Hello World! I'm Christina - a Software Engineer, Tech Lead and, Scrum Master. I'm happy to share with you Super Scrum - a Jira plugin platform to power up your most important meetings.
With everyone working remotely due to the global pandemic, team meetings have become more important than ever. As a team lead, what's most important to me these days is making sure that everyone stays connected, and energized. Over the last few months, Agile ceremonies have been the main time that the whole team is all in one 'room'.
I work remotely for a cross-location team and we use the Atlassian suite to manage our work. However, I often find myself reaching for other tools (such as draw.io for 'whiteboarding' or miro for 'post-it notes') to facilitate these remote team meetings. This results in a bit of redundancy when needing to copy the notes back into Jira/Confluence for documentation.
For Codegeist we took a step back to re-imagine how we run our agile ceremonies - Standup, Planning and, Retrospectives. The Super Scrum add-ons create dedicated virtual team spaces for these meetings, providing contextual tools streamline team meetings.
What it does
This is a platform of Jira add-ons to facilitate and streamline Agile team ceremonies. There are individual Jira Apps:
There are two challenges that this aims to solve: How can we make our standups more efficient? How can we integrate giving real-time feedback as a team?
I believe that daily standups are the most important meeting for team health - it's where you see your whole team and kick off a new day. Yet, we've all been to standups that take way longer than they should, or where the people go off-topic. In addition, I've been on many teams that struggled with giving real-time feedback. This Jira App structures standups, leaving room for a few minutes of daily team appreciative feedback.
How it works
- Open up the app from the project sidebar
- Create a new team or select an existing one to launch the standup. When creating a new team, you can configure the duration of the standup or whether or not to enable the feedback time.
- Roll the dice! Once the standup begins, there's a user dice to randomly select who's speaking next
- See active issues assigned to the user and prompts for what to speak about
- The timeline at the top let's you know how much time you have left, to keep the flow going
- At the end of standup, it puts a few minutes on the clock so that the team can share appreciative feedback
I've used this model to run several team standups, and I'm always surprised by how much this brings up the level of energy at the start of the day and improves the ground of health of the team.
The main challenge that this aims to solve is: How can we visualize all the work and their dependencies?
Whenever there's a new epic/sprint of work, it can be helpful to 'white board' out all the tasks to lay out and visualize dependencies before creating tickets for them. Yet, working remotely, it's difficult to 'white board' and I've found myself creating draw.io diagrams that mimick the jira ticket dependencies resulting in more wasted time than I want to admit. This Jira App creates a drag and drop space to visually lay out a sprint, epic or group of tickets and their dependencies.
How it works
- Open up the app from the project sidebar
- Create a new Project map
- Add issues to the project map area. As issues are being added, you can move them around or re-position to group them. You can also auto-sort the issues!
- If an issue is not created yet, it can be created right from this App. Clicking on any issue brings up more details.
- On the issue details view, there's a component that also shows the dependencies of the issue.
I've used this method of 'feature-planning' to make sure that all the tickets we need are accounted for before our sprint planning meetings or to communicate the work with external stakeholders.
The main challenge that this aims to solve is: How can we make sure to follow up on our retro action items?
Retros are crucial for continuously improving the team, but it only works if we follow up on action items! Too often, I've been in a retro where we still haven't finished what we set out to do before. This is due to a combination of using external tools or post-it notes to hold our retro and missing the tasks we set for ourself. This add-on makes it so that you can run a retro right in Jira, creating issues for action items that are easy to refer back to.
How it works:
- Open up the app from project sidebar
- Create a new Retro - during creation, the team, columns and duration of retro can be configured
- Retrospect! Add cards with notes, emoji respond to topics that you want to discuss, and discuss
- There's also a timer to help timebox conversations
- Create Jira issues for action items directly in the retro
How I built it
The core guiding principles when building this app was that it needed to be seamless, streamlined and fun - meetings shouldn't be draining, they should be energizing!
The app was first designed with these requirements in mind, finding ways to integrate into the Jira flow. The coding was all done in React using NX to manage the monorepo.
Challenges I ran into
One of the things I wanted to do was to only use the Jira for storing data for these plugins - this ensures that all the data is secure and makes it easier to manage and retire data along with the projects. However, there was no way to subscribe to changes in the project data so I needed to work around that. It was also a little difficult developing with ngrok because the connection was a bit slow and would have been cool if there was a different way to emulate the Jira APIs.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We love the polished feel of the experience and intro screens. The little things really add up and make it fun! I also am proud of building something that I will use! I'm excited to introduce these to my team at work.
What I learned
We learned how to use the Jira APIs and it's the first project that we used NX to manage a monorepo for and it was pretty smooth.
What's next for Super Scrum
These tools were built with real teams in mind. Regardless of what happens with this hackathon, the plan is to publish them to the Atlassian Marketplace! A few todos before publishing:
- Adding error logging
- Cross browser and Accessibility testing
- Usability tests
We would love to get some advice on what the best practices are so that the experience is smooth and seamless for users!
We believe that Jira is more than just a documentation tool - it's a virtual team space. The Super Scrum add-ons bring Jira into all the team Agile ceremonies streamlining and making them more fun in the process!