For software developers and project managers in the SaaS industry, staying on top of tasks and keeping track of release versions is a challenge. Many software development teams use Jira to manage projects, tasks, and priorities as it allows them to stay agile without getting overloaded with tasks.
However, while project managers are using Jira regularly, developers often work primarily in Jenkins. For them, remembering to update Jira can get tedious. When that happens, progress stalls, and build failures may be overlooked.
The struggle of managing progress and versions
This was the exact problem that Jason, the leader of a development team for a SaaS startup, was facing. The company was regularly releasing new features for two current apps in the market as well as developing a new product. The team was using Jira for project management, but the developers preferred to work in Jenkins.
While the information was up-to-date in Jenkins, it was not clearly reflected in Jira, which led to miscommunication, scope creep, and delays. For example, project managers would assume a project was on track, when it was in fact delayed due to a build failure. The build failure was logged in Jenkins, but not in Jira.
Project scope would get out of control as team members were not on the same page in terms of capacity. Without a single source of truth (SSOT), it was difficult to get an understanding of project status and make accurate estimates on release dates.
Choosing a solution to unite Jenkins and Jira
Jason’s team set out to find a solution to seamlessly integrate Jenkins and Jira that would improve their workflow and keep projects on track. Their most important requirements were bi-directional integration and automation. Security compliance was also a concern for stakeholders outside the team.
At first, Atlassian’s own Jenkins for Jira stood out as an obvious option, but upon further research, they found that it didn’t meet their needs. Users could send information from Jenkins to Jira, but not from Jira to Jenkins. Automation rules were limited, and it wasn’t possible to see the entire history of a build from Jira, which meant it would still be a challenge to stay up-to-date.
Next, they looked into Jenkins Integration for Jira and found that it met their key requirements. Builds could be triggered from both Jenkins and Jira, and full build history was available in Jira so the team would have an SSOT. It offered robust automation features, so they could set up rules to trigger builds, create alerts, differentiate versions, and update Jira issues.
An added benefit was that it is the only Cloud-Fortified app, so stakeholders could rest assured that data would be transmitted securely. The team agreed to a trial of the app; it took some time to learn the app and set up the automation rules, but once everything was in place, the results were worth the effort.
The results: improvements in workflow and more efficient releases
Since implementing Jenkins Integration for Jira, Jason and his team have seen dramatic improvements in workflow and are releasing features on schedule.
Fewer errors because updates are automatic on both sides
Jason set up automation rules to trigger alerts in Jira whenever there is a build failure. A new issue is automatically created, so DevOps and project managers are aware of the problem and can deal with it immediately, rather than let it slip by until a larger problem arises.
Greater transparency on progress and scope
Since Jira issues are automatically created and updated, project managers have a clear view of progress, and recognize any blockers that may impact release time. Having a full view of the history of each build provides an understanding of changes that need to be taken into account when planning.
More accurate estimates on release times
With a complete understanding of scope and any hindrances, they can make more accurate estimates on release times, so customers aren’t disappointed or kept waiting for the latest features.
Improve your build release management today
If you face similar challenges to Jason’s team, you may want to consider integrating Jira and Jenkins yourself. Jenkins for Jira offers full bi-directional integration, and you can automate a range of tasks to save your team time and prevent errors. Security compliance is assured as it’s Cloud-Fortified and data is fully encrypted. It’s free to give it a try!