best practices - JIRA fields for the docs team ?

Subject: best practices - JIRA fields for the docs team ?
From: "Monique Semp" <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TechWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:20:42 -0800

Hello, TechWR-L-ers,

Iâm looking for best practices and advice on how Tech Pubs can best use JIRA. (And this is sort of a long message, but I figure itâs a useful discussion.)

I donât think Iâm talking high-level philosophical discussions about Agile and working with other teams, but low-level details such as useful fields/values to make it easy to get sensible JIRA reports so that we can easily summarize our âtechnical debtâ, set priorities of individual tasks within a category (such as PDF look-and-feel improvements, which is not easy from DITA source). But perhaps the low-level details must be informed by the higher-level philosophy?

Background:

A while ago I was able to get a DOC project added to our JIRA system. There are separate projects for each main system component, so it seemed appropriate to add a DOC project to the mix.

Now I have the opportunity to add whatever fields/values would be good for the DOC projectâs tech writers.

Thoughts:

So, for example, I think that we need more issue types than simply Bug, Epic, Story, Improvement, or Support Incident. It seems that the issue types should be able to differentiate between info for a doc topic vs. Pubs tasks such as creating a TXT target in ePublisher or firming up screenshot guidelines.

But perhaps the usual method is to use the usual Components/s field in JIRA, and to configure the field values for things such as Component-1-doc, Tech-Pubs-process, etc.?

As well, there is a discussion (which Iâve seen at *every* place Iâve worked in the last few years) about how to treat a software bug for which we need to document how things are now (with the bug), and then when the bug is fixed in a future release weâll need to change the user doc to reflect the change. (Yes, I know that ideally the docs are always âhow things are supposed to beâ and then the Release Notes document the exceptions. But thatâs just not always practical, and certainly not helpful to the end user, who months into a release is not expecting to need to refer to the Release Notes.)

That is, whatâre the merits of adding a Docs component to the software bug vs. creating a child bug in the DOC project? In the former case, there would be no separate JIRA ticket to track for the doc task, which makes it harder for the Docs team. But it seems difficult to get software teams to remember to create appropriate separate tickets for the docs tasks.

Wrap-up:

Of course Iâd like answers to the specific questions Iâve raised, but Iâm sure that there are lots of things I havenât thought of, which is why Iâm looking to the TechWR-L community for a lively conversation :-).

Thanks,
-Monique
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