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    Jira Work Management - What is it and why do you want it?

    Jimi Wikman

    Atlassian recently announced a reboot of their Jira Core, which was practically unused by everyone due to its lack of unique features. The reboot comes with a new name, Jira Work Management, and a new setup focused on business teams. This is a great change and it will make Jira a bit more interesting for business teams in the future.


    This is the first Jira built for business teams, by business teams. We crafted this new Jira experience directly with customer design partners of all sizes and industries, as well as internal Atlassian teams of every type — including our own Jira Work Management teams.

    Four views to rule them all

    Jira Work Management focuses around three main views: Board, List View, Timeline and Calendar. There are of course other features as well, such as a form builder experience as in Jira Service Management and the ability to pick a background color. The focus is on these four views however and they will determine how the business teams will react to this reboot.

    The List View

    List view with color (1).png

    The list view will appeal to anyone who spend a lot of time in Excel, or if you use something like Asana or Tasks in Teams. Inline editing and individual settings for the visual changes are big selling points, even if I foresee a bit of confusion when the views differ from user to user.


    In-line editing is the new standard. Our list view makes updating and adding new tasks fast. Teams can show or hide columns, drag-and-drop tasks, and sort or filter their work. Visual changes to the list view, such as sorting, filtering, and altering columns, happen locally for each user. Our users were tired of messed up filters in spreadsheets and so were we!


    Timeline View

    Timeline view.png

    The timeline view is pretty much a slightly watered down version of the Roadmaps feature in Jira Software. It will work well for team level, just like Roadmaps in Jira Software, but not much more.


    We’ve redesigned some Jira features for business teams, which means this ain’t just your simple roadmap. Tasks and Subtasks are now visible on the timeline view as bars, and issue data is displayed on the bars themselves to keep staying in context easy. Plus, dependency management and clear issue hierarchies are staying to make sure this view stays full-powered.


    Calendar view

    Calendar view.png

    The Calendar view is nice, even though I am not so sure how useful it actually is. if we could tie it to our tasks in Outlook, then maybe the calendar would be more useful, but for now I think it will be more of a glance tool, just like the list and timeline views. I could be wrong though and I would need to try it out to test it out for real.


    For a long time, we’ve hidden calendars in Confluence or dashboards. Now, they’ve made the prime-time. Create new tasks from empty spaces, see the current status of work at a glance with color-based (and icon-based) bars, or quickly switch to “Today” from any date.


    Board View

    Board view.png

    The board view is the only view that existed in Jira Core as well and it looks pretty much the same. This is very similar to Trello and it will be a nice alternative to Teams that are used quite a lot for this kind of view for many business projects.


    Fewer updates here, but we've added lozenges to the column names so it's easier than ever to see what's a To-do, In progress, or Done status category. We also added support for seeing how many subtasks relate to a card on the board. Expect big changes to the board later this year!


    The four views will pretty much satisfy most need from a business team, but my question is how these boards will tie in with the steering products Advanced Roadmaps and Align? I see this as a common theme with Atlassian lately with the same concern for Next-Gen projects and so on. It's something I will bring up in another article though.


    Introducing Forms

    Form view.png

    It is interesting to see that forms are moving out from Jira Service Management as a way to create input and display forms. I think this will probably show up in Next-gen projects down the road as well. It is a good change and I think it makes perfect sense to make input and output presentation in this way.


    Simple requests need a simple solution — our new project forms have you covered. Project admins can make a new form for each project in seconds by dragging over relevant project fields. You can change how field names appear on the form, spend time making your description perfect with a full-fledged editor, and rearrange fields instantly — all with autosave to back you up.


    Background color

    List view with color (1).png

    Adding a background color to your project will not make or break the customers' appreciation of it, but it is a nice icing on the cake. I don't see what the point is to restrict to standard colors when you could just add a color option to the surrounding text as well and let users add whatever color they want. I foresee images coming soon as well, just as for Trello.


    Last but not least, project background colors are finally here! Project admins can choose from 14 colorful themes with the click of a mouse.


    So why do you want this?

    Adding business teams into Jira are a good thing. Earlier it has been a bit difficult to convince them to join, but I think that the List View will be a big selling point to be honest. Maybe even the Calendar, even if I am not seeing it at the moment.

    Having the business teams in Jira means that you can bring in a lot of processes that currently live outside of Jira. This will allow easy management of early project/program planning, procurement processes, staffing, legal and security management and not to mention brick and mortar projects such as store building.

    This is of course the first release of Jira Work Management and it will very likely evolve quite a bit in the coming year or so. For now, it is also free for all Jira owners, so once you get access to it, I suggest you take some time to check it out and see what it can do for you and your organization.

    You can sign up on the waiting list here:


    List view.png

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      Screenshots © Atlassian,

      About the Author

      Jimi is an Atlassian Expert with many years of experience in configuring and designing ways of working in Jira, Confluence and Jira Service Desk. He has built setups based on multiple processes and methods, including SAFe and ITIL.

      He has good understanding of the technical setup of integrations as well as insight into competing software such as ServiceNow. He understands the problems involved with introducing new ways of working and is well experienced in coaching and training small and large work forces.

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