventative Actions: Steps that can be taken or improvements that can be made to avoid this issue in the future. For an improvement, a new ticket must be created and related to this ticket.
  • Email: Snippet from an important email, which is not available on the ticket
  • Notes: Any relevant information

Examples:

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