JIRA testing tool – introduction for testers

Get insights and tips on how to use JIRA effectively in your work as a tester

What is JIRA Atlassian

JIRA software is a popular tool from Atlassian that is widely used for project management, bug tracking and agile software development management. It was designed to streamline and simplify the software development and testing processes.

JIRA supports a variety of project management methodologies, including Scrum and Kanban, and allows teams to customize workflows to their specific needs. Flexibility and a wide range of features make JIRA a very powerful tool for teams of different sizes and with different requirements.

In addition, JIRA offers integration capabilities with a number of other tools such as Confluence, Bitbucket or various external applications, extending its functionality and facilitating collaboration between teams.

Key JIRA concepts

JIRA Project

A project in Atlassian’s JIRA Software can be thought of as a container that is used to organize and track tasks (issues) across the team. Projects in JIRA are highly configurable and easily customizable to match the organizational structure, workflows, or agile maturity level of the team.

JIRA provides various project templates to help teams quickly navigate and adapt. These templates contain preconfigured task types, workflows and other relevant features.

JIRA Dashboard

The JIRA Dashboard is a personalizable homepage that provides a quick overview of the status of projects and tasks. It allows you to create and configure various dashboards (gadgets) that display updates, charts, to-do lists and much more. You can customize the Dashboard to suit your needs, giving you instant access to the most important metrics and statuses for your projects.

JIRA Dashboard is a personalizable homepage
Source: marketplace.atlassian.com

JIRA Ticket

The main use of JIRA is to manage and track different types of “issues” – these can be software bug, new functionality, tasks or change requests (Story, Epic, Task, etc.). Each such issue is logged as a ticket with a unique ID and contains information such as description, status, priority and its assignment to certain people, as well as comments and history of the records. Ticket management with the organisation of the development process is the responsibility of the IT Issue Manager.

JIRA Workflow

The JIRA workflow is the process that tasks (issues) go through from creation to completion within JIRA. Each workflow is composed of multiple statuses and transitions that define how a task moves from one state to another. States may include, for example, “Open”, “In Solution”, “Under Test”, “Closed”, and so on.

JIRA for testers

When working with JIRA, it is important to familiarize yourself with its interface. Logging into JIRA (JIRA login) is simple and intuitive. Once logged in, you have access to various modules such as JIRA Service Management where you can create and manage tickets, schedule tasks and track project progress.

Test Case Management

There are three main ways you can manage test cases in Jira:

1. Using standard Jira features

As a multi-purpose tool from Atlassian, Jira offers you the ability to manage test cases or test cases efficiently. Imagine that you can record and process each test case as a normal task or bug. In Jira you have the possibility to create your own task types, specific for test cases. You can add and edit different fields to capture all the key information. For example, the steps for reproducing the problem, the expected results and the actual results – all this can be recorded directly in Jira.

Like any general-purpose tool, Jira has its limitations. Although this approach is efficient and does not require additional costs, it may encounter limits when it comes to advanced testing-specific features. For example, test case version tracking, detailed reporting, and integration with automated testing tools may require additional resources or tools.

2. Using plugins for test management

There are plugins like Zephyr or Xray that extend Jira’s capabilities with special test case management features. These tools offer advanced capabilities such as test plans, test suite tracking, quality metrics, and integration with automated testing tools.

Although these plugins add value, they usually require additional costs and may take some time to master their features. With their use, dependence on third parties, their updates and support increases.

3. Integration with external test management tools

If your needs go beyond what Jira or its plugins can offer, you might consider integrating with an external test management tool such as TestRail.

These tools provide even broader test management capabilities than plug-ins, including advanced reporting capabilities and more extensive support for automated testing. Integration with Jira can be implemented via API or special plugins. On the other hand, integration with external tools requires higher financial costs, time and technical skills to set up and maintain the connection between systems.

Integration with external test management tools
Source: deviniti.com/blog/application-lifecycle-management/test-case-management-jira/

Bug tracking and collaboration with developers

Jira Software enables centralized bug management where you can thoroughly document each bug, including details such as steps to reproduce, severity of the issue, including screenshots to make each scenario as clear as possible.

In Jira’s world, teams have the ability to prioritize errors with precise efficiency. The status system is like a navigation map that shows the path from the initial discovery of a bug to its triumphant correction. This ensures that each team member is kept up-to-date on current status and priorities, minimising the risk of critical issues being overlooked.

Jira Software is not just about bug management. It is also a platform that facilitates seamless collaboration between testers and developers. With integrated communication tools such as comments and notifications, teams can instantly engage in discussions about new information, brainstorm about possible solutions, and keep each other informed about the progress of work tasks. This approach provides an ideal breeding ground for effective and transparent cooperation.

Bug tracking and collaboration with developers
Source: atlassian.com/software/jira/features/bug-tracking

Reports and Analyses

With report generation and analysis features, Jira Software enables teams to evaluate their processes and identify areas for improvement. These analytical tools provide valuable insights into the frequency, severity and types of errors, which helps in developing strategies to improve quality and efficiency.

JIRA Confluence is a tool from Atlassian that provides a platform for collaboration and documentation management across teams. It allows users to create, share and collaboratively edit documents and content, supporting more efficient communication and organisation of information. JIRA Confluence often integrates with JIRA Software to provide a comprehensive project management solution, allowing teams to better track and document their work, plans, deliverables and discussions. This tool is particularly useful for teams working in an agile or project environment.

JIRA Pricing and Pricing Plans (JIRA Pricing)

When it comes to pricing, JIRA offers pricing flexibility that exactly matches the needs of you and your team. You can choose from a range of price levels, from a free version for small teams to advanced enterprise packages designed for large organisations. As a freelancer or team leader, you’re guaranteed that you only pay for what you actually use. JIRA allows you to manage your financial resources efficiently, while at the same time providing a tool that can adapt and grow with you and your projects.

More tips for working with JIRA

  • Personalised dashboards and filters – create and customise dashboards for a quick overview of project status. Use JIRA Query Language (JQL) to create complex filters that help you get the exact information you need.
  • Use of JIRA Service Desk and JIRA Service Management: these modules extend the functionality of JIRA with customer support services and ITSM (IT Service Management).
  • Efficient integration with GitLab and other tools: JIRA can be efficiently integrated with a number of tools such as GitLab(jira gitlab integration), Confluence, JIRA API, which improves workflow and team collaboration.
  • Adopt Agile Methodologies – JIRA is the ideal tool for agile development. It is important that you familiarize yourself with agile methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban and use JIRA features to support these approaches. This includes creating and managing sprints, maintaining a backlog, and effectively tracking project progress.

Conclusion

JIRA is a powerful tool to help you keep track of your test tasks and overall project development. Its flexibility and variety of features are key to effective software project management, especially in a dynamic software testing environment.

If you have experience with JIRA and you speak German, take a look at our employee benefits and respond to the IT Tester job vacancy or the latest job offers.

About the author

Katarína Kučáková

Software Test Engineer

Moja cesta k testovaniu softvéru sa začala v roku 2019 až po štúdiu ekonómie a pracovných skúsenostiach v iných odvetviach. To mi pomohlo vnímať IT svet v rôznych súvislostiach. Ten totiž ponúka neustále nové výzvy, pre ktoré rada hľadám riešenia. Obľubujem oddych pri čítaní, turistiku alebo lyžovanie. LinkedIn

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