7 min read

Streamline Your Sprints With 9 Jira Automations

Tue Apr 06 2021
Sean Blake
Written by Sean Blake, Head of Marketing

Sprints are at the core of agile principles. And they’re how a Scrum team uses a predefined time period to work together towards an agreed-upon goal. A sprint focuses on interaction and collaboration to produce working software. A team has to do a lot of work to maintain their sprint workflows in Jira. Changing task statuses, notifying teammates to sprint changes, and keeping developers’ code changes in sync with Jira tasks can all add up to a lot of manual mouse clicks. 🖱

Many of these manual steps can be automated to save your team effort.

Help your Scrum team with Jira automations

Scrum is a framework for getting agile work done. The Scrum events are:

  • Sprint: The time period in which the team works toward their sprint goal (e.g., completing a set amount of user stories from the product backlog). The next sprint starts when the previous one ends.
  • Sprint Planning Meeting: A meeting that scopes the amount of effort required for backlog items prioritized by the product owner. The software development team commits to completing that amount of work.
  • Daily Scrum: A brief meeting each workday when Scrum team members update each other on the progress of their work within the sprint. It's a time to lend support or unblock another team member who may be stuck on an issue.
  • ​Sprint Review: A time for the Scrum team and stakeholders to review the outcomes of the completed sprint and discuss what impacts they have on future sprints.
  • Sprint Retrospective: A meeting to find opportunities to improve on the team's agile processes and its interactions with each other.

Which Scrum roles are involved:

  • Software Developers: They get the work done but don't want any sprint surprises.
  • Product Owner: This person prioritizes the work and sometimes has to make unplanned mid-sprint changes.

Every player on the software development team, from startups to established companies, has repetitive tasks they need to perform throughout its sprint events. Because we're all human, when we're sprinting, we sometimes forget to transition the status of issues or do the little things in Jira that keep everyone on the team aware of what's happening in our sprint in real-time.

Automate your sprint workflows with Jira

Have no fear. Jira can help automate typical sprint workflows like task transitions and team notifications. 🤯 Agile project management within software development is a methodology that is conducive to automation. You can link behaviors in your Jira issues to trigger actions from tools like Slack and MS Teams, email, GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab.

You can use Jira automations to do things such as:

  • Notify team members and stakeholders of any changes to a sprint
  • Trigger actions based on task transitions within a sprint iteration
  • Keep Jira task and sub-task statuses and story points in sync
  • Connect code commits and build statues to Jira issues

Oh my!

If you didn't know these tools existed, here's your chance to learn them.

Automate your way to connectivity

Keep agile teammates in the know

When a sprint begins, it's important the product owner notifies team members if something changes. That way, you can make sure it won't negatively impact your ability to complete your sprint goal.

Communication within agile teams is paramount, and Jira provides ways to automatically notify your scrum team based on rules you set about your sprint. For example, you can send emails or Slack notifications when the status of a task changes.

sprints: GIF of women talking to each other

Task and sub-task coordination

Sub-tasks are a handy feature in Jira. They help you break tasks into smaller steps and track their progress as they're being worked on. Scrum masters encourage this universally in agile, but it can be easy for sub-tasks to get out of sync with their parent tasks. We’ll soon learn a Jira automation to prevent this.

Connect developer code work to Jira issues

Your development team has a lot on its plate during a sprint. Not only does it have to complete all of its user stories — but there's also the mechanics of keeping code commits by developers synced with their associated Jira tickets. And, always remembering to keep these in tune with Jira tickets is burdensome. As you’ll see, there are ways to connect actions taken in GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab and update Jira tickets.

Jira automations FTW

GIF of a man sprinting and jumping to the finish line

Here are our nine favorite Jira automations that streamline our sprint workflow.

1. Notify teammates when a story is added to a sprint

Scope creep (adding new points to a sprint after it starts) is nobody's friend. However, there are times when a product owner needs to pull an item from the product backlog and add it to the current sprint. When this happens, it's best practice to inform the whole team that a change has been made. Use this handy automation template to send an email to your team when backlog items are added to a sprint.

2. Automatically assign a task when its status changes

Some team members need to be made aware when an issue transitions to being on their plate. When an issue’s status switches to In Review, for example, you can auto-assign it to a QA teammate.

3. Celebrate when your sprint is over by sending a Slack message

A lot of work happens during a sprint. Because your next sprint always begins immediately when the current one ends, it's often difficult to find time to celebrate wins. Use this celebration to send a fun Slack message to your team when the final issue in the sprint is completed. You can make sprints fun with automation!

4. Automatically put In Progress issues into the current sprint

There are lots of moving parts when trying to ensure that In Progress Jira issues are visible in the current sprint. Nobody wants hidden work. When a developer moves a task into In Progress, you can automatically assign it to the current sprint.

5. Sum the story points of sub-tasks and update the value of the parent task

Be sure that your story point totals are accurate by automatically summing the points of your sub-tasks and updating the parent task with the value. They'll never be out of sync with each other with this nifty automation rule.

6. Close an issue when all of its sub-tasks are complete

Some people like to work with sub-tasks, which is great. But it's easy to overlook closing a parent task after you've finished your work and closed all of its sub-tasks. Well … you can automatically close a parent task when all of its sub-tasks are complete so this doesn't happen. 🤖

7. Move a task to In Progress when a commit is made

Save your developers time by cutting down on redundant tasks. When a code commit is made, it means a task is being worked on. Connect Jira to your commit repository (GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab) so that when a code commit is made, the associated Jira issue moves to In Progress.

8. Add a comment to a ticket when a pull request is made

Adding details to a Jira ticket from a pull request can be a copy-and-paste job — but it doesn't have to be. Use a trigger to add the details from the request into a Jira comment.

9. Notify the development team when a Jenkins build fails

Certain issues can't wait to be realized by the whole team on the next daily stand-up. If your Jenkins build fails, this is an awesome way to let the whole team know by Slack, MS Teams, or email ... right away.

Make agile sprints easy

Automations in Jira make a sprint team’s life easier by cutting down on the manual work needed to keep the mechanics of a sprint running.

You can use modified versions of these automations with Easy Agile to make agile even easier! For example, celebrate roadmap wins by notifying your team when issues are completed in your Easy Agile Roadmaps for Jira, or sync your Jira data fields with your roadmap. There are many ways to mix-and-match rules and triggers to make Jira automations work for you.

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