howto2017-07-06

Getting started

Here’s what drove me to develop such a thing as CardJIRA: the situation in which I started out, what I needed and what I wanted to achieve. And I wrap it up with a short introduction into how CardJIRA works and how it will be developed in the future.

The problem

As a scrum master I want to help my team visualize the current sprint on the task board. That way we can have meaningful conversations about our progress and the challenges that arise along the way in our daily scrum.

The challenge is to create cards we can put on our wall, that are aestetically pleasing but don’t lose their informational value in favour of “nice looks.” Readability is an important topic with a team of six to nine people, that stand around the board. The cards have to provide the same pieces of basic information for every issue, withou tlooking too uniform. If that’s the case we cannot distinguish one issue card from the other and get confused in our daily scrum – which is the exact opposite of what a daily scrum should do for you.

So there needs to be something that loosens up the whole picture …

As a result I started to build my own solution to the problem. First someone suggested we build a “template” in excel – yes, excel – and copy /paste the issue information to that document. I didn’t like that too much. It’s too easy to mess it up and break it. So I wrote¬†a PHP script that processed a JQL filter (if you don’t know what a JQL filter is, I suggest youread up on this – it will definitely help you find issues in JIRA, big help!). That way I avoided the risk of making errors while copying the issue information.

At a certain point I wanted to offer this easy way to print cards from JIRA issues to other people around me. That’s when I came up with CardJIRA, the chrome browser extension, that does the trick.

Get CardJIRA

Getting CardJIRA is pretty easy. All you need to do is

  1. use Google Chrome, then
  2. head over to the Chrome Web Store and search for CardJIRA
  3. add it to your browser.

You see? Pretty easy – I wasn’t lying.

Use it

So now you have CardJIRA. What do you do next? You can actually use it right away – without any customization or configuration. Just open a JIRA page with issue information – that is either a saved JQL filter or an agile board with a running sprint (scrum) or an agile board, where you selected one or more issues (ctrl + click on the issues). Once you are on such a page, just click the CardJIRA icon and a second later you’ll see a new tab opening with all the cards that were created from the issues.

Customize it

As I said, you can use the addon as it is. Or you can tweak it a little to suit your needs. For example, you can add issue information to the cards. You can have the original estimate displayed on the cards or the due date. You can even display information from custom fields, such as Story Points, on the cards – whatever you and your team need.

What is next

I develop CardJIRA actively. I use it every day so the development benefits from – by now – multiple years of experience as a scrum master and agile coach for software development teams. And even though I cannot take feature requests on a regular basis – it would simply be too time consuming and I’m doing this on the side – I’m open to suggestions. So feel free to let me know if the addon serves you well and if you feel there’s something missing.

Cheers,
Tomi