re: Is Jira an antipattern? VIEW POST


i don't know if jira itself is an anti-pattern, so much as it's such a powerful tool that people forget that there are other ways to plan for and map the future. we've definitely run into this issue at my work where we have hundreds of discrete tasks stacked up in the jira backlog, but the overall vision of the company would be lost in that chaos. so we've opted to use other apps, other processes to keep that vision visible.

i think the best thing we've done is drop the whole pretense of a "source of truth" that lives in a computer somewhere. we have one whiteboard dedicated to front end concerns and the major milestones coming up ahead of the holidays, next month, and then for the future. and another whiteboard with broader company goals mapped along a picture of a road stretching out into the future (pole position / cruisin usa style).

bringing stated goals and vision out into the real world makes them more concrete and harder to forget about. so when you're given the task implement the upload button you can immediately see how it fits into the wider picture. if it's the only upload button on the roadmap, great! one and done. but if your roadmap is full of upload a thing features, you have a chance to reconsider how you're approaching the task at hand: as in making a more generalized implementation that will be useful in all the upcoming cases, or reconsidering the assumption of needing the button in the first place.


Very good point :) It's a tool that brings out the antipattern in all of us haha

It sounds awesome that you have a place that's worked hard to keep those goals so visible!

I mentioned it elsewhere, but I think the issue starts with companies paying for a tool and expecting all little bits of it to be used. And then buying tools that integrate with it. And then not wanting to budge on adding more tools.

So when Jira has the issue tracking and metrics you want, you end up using it for all your Gantt charts and high level stuff, and then using it for emergent work as well as long-term stuff, and then using it to track timekeeping and test cases, and then hooking into Confluence for documentation and ultra high level requirements/goals. And then you can't leave because the whole company is in there. But adding Trello or something would mean more money and only vetting options that have webhooks with the existing thing. And that would fragment the company, so keep everyone doing everything in the one tool that only does a part of it really well.

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