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What are the benefits of following Agile practices using Jira, and how does it work?

Every company has employees that are experts in handling specific jobs. They are known as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). These professionals possess advanced knowledge in a particular area. However, in most companies, team managers usually assign tasks based on an individual’s team or role rather than their skills.

When individuals are prioritized over skills, it leads to delays, inefficiencies, wastage of time and resources, and overstaffing. Employees experience an erosion of their morale and self-confidence at not receiving a task despite being subject matter experts (SMEs).

The solution lies in using Jira for Agile practices like the pull system in which employees select a particular job themselves if they have the expertise, training, and capability to work on it.

Here are some of its benefits, how the process works, and other details you should know:

What is the knowledge graph?

Using the Jira software, you can use the knowledge graph to find the SMEs in your company. It helps you identify the people who have worked on a component previously, what technical skills they have, and which of them are shared between the selected users.

A graph of this type helps you search for multiple skills or categories and break them down based on specialities and subspecialties. The automated search-finding process is much faster than the manual one.

A knowledge map is indispensable for companies with more than 50 people. In small companies, managers can easily find members suitable for a particular task. However, it becomes difficult to search for experts manually in larger ones, and an automated process helps in such cases.

How does the process work?

Customize the skill tree

As a manager, you can customize your skill tree (a map depicting the capabilities of various individuals within the organization), assign skills to your users and ensure they have access to the knowledge graph.

Prioritize work queues

Skills for Jira helps you configure and prioritize work queues, assigning members to user groups and ensuring they have access to the personal dashboard and a button that enables them to “get the next task.” The process is quite simple and fast.

Create a skill set custom field

Creating a skill set custom field helps you identify the skill requirements based on the projects and the SMEs most capable of handling them.

Access to analytics

You must also ensure that your user groups have access to skill gaps analytics, enabling them to identify team members with the required knowledge and check the projects at risk of being stalled because of bottlenecks. Providing access to the analytics helps mitigate risks early.

What are some of the benefits?

No wastage of time

Plenty of time is wasted in companies where the members wait for their next assignment. A self-service system can quickly select tasks matching their skills without wasting time.

Reduced dependency on the manager

Teams benefit from reduced dependency on their managers, which eliminates the bottlenecks and frees up time for value-added activities like coaching, prioritization, deep dives, and quality control.

Scale teams easily

Scaling and restructuring teams become easier due to automated work distribution, which prevents overhead, negotiations, and human interference. Even though you give up micromanagement, you remain in charge of work queues, priorities, and backlog.

Encourage a culture of self-learning

When employees identify the gaps in their skill requirements that prevent them from receiving particular jobs, it motivates them to learn, grow and contribute to their team. They are also encouraged to join a skill-focused training program, provided the company offers any.

Using Jira for Agile practices increases your team’s efficiency, makes project planning efficient, increases productivity, and builds a learning culture. Employees should always handle tasks they are capable of, which is what this software enables them to do.