Jira Project Management vs BPM Process Management

Jira Project Management vs BPM Process Management

When to use Jira Project Management, when to use Process and Workflow Management, or how the two play together.
Jira Project Management Vs Bpm Process Management

Project Management with Jira

The makers of Jira initially developed it as a bug-tracking software for development teams. Today it is more like a universal management tool for projects, workflows, processes, tasks, sales leads, etc., and what the hell is Jira Automation?
This guide explores when to use Jira Project Management, when to use Process and Workflow Management, or how the two play together.

How to use Jira for project management

Step 1: Create a Jira Project

Choose a Jira template to set up your project. Templates are a quick way to configure your project based on the methods used at your organization.

For instance, if your team employs scrum project management, pick the scrum template, and Jira will set up a default scrum board. You can then customize the default settings to match your team's needs.

How to create a Jira project

Step 2: Define Work to get done

The heart of every project is the sum of its tasks. So break down your project into tasks. In Jira, tasks are called issues. They appear as digital cards holding the information required to complete the job.

  • Summarize the peace of work in the card.
  • Attach documents or images that explain additional details.
  • Set priority and due dates
  • Break up more oversized items into sub-tasks.

Once you’ve created your tasks in Jira, identify dependencies to ensure these tasks don’t become blockers for your team.

Jira allows you to break up your project into versions. You can consider them as milestones. They ease your release management. Once you have created a version, you can use several reports like a Change Log.

Step 3: Team set up

Before assigning work to teammates, you must set up every project user in Jira. However, not all project team members need equal Jira access. Permission schemes allow you to create a set of default permissions to apply to Jira users, saving time, so you don’t have to implement permissions to users individually.

When you have your team established in Jira, assign them tasks. Jira lets you monitor team capacity, for example, to assess if a person’s workload is too much or too little.

Step 4: Tracking and Monitoring

Jira offers several tools to track project progress, like time-tracking, story mapping, Gantt charts, etc. In addition, many different reports provide insights into team progress and answer critical questions like: Are tasks about to miss deadlines? Is a dependency going to cause a bottleneck?

For greater visibility and convenience, customize Jira’s default dashboard to highlight the critical information around your project. For example, add a calendar view, a pie chart, etc., or swap out components throughout the project to make the dashboard work best for your needs.

What are Jira next gen projects?

Jira Next-Gen projects are a type of project in Jira. Next-Gen projects are designed to be simple and easy to use, with a focus on getting started quickly and getting work done efficiently.

Next-Gen projects are suitable for teams that need a lightweight, flexible project management solution. They do not have the same level of complexity or customization as traditional Jira projects, but they offer many of the same core features, such as the ability to create and track issues, assign tasks to team members, and monitor progress.

Some of the key features of Jira Next-Gen projects include:

  • Quick and easy setup: Next-Gen projects can be created in just a few clicks, and do not require any customization or configuration.
  • Simple issue tracking: Issues can be created and tracked using a simple, intuitive interface.
  • Collaboration tools: Next-Gen projects include tools for team collaboration, such as the ability to assign tasks and leave comments.
  • Custom fields: Teams can create custom fields to track additional information about issues, such as priority, severity, and due date.
  • Reporting and analytics: Next-Gen projects include a range of built-in reports and analytics to help teams track progress and identify areas for improvement.

Overall, Jira Next-Gen projects are a good choice for teams that need a straightforward, easy-to-use project management solution, and do not require the advanced features and customization options offered by traditional Jira projects.

What is Jira Workflow?

A Jira workflow is a set of rules that define the stages of a process and the transitions between them. It is used to manage and track the progress of work within a Jira project.

A Jira workflow consists of a series of steps, called "statuses," that represent the different stages of work, and transitions between those statuses that represent the actions that need to be taken to move the work forward. For example, a Jira workflow for a software development project might include statuses like "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done," and transitions like "Start Progress," "Resolve," and "Close."

Workflows can be customized to fit the specific needs of a project or team. For example, teams can add additional statuses or transitions, or change the names of existing ones. Workflows can also be linked to Jira issues, which are used to track and manage individual pieces of work, such as bugs or feature requests.

Jira provides a range of built-in workflows, as well as the ability to create custom workflows. Workflows can be edited and configured using the Jira Workflow Designer, a graphical tool that allows teams to visualize and modify the stages and transitions of their work.

Learn more about the differences between Jira workflow and a Business Process.

What is Jira Automation and what is it used for?

Jira automation is the use of automation tools and techniques to streamline and improve the efficiency of workflows and processes within Jira.

Jira automation can be used to automate a wide range of tasks and processes, such as:

  • Triggers: Automating actions based on specific events, such as the creation or resolution of an issue.
  • Rules: Automating actions based on conditions, such as the assignment or status of an issue.
  • Scheduled tasks: Automating actions to be performed at a specific time or on a recurring basis.
  • Custom scripts: Using custom scripts or code to automate tasks or processes.

Jira automation can help teams save time, reduce errors, and improve efficiency by automating repetitive or time-consuming tasks. It can also help teams to enforce consistent processes and standards, and to improve the accuracy and completeness of data.

Jira provides a range of built-in automation features, as well as the ability to create custom automations using tools such as Jira's REST API, Jira Webhooks, and Jira ScriptRunner.

Teams can use these tools to create custom automations that are tailored to their specific needs and workflows.

What is the Difference between a Project and a Business Process?

The difference between a project and a process is how often you repeat it. Projects are one-off instances, whereas processes are regularly repeated. If you reuse a project template a few times, it should be considered a process.

Because projects are usually one-time endeavors, so much planning has to go into them, and there is often a considerable risk involved. Therefore, project teams spend time ensuring the project gets delivered while minimizing the risks.

In comparison, when undertaking a process, the focus is more on optimization. There is little to no risk involved in processes (after all, there’s a reason why it became a standardized process), which is why the primary objective is usually to refine it. The more you work on something, the easier it is to fine-tune. There is always room for improvement when it comes to factors such as cost and time. It is also called the Continual improvement process.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, projects and processes share commonalities. Perhaps the biggest is that they are both comprised of tasks that need to be achieved. The fact that both create tasks is probably the primary source of confusion. If you’re assigned a job, you aim to get it done. It doesn’t matter if it is part of a project, workflow, or process.

Difference between a Jira Project and a Business Process

Different Types of Process Management in jira:

  • Integration-centric BPM focuses on integration between existing software systems, such as CRM, ERP, and HRMS. You find it when there is not much human involvement. Such systems generally have API access and connectors to move the processes faster. As a result, they usually have many process instances but very short runtime.
  • Document-centric BPM is used when a document, such as a contract, is the basis of the process. Document-centric BPM will enable things such as formatting, verification, routing, and getting documents signed. They usually have a medium to a low number of process instances but long runtime. Jira is well-suited for document workflows, where an issue represents the document.
  • Human-centric BPM is used when humans do the processes. Generally, such processes require employee approvals. The process involves simple notifications, tracking, and a user-friendly interface. They usually have a medium to a low number of process instances but long runtime. Flower BPM is the perfect choice for managing human-centric processes, whereas Jira handles the related human tasks.
  • A Project is a particular case of a Human-centric BPM with only ONE instance and a long runtime. Jira is perfect for managing projects.
  • Program management refers to the coordination and oversight of multiple projects or initiatives that are related and aligned towards a common goal or objective. It is focused on achieving strategic outcomes and delivering business value, rather than just delivering specific projects or products.

How to use Jira for process management (BPM)

Jira has strong capabilities in Project- and Workflow Management. A Jira workflow describes how the status will change serially for one single Jira issue from a task-focused perspective. In contrast, a Process describes multiple activities in serial or parallel order and takes a strategic view.

For Business Process Management in Jira, you must install an App from the Atlassian Marketplace: Flower Workflow and Process Automation. It lets you sketch your strategic value chain processes and track them in Jira.

Step 1: Create a BPMN Process

Choose a Flower BPMN template to set up your project. Templates are a quick way to get started without spending too much time in modeling. Later you can adjust it to your needs.

Release and Deployment Management
Post Sales Process
360 Degree Feedback
New Supplier Evaluation
Organisation of Change Management
Customer On-boarding

You model your process in the easy-to-use graphical BPMN Process Designer. The Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) is used to design a process model and is the global standard for process modeling.

Flower checks if your process model aligns with some basic rules. Green markers stick at valid nodes; yellow and red markers indicate warnings and errors. This simple traffic light system ensures valid BPMN.

Flower creates one Jira issue for each activity (rectangle) from your process model when launching a Process instance. Therefore you have to tell Jira which project and issue type you want to use. If nothing is selected, default values apply.

A process model is versioned. Hit the ‘publish’ button to make it available to your users.

Step 2: Simulate your Process

A picture is worth a thousand words - and a moving token is worth a bunch of static BPMN diagrams.

The simple token simulation aids your understanding of a diagram's semantics; to understand wait, join, and split semantics. It is a good starting point to learn BPMN execution playfully.

Step 3: Launch a Process Instance

To bring the model to life, click the Play button. When you hover over an activity in your process picture, a control appears that allows you to create an associated Jira task. It even makes sense to launch all tasks at once to schedule them in your favorite Jira board. This way, they are available for the next team planning.

Step 4: Track Progress

Once a process has started, the process overview image shows up in every related Jira issue. In addition, each activity icon comes with a small label that provides information about status and priority, which gives all participants a transparent view of where you are and what’s next. You always keep the big picture in mind.


Which methods and tools can you use for Jira Project- Management?

Process and Project Management use different methods and tools. However, most of them work in conjunction with Jira and Atlassian.

In Project Management, a large bunch of tools, methods, and certifications are available. The following list includes only a few:

  • The Project Management Institute (PMI) issues project management certifications for Project Management Professionals (PMP)
  • Atlassian provides certifications for Jira project administrators, scrum masters, project leads, and board administrators.
  • PRINCE2 is a process-based method for effective project management. It stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments.
  • Scrum and Kanban are the most common tools in Agile Software development.
  • Lean: A project management approach that aims to minimize waste and maximize value by streamlining processes and eliminating unnecessary work.
  • The Waterfall model is a sequential development process that flows like a waterfall through all project phases, with each stage completely wrapping up before the next step begins.
  • A Gantt chart shows tasks displayed against time. At the Atlassian Marketplace are many Gantt apps available.
  • Extreme Project Management (XPM) combines agile principles with critical chain project management to deliver high-stakes projects under tight deadlines.
  • Adaptive Project Framework (APF) emphasizes flexibility and adaptability in the face of uncertainty, and encourages teams to continuously learn and improve as the project progresses.
  • Critical Path Method (CPM) uses a network diagram to identify the tasks that are critical to the project and to determine the order in which they should be completed. CPM is also used inn Process Management.
  • Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) uses buffers and a modified scheduling approach to mitigate risk and improve the chances of project success.
  • PERT is a project management method that uses a network diagram to identify the tasks that are critical to the project, the dependencies between them, and the amount of time required to complete each task.
  • Earned Value Management (EVM) uses a combination of cost, schedule, and performance data to measure progress and identify variances from the project plan.
  • Resource-Based Scheduling (RBS) is a project management method that involves scheduling work based on the availability of resources, rather than on a fixed timeline.
  • Feature-Driven Development (FDD) emphasizes the importance of delivering small increments of functionality on a regular basis.
  • Spiral is a project management method that involves iteratively refining the project through a series of "spirals," each of which involves a series of planning, development, and review activities.
  • Lastly, almost every project team still uses spreadsheets and to-do lists.

Which methods and tools can you use for Jira Process Management?

Also, an extensive list of methods and tools exists for Business Process Management. Most of them work pretty well together with Jira or are even available as an app at the Atlassian Marketplace:

  • Business Process Management (BPM) itself is a holistic approach to managing and improving business processes that involves the use of tools, technologies, and methodologies to optimize performance and achieve strategic objectives.
  • Different kinds of graphical Process modelers / Workflow designers for different notations like BPMN are available at the Atlassian Marketplace. Flower Process Modeler additionally allows automating those processes.
  • Lean is a process management approach that aims to minimize waste and maximize value by streamlining processes and eliminating unnecessary work. It is also used in project management.
  • Six Sigma is a method that provides organizations with tools to improve the capability of their business processes.
  • Critical Path Method (CPM): A project management method that uses a network diagram to identify the tasks that are critical to the project and to determine the order in which they should be completed. CPM is also used inn Project Management.
  • Continuous Improvement Cycle or Kaizen (which is a Japanese term for continuous improvement) emphasizes the importance of small, incremental changes and the involvement of all employees in the improvement process.
  • Total Quality Management (TQM) is a process management approach that emphasizes continuous improvement and customer satisfaction, and involves all employees in the process of improving quality.
  • Process Mapping is another word for a flowchart, process flowchart, process chart, functional process chart, functional flowchart, process model, workflow diagram, business flow diagram, or process flow diagram. It shows who and what is involved in a process, and many organizations use it.
  • With the aid of a Decision Editor, you can define a set of business rules in the form of DMN Decision Tables.
  • The Case Management Model and Notation (CMMN) is a standard notation and formal specification of the Object Management Group for representing cases.
  • A Form Builder is used to give the process its face. It is essential for every Document-centric BPM. You can build forms directly in Jira, but you will also find many form-builder apps in the Marketplace.
  • Total Quality Management (TQM) emphasizes continuous improvement and customer satisfaction, and involves all employees in the process of improving quality.

How to turn your Jira Project into a Process?

Each project falls under an umbrella of 5 main phases or process groups. Even agile projects follow these five steps (with different names) within a sprint. Also, a sprint in scrum can be modeled as a BPMN process because it loops over and over. Therefore, as you repeat those phases for every project, you can consider them a process and treat them as such.

1. Project initiation

Project initiation happens in a traditional framework like PMBOK before you commit to a new project. A team will develop a project charter, pitch it to management, and get it approved.

If you let it drag out, this project phase can take weeks. But many teams whittle it down to a single meeting instead, quickly outlining and evaluating whether to pursue a project.

2. Project planning

Before executing a project, be sure you’ve considered all relevant factors, including Scope, Deliverables, Timeline, Budget, Project team, Communication, Risk, Etc.

If you’re working on a smaller project with more flexible deliverables, you don’t need to spend as much time here. For example, a more agile approach is suitable for a new landing page or app.

3. Project execution

This phase is probably the most difficult to cast into a process. Yet, this is where natural project management is needed, and Jira is the perfect tool to manage all work with the necessary flexibility.

4. Project monitoring

Monitoring progress and bottlenecks is a great way to catch anything you might have missed in the planning phase. Jira is a great tool when it comes to monitoring and progress tracking. You can create a dashboard for all add-hock tasks with the key figures you need to monitor. At the same time, all process-related activities are monitored automatically with Flower Workflow Automation.

5. Analysis and closure

After you’ve finished the project, you need to evaluate the overall performance.

Did you follow the project management plan to a tee?

Did you meet the deadlines? Did you finish within the specified budget?

You may ask all these questions at the end of each project. This repeating character makes it a process, and you can model it as a BPMN process in Flower.

How to use Jira for Program Management?

Yes, Jira can be used for program management.

Jira allows program managers to create and prioritize work items, track progress, and coordinate work across teams. It provides features such as the ability to create custom workflows, assign tasks to team members, set deadlines, and track project milestones.

Program management refers to the coordination and oversight of multiple projects or initiatives that are related and aligned towards a common goal or objective. It is focused on achieving strategic outcomes and delivering business value, rather than just delivering specific projects or products.

In contrast, project management is focused on delivering a specific project or product within a defined scope, timeline, and budget. It involves planning, organizing, and managing resources to achieve specific project goals and objectives.

Program management is a higher level of management that involves coordinating the work of multiple projects and aligning them towards a common goal. It requires a strategic perspective and a focus on achieving business outcomes and value, rather than just delivering specific projects.

Program management typically involves the following activities:

  • Setting and aligning the program goals and objectives with the business strategy
  • Defining and prioritizing the work items and initiatives that need to be completed to achieve the program goals
  • Coordinating the work of multiple projects and teams to ensure that the work is aligned towards the program goals
  • Managing dependencies and risks across projects and initiatives
  • Tracking and reporting on the progress of the program and its alignment with the business strategy
  • Making decisions and adjustments to the program as needed to ensure that the program stays on track and delivers the desired outcomes.

In summary, program management involves coordinating and overseeing multiple projects or initiatives to achieve strategic outcomes, while project management involves delivering specific projects or products within a defined scope, timeline, and budget.

Automate complex Business Processes and Workflows with Simplicity

Mapping single Jira workflows won't necessarily go far enough. Flower Workflow Automation adds the strategic layer to your business process management.

Unlock the full power of Jira by aligning and streamlining your BPMN processes and workflows directly with your team: Every business process turns into an automated workflow by creating a Jira issue for each business process activity.