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What is Jira: A Comprehensive Guide for Developers


By Avalith Editorial Team ♦ 1 min read



Have you heard of Jira Software? Whether your answer is yes or no, in this guide, you will find all the information you need to know about this technology. But let's start from the beginning, what is Jira?

Jira is a web application that has over time become the market standard in project management, task management, and error management. It was developed by the Australian company Atlassian and has been in the market since 2002. Since then, more than 65,000 companies worldwide have adopted it for its flexibility to support any type of project and the ability to work with thousands of applications and integrations.

The name derives from the cinematic monster "Godzilla." This name - "Gojira" - colloquially becomes "Jira."

Jira Software is the best agile project management tool used by teams to plan, monitor, release, and provide top-notch software support securely. It is the single source of information for the entire development lifecycle, enabling autonomous teams to move quickly within the context while staying connected to a broader business strategy.

Whether you use it to manage simple projects or to enhance your DevOps practices, Jira Software helps teams advance their work, stay coordinated, and communicate more easily within the same context. Learn here how Avalith could cover this for you!

What can Jira do?

Jira has different areas of responsibility and, therefore, can be used flexibly. The web tool is most frequently used in the field of software development, although its use in non-technical areas can also be beneficial.

Jira serves as both an overview and planning tool, helping optimize workflow within a team. The software is aimed at both administrators and users. Here, tasks are distributed, intermediate states are shared, and potential sources of errors are quickly identified and remedied. For this purpose, tickets are created for individual tasks, which are assigned and processed.

Jira is particularly suitable for Scrum and Kanban project management methods. Small, medium, and even very extensive projects can be carried out more effectively with the software.

In addition to the main product, there are numerous plugins and other Atlassian software solutions for Jira that can be quickly and easily integrated to customize and optimize the workflow.

Features of Jira Software


Issue Management and Tracking

One of the most distinctive features of Jira Software is that work units have different names compared to other project management tools. In this software, you work with "issues" representing individual work items. There are different types of issues:

Epic: These are like goals, a set of multiple issues, a broader work sample.

Task or Subtask: A specific work unit.

Story: A requirement from the user's perspective.

Bug: An issue that needs to be fixed.

This way, each project is a collection of issues that need to be tracked. The issue tracking function of Jira provides information about consumer needs, errors, and any other potential overlapping issues.

Each issue created in Jira has a lifecycle and can be linked to a buildup of other events that allow you to track it easily.

Tracking issues can be done in the issue browser, directly from Scrum and Kanban boards, or within Jira queues. The issue browser is quite complex and will require special skills and knowledge to navigate. The other two options are a simpler and more streamlined way for non-technical users to track issues.

If time management is an issue for you or you don’t have the necessary time, Avalith’s experts are available and ready to start working with you!

Visualization with Kanban and Scrum Boards

Jira Software offers both Kanban and Scrum boards that are very useful tools for visualizing goals and tasks. The boards are fully customizable to fit the industry and team's working area needs.

The Scrum board allows teams to complete all their sprint tasks in a consolidated area. It is a space with tools that help teams organize their workload in sprints and track progress.

Jira Software's Kanban boards are quite standard. They include a board with cards divided into task states like 'to do,' 'in progress,' and 'done.' This allows us to see how project tasks are progressing, what tasks are on schedule, and what tasks are hindering progress. The difference with Scrum boards is that they include tasks from the entire project, not just from one sprint.

Planning with Roadmaps

Another feature of Jira Software is the ability to work with roadmaps. These allow for a quick overview of progress thanks to the high-level visual summary of goals on a timeline. They also integrate with the Scrum board to move sprints and pending work to roadmaps track dependencies within the team and visualize them.

There are two variations of roadmaps: basic and advanced available in more expensive plans. The main difference between the two is that the advanced one allows collaboration across multiple teams and enables the creation of best and worst-case scenarios for each task.

In either type, you can add epics. The interface allows setting the duration of epics on the timeline or their dates and linking them with dependencies. They can include user stories and issues in each epic and also configure more details.

Workflow Customization

The custom workflow feature deserves special mention. It allows the creation and adjustment of workflows that best fit the team's processes and the types of activities carried out in a particular case. It is possible to create a workflow from scratch or edit an existing template provided by Jira.

Custom workflows consist of four main parts:

State: Shows the current state of a task or issue.

Assignee: The user to whom a task or issue is assigned.

Transition: The connection between two different states.

Resolutions: The concluded state of the entire process.

Reports and Analytics


Jira offers various possibilities for creating reports. Time tracking reports, average time reports, recently created issue reports, user workload reports, and others can be found.

Reports can be complemented with charts that demonstrate the project's status. A 'burndown chart,' for example, tracks progress within sprints, or a 'release burndown chart' tracks product release dates for software development teams.

Jira's 'Velocity chart' monitors the time it takes to move from one sprint to another and allows estimating how long future sprints will take. If you are using a Kanban board, there is a 'cumulative flow diagram' that tracks issues and blockers, and 'control charts' that determine the future performance of cycles.


The default dashboard is a fairly comprehensive and simplified collection of important project data. In paid plans, it is possible to customize dashboards and adapt them to project needs.

There are several dashboard design templates to choose from, or you can create your own and complete each design with a pre-configured "gadget." A gadget in Jira is any section that displays summaries of team progress, reports, or real-time analysis.

By selecting the right gadgets, you can proceed to create a dashboard to display your preferred charts and graphs.

Although there are different alternatives to Jira, its reliability, clarity, and flexibility make it a useful addition for different companies and work areas. Jira streamlines teamwork and, therefore, leads to a better flow and better results.