GUIDE 2022

How to use Jira and Confluence for Sprint Planning

Interested in learning how to use Jira and Confluence for Sprint planning? Well, this is the article for you!

Jira and Confluence sprint planning are effective ways to improve your team’s project management lifestyle. Once you’ve built a resilient agile mindset, tools like Confluence and Jira software help optimize your team’s agile practices. 

These two powerhouse tools provide many capabilities that help grow and scale your company. The best part is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re an agile expert or have just begun your agile journey. Its features and templates will help your team unlock the power of agile. 

Confluence and Jira aim to improve the issue resolution process, save teams time, and transform team collaboration. On their own, these two tools provide several benefits. Together, they help you conquer the agile team lifestyle. Discover how to use both to bring your vision to life through every stage of your team’s sprint. 

Here’s how to use Jira software and Confluence for sprint planning:

  1. Create your sprint
  2. Plan your future sprint
  3. Add issues to a sprint
  4. Start the sprint
  5. Reorder, edit, or delete a sprint
  6. View the issues in a sprint

Step 1: Create Your Sprint

The software allows you to create sprints for both your current projects and to continue making multiple future sprints. Here’s how to get started: 

  1. Navigate to your company-managed Jira software project. 
  2. Select ‘backlog’ from your company’s sidebar. 
  3. Click’ create sprint’ at the top of the backlog section. 

Now that you created the sprint, you may add issues to it. 

Credit: Atlassian

Jira allows you to view and assign issues to sprints if you’re looking to record your planning meeting notes. Use the JQL sprint field to search for issues in upcoming sprints. From here, create a ‘Meeting Notes’ page via the Linked Pages link while connected to Confluence.

Step 2: Plan Your Future Sprint

After creating the first sprint, users receive the option to create more.

Credit: Atlassian

This is useful for people who plan to create upcoming sprints while using the backlog for incoming requests that require triaging. Here’s how to plan a future sprint: 

  1. Navigate to your company-managed Jira software project. 
  2. Select ‘backlog’ from the project sidebar. 
  3. Click’ create sprint’ at the top of the backlog section. This new sprint pops up below your current sprint. 
  4. Below the sprint’s header, there is an ‘add dates’ option. Select this option to plan your future sprint’s start and end dates.

Step 3: Add Issues to a Sprint

A team’s job is to deliver a working product by the end of a sprint. For this reason, it’s essential to know your team’s capacity for work when adding issues to a sprint.

Credit: Atlassian

In addition to this, it’s also important to take note of the amount of work they are willing to do.

Step 4: Start the Sprint

Users are to meet two requirements to start a sprint. This includes the following: 

  • You have not started one already. To possess more than one active sprint at a time, try out the parallel sprints feature. 
  • Your sprint is at the top of the backlog. If you plan to start a sprint that is lower down, change the sprint order so that it’s on top. However, this proves ineffective if you enabled parallel sprints. 
  • Credit: Atlassian

Here’s how to start your sprint: 

  1. In your Scrum project, go to backlog
  2. Click ‘start sprint’ once you find the sprint that you want. It’s important to estimate your issues beforehand. If not, expect to receive a warning when starting the sprint. However, if you are using Issue Count, it calculates the issue in an automated way. 
  3. Update your sprint name and add a sprint goal. Then, choose a ‘start date’ and ‘end date’ for your sprint. While a sprint goal is not compulsory, if you add it, the goal shows up on your sprint report and burndown chart for the sprint. 

From here, the software leads you to the active sprints. This section allows you to view the issues from your new sprint.

Step 5: Reorder, Edit, or Delete a Sprint

When managing a large backlog, it becomes necessary to modify sprints even after you created them. The backlog provides features that allow you to edit the name, dates of the sprint, and goal. It also allows you to reorder sprints or delete them. 

Credit: Atlassian

How to Delete a Completed Sprint 

To delete a completed sprint on the sprint report screen, do the following: 

  1. Visit the board where the completed sprint is. 
  2. Select ‘reports’, and then click on ‘sprint report’
  3. Select the sprint you want to delete from the sprint drop-down. 
  4. Select the more option to delete the sprint.

When you delete a sprint, the issues move to the next sprint on the list. If you delete active sprints, the issues keep their status in their new sprint.

Step 6: View the Issues in Your Sprint

View planned sprints by using the backlog of a board. To view a sprint in progress, select ‘active sprints’ on your board. An alternate option is to use JQL to search for a sprint’s issues. Users even search by accessing the JQL documentation in the fields’ reference section or using advanced search functions.

Planning a Sprint 

The sprint plan is unique to every team. This is due to the team members creating the sprint plan. Jira and Confluence work hand-in-hand to define the team’s sprint goal and visualize how to work towards achieving this goal.  

Credit: Atlassian

There are three things to keep in mind:

  • Sprints only apply to Scrum boards.
  • Enable ranking on your board to use sprints. 
  • Jira software has sprint actions such as adding issues to sprints or removing issues from sprints. Managing sprint permissions under schedule issues and edit issues allows you to access sprint actions.

Sprint Planning with Jira Software 

A team needs to deliver during a sprint. That’s why software like Jira exists. To ensure that you understand the benefits of this software, here are some more relevant details about it. 

  • It provides you with pre-configured templates for users to choose from. They are agile and customizable. It is sure to set your team up for success. 
  • Jira also has built-in workflows. This consists of ‘to-dos’, ‘in progress’, and ‘done’. These workflows do not require you to make any changes at all. However, you start fresh and create your own. 
  • To customize your workflow, create an additional status that reflects the needs of your team. For example, let’s say you added an ‘in review’ status. This shows that you value ensuring the quality of your team’s work before marking it complete. 
  • Jira also provides you with checklists. This creates an additional layer of visibility and accessibility. These combined help team members to understand the task better. 

It’s important to establish key terms among team members before the planning process. This helps to organize your team’s plan. It also creates a clear path for getting started with the tools.

Sprint Planning With a Confluence Page

Once your team has improved at using Jira; it’s time for your team to create documentation for your agile projects. Begin to create a project space for all relevant knowledge in Confluence. This is one of the best ways to manage a product. 

A project space is a great way to store the nitty-gritty details of your project. Furthermore, it provides your team members with easy access to project information. The application allows you to create and link your Confluence page to your sprints.

Credit: Atlassian

It also allows you to leave notes for your team in Confluence and link them to the sprint report. Users create a Confluence page through active sprints and sprint reports.

Confluence also allows its users to store videos in the application. However, the videos you insert depend on their file size. Either way, it’s a great way to ensure all team members are viewing the same information.

You must create a structured and organized hierarchy in Confluence. Here are two useful ways for your team to organize documentation. 

  • Create a space for functional teams and pages for each major initiative or project. 
  • Create a space for the different projects and pages for each release cycle or launch. 

Confluence helps maintain agile practices by offering over 80 templates. They also aim to keep everyone on the team up to date. It provides you with templates for status updates, strategic planning, product requirements, and more!

Joining Forces 

With both Jira software and Confluence documentation, you’re all set to link your Confluence pages with Jira projects. This gives your team the necessary information, traceability, and context. This ensures that they have a smooth and successful start on their tasks. This also eliminates the hassle of jumping between multiple applications. 

Jira allows you to add your Confluence page within the software. Likewise, Confluence allows you to connect your project spaces to Jira. This creates a connection between all associated documentation and pages. 

Another benefit is that Confluence allows you to create tasks in Confluence. This is especially a great way to take quick action for any missing pieces of work. Highlight the text within your document, and the integration is sure to populate the text into a Jira issue. 

The Confluence and Jira combination is the perfect way to allow your team to experience success. They create a streamlined and accessible approach to the agile process. These two tools ensure that your team experiences an optimal agile sprint cycle by eliminating any issues.

The Sprint Planning Stage 

The sprint planning stage creates a foundation for your team’s agile process. The product backlog is up to date at this stage and refined to provide clarity. Transparency is important for any team. Without it, there is less clarity, which affects the refinement stage. Teams follow four steps to ensure that the sprint planning stage was successful. 

Credit: Atlassian

  1. Start the sprint planning meeting by following up on questions from the previous meeting. Tackle your current sprint goals after this. 
  2. Decide what you’re going to accomplish from this sprint as a team. Aim to align your team with the same goal. 
  3. Help your team understand how important their contributions are and how much work they finish during the sprint. 
  4. Plan the capacity of your team and record any potential risks. Documenting this helps keep you prepared for the upcoming sprint.

The Refinement Stage

The refinement stage, or backlog grooming, is set up to clear expectations with stakeholders and other teams. The product owner and team review items on the product backlog at this stage. 

This aims to ensure that they prioritize stories and that it is ready for delivery. This is a crucial stage of making sure that the backlog stays healthy and populated. Relevant items with detail and priority are what keep it that way. 

Ensuring that your product information remains up to date is challenging. The team members already have a handful of work to deliver. That’s why Jira has an automation feature that keeps track of your processes. 

It’s also important to share progress, decisions, and results within a group. Confluence flourishes with sharing information. Create a Confluence page with a Jira report template. Choose a project for its report, and the template creates a preconfigured status report page.

Based on the information above, it’s clear that Jira and Confluence complement each other in endless ways. While Confluence collects your team’s plans, knowledge, ideas, and reports, Jira tracks your workflow and issues. These applications give your team confidence, knowing they help to get the work done. It keeps them viewing the project in a positive light.

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Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the co-founder of Product HQ, founder of Technical Writer HQ, and founder and head of product of Squibler. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.