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We have one large project running at the company where I work as a developer. We have developers from different teams involved (different companies even), testers, analysts and whatnot. This large project has its own Scrum board in JIRA.

My own team consists of 2 testers and 1 developer (there used to be 2 of us) and we have our own Scrum board. Our sprints run asynchronously to the main project but we do take stories from the main project. Often I will break them down into smaller stories.

Other stories on our backlog are about maintenance: upgrading existing software, removing old software, migrating to new hardware and so on. And some other stories that are not, or only loosely, tied to the main project. I should stress that the maintenance part is linked (often blocks or is blocked by) the stories from the main project.

This setup works but we do have problems because of the replication of stories from the main project's board to our team's board. I hardly ever look at the main project board and the analysts and product owner from the main project never look at ours, this has caused some unpleasant surprises in the past.

My question is: Are we doing something inherently wrong here? If so, what would be a better approach? If not, how to fix the problems from story duplication?

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    In Jira you can create boards that show tickets from multiple projects based on a query. Is it possible to use some kind of query to select the tickets from the main project that are relevant for you? Then you might not need to clone them. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Aug 17 '18 at 11:35
  • @Bart, thanks i'm looking into it! – Ivana Aug 17 '18 at 11:58
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    Are you looking for a "how to use JIRA better" answer, or for a "how to organize the working process better" answer? – Erik Aug 17 '18 at 13:33
  • @Erik If our approach is hoplessly flawed than we should fix that first, if not we would make work easier by just using Jira better. – Ivana Aug 17 '18 at 14:01
  • Yes: filtering the my stories from the large project and adding them to my project works! It has opened a new can of worms because now we have to decide who decides when a story is 'done'. – Ivana Aug 17 '18 at 15:08
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Though the default, Projects and filters (boards) do not have to remain 1-1.

What I would suggest:

  1. Create/use separate Issue Types for Stories (Story) and maintenance (Task).
  2. Create and use an epic in LargeProject for use with Stories that are for the SmallProject.
  3. For your team, use the following filter for your board: 'Project = "SmallProject" OR (Project = "LargeProject" AND "Epic Link" = LP-2693)' (Where LP-2693 is the key for the Epic mentioned above)
  4. For the larger team, use the following filter for your board: 'Project = "LargeProject" OR (Project = "SmallProject" AND type = Story)'
  5. For both boards, go Board->Configure->Card Layout; then add 'Project' so that each card displays to which Project it belongs.

Disclaimer: I'm still using an older version of JIRA Agile, but I assume this works for JIRA Software as well.

  • Thanks! It does work for JIRA Software and i've made a board with my project and the items from the LargeProject that are assigned to me. Doing this brought to light a smell: we dont always agree when a story is done. This was not a problem before as I had my stories and 'they' had theirs but now that we share we actually have to discuss this (a good thing IMHO) – Ivana Aug 17 '18 at 15:14

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