JIRA Tutorial for NGOs. Prepare your first Scrum sprint.

first Scrum sprint

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We don’t get any financial benefits from creating Jira tutorials. We only offer this program as one of the best project management tools. Nonprofit organizations can apply for Jira for free.

While you start using Jira, you will quickly start noticing the words like “Agile” or “SCRUM”. But do you have to know by heart all of the methodologies and have all the needed certificates to work with this software? Absolutely not. We recommend reading the Scrum guide to see with your own eyes that this isn’t something to be scared of (you can find it here: https://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html). But if you want something simpler, we will take you through the journey of your (and your team) first sprint. The best way to do this is through Jira, so you will have the help of specialized software by your hand.

What is a “first Scrum sprint” anyway?

In the simplest of words, sprint is the period of time in which you want to accomplish something. Get “sprint goal” done. For IT companies this usually means the usable and releasable product. For NGOs, this can mean many different things. It can be a marketing campaign or a charitable event or even starting the new cooperation. Sprints are usually a one-month maximum long. In this time you have to create the end product: a new ad, a new element of the longer project etc. Sprint let you focus on the most important elements and complete what you want to do in an efficient way.

Ok, so what do I need to do?

First of all, you will need the project backlog. If you are responsible for the preparation of this project, this will be your task to create it. Product backlog, simply speaking, is the list of things you and your team wants to do in your organization. Because (and you’ll know it the best) there will be always things to do in the NGO, a product backlog will never be truly finished. You will always add to it new tasks. Remember, that creation of the backlog should be always a cooperative thing. Your teammates will usually know, what they have to do, to finish something. Talk with them and add new tasks suggested by them to the backlog.

Product Backlog is an incredibly useful tool in project management. First of all, a good backlog is organized by the importance of the tasks. So you will immediately see, what are the most important things to do right now. Also, you can clearly see how much time will take to finish each of the tasks. 

Why all of this information is so important?

It will make preparing your first Scrum Sprint a much easier task. You will start your adventure with this methodology in practice with a Sprint Planning. This is a meeting in which you are deciding with your team what to do in the next Sprint. This is where all the work you’ve done in the Product Backlog become useful. You will immediately see what is the highest priority on your list. Decide with your team, what main goals you want to accomplish during this time. When you will do this, ask, what tasks are needed to finish this sprint with a success. 

First of all, create a new sprint. Decide how much time you want to dedicate to it. While one month is a standard, you can be agile about this and even do one-week sprints. Describe what is the main goal or theme of this sprint and write it down in Jira.

Time to add some tasks to the Sprint! In the Jira, this process is very quick. You will only have to move the task from the backlog into the sprint.

Thanks to this software you will quickly see how much tasks you’ve chosen with your team will take time. If you are under – add some other tasks from the backlog. If you are over your predicted time – decide with your team, what can be moved back into the backlog and won’t affect the accomplishment of the sprint goal.

As you can see here:

Besides the summary of the story points (a method to track time for tasks in Jira), you have a button to start your first Scrum sprint. Go ahead and start your adventure with this methodology for project management.

The button itself will quickly change into “Complete sprint”. But not so fast! First, you have to do the sprint review and sprint retrospective. What are those two events? We will talk about them in the next part of our tutorial.

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