Tipps for Beginners with Jira

If you are new to Jira, you will find my most important tips below to get to work quickly. I have deliberately limited this collection to tips for beginners. Tips for advanced users follow.

Start Simple

Jira itself is very simple software. But it also offers many expansion and configuration options. In order not to get bogged down in the diversity, I recommend starting as simply as possible by only working with user stories (in Jira just stories). Extensions like epics and subtasks etc. can often be ignored at the beginning.

Simply Start

In Jira you have to work hard to break something. This has the advantage for beginners that they can also try something out. Most organizations also have test environments with which you can really easily test and gain experience.

Understand Purpose and Configuration of Task Boards

Everyone who comes to a project should look at the configuration of the boards and / or have them explained. Which issues are shown on which board? How are the boards related? Who is the board for? Which status is displayed in which column?

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Jira has a number of shortcuts that make working with Jira much easier. You can find this in Jira either by clicking the question mark or by pressing the question mark outside of an editing field. Some examples:

  • o (open): Opens the selected issue in the detailed view
  • e (edit): Opens the editor for the selected issue
  • t (toggle): Opens or closes the sidebar
  • – folds all swimlanes open or closed

Don’t Use Localisations

Most translations of Jira are very good and contain only a few strange terms. However, there are a few advantages to using the English version. Above all, there is much better information in English on the individual topics on the internet.

Have objectives to be SMART?


Many of us have already heard, that objectives should defined SMART, i.e. specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related.My problem with such nice acronyms is that they are usually too nice to be true. Everybody can remember SMART. Thats why many people prattle about it, but nobody actually uses it. If you scroll down the wikipedia page mentioned above, you’ll find several meanings for each of the five letters, partially contradicting each other, and even two more letters, telling you that objectives should even be defined SMARTER. But even those two have several meanings.

Continue reading Have objectives to be SMART?