More than a decade of grousing about product management

Jira Returns to my Life

data codes through eyeglasses
Photo by Kevin Ku on

A reluctant embrace of Jira and the frustrations of agile development.

As we are moving to a more “agile” methodology for our development (not software or hardware), we are moving to a tool that the Dude has a rather complicated relationship with, Jira.

The Dude first encountered Jira in 2009, when it was the issue tracker (aka bug tracker) and the tool that we used in the agile transition. Back then, it was a lot clunkier than it is today, and it was, uh painful in many ways. In fact, at the time, if you googled “Jira sucks” you got page after page of hits of people spilling tons of ink bitching about Jira, and a few who supported it. Apparently, if you used the “Grasshopper” extensions for scrum, it was decent, but the Dude’s company was way too cheap to spend that money.

So, we struggled. Back then, the Dude was Product Manager, Product Owner, and sales support specialist (the last was not an official role, but about 80% of his travel was to help close deals – groan.)

Now, we are doing the square peg in a round hole implementation of Agile development, and our tool of choice is, you guessed it, Jira.

Instead of a classic software model, our development is less amenable to breaking up, and the Dude suspects that instead of scrum, some form of Kanban might be the path to success. Fortunately, Jira is flexible enough to support this.


But, after spending an hour on his new Kanban board, the Dude finally figured out how to add epics, and items. And all the frustrations the Dude has with Jira came flooding back, leading to some serious PTSD.

It reminds the Dude of some 90’s vintage enterprise applications. Cumbersome, unintuitive, and clunky.

I am sure that some agilistas will jump on me for my take, but the Dude suspects that he will begin spending about 40% of his hours every week fiddling with Jira.

Oh well, it pays the mortgage.

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A crusty veteran from the product management trenches. Plenty of salty language, references to cannabis, and a connoisseur of White Russian cocktails

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Written by pmdude