GreenHopper is an Agile project management tool as an add-on for the well-known ticketing system Jira from Atlassian. The power of Jira allows you to customize and adapt to any hybrid Agile process matching your team requirements best. Here is the list of some of the top features of the tool which we will be covering in detail in the later chapters:
Reporting and charting allows quick and detailed reporting on iteration, functionality, and backlog items for short-term and long-term planning.
Customization and flexibility is the power of Jira that provides high customization and flexibility to your team to add support for integration of different teams and workflows, criteria, and validation of work within your organization.
GreenHopper is an add-on built to work with Atlassian ticketing system, Jira (http://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/overview). It is installed as a plugin on the Jira tool.
There are multiple options for you to get started with GreenHopper. For this, you can refer to http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/overview.
Atlassian offers the hosted environment for you to start using the tool. If you are already using the hosted environment for Jira, onDemand (http://www.atlassian.com/software/greenhopper/try/), it is easy to get started with GreenHopper also. Just "add a new product" from My Atlassian list at https://my.atlassian.com.
You need to have Jira administrator permissions to install a new plugin. Browse to Administration in your Jira. As shown in following screenshot, check to see the Administration link and click on it:
Select Find New Add-ons under the Plugins section on the Administration page, as shown in the following screenshot:
GreenHopperin the search box under Atlassian Marketplace for JIRA and press Enter. The plugin details will be displayed as shown in the following screenshot:
Click on the Free Trial button to install the plugin. In this book, we will be covering GreenHopper Version 6.1.x. If you are using earlier versions of GreenHopper, please upgrade to the latest version using plugin manager.
Once GreenHopper plugin has been installed successfully and the license has been updated correctly, you will see the Agile tab in the top navigation of your Jira system, as shown in the following screenshot:
You need to exit the Administration session to see the normal logged in user view. Open the Agile tab to see the list of available operations to start with.
Recent Boards displays the list of recent boards you have created and you have been working with.
Manage Boards allows you to configure, copy, and delete the existing boards.
Getting Started allows you to get started with creating projects, boards, and with GreenHopper itself if you are starting a fresh.
Classic: It allows you to work with earlier GreenHopper format planning and task boards. It is recommended that you use the new board style (please check Atlassian support for updates).
Jira, as a product and tooling system, has come a long way from a regular ticketing system to a powerful tool, able to manage a variety of teams and their requirements within an organization. Each organization has different departments, businesses, domains, and teams working together to achieve goals. The variation in the way of working and their requirements for each team differs. Some of the common teams working together are:
Development team works with Scrum, planning backlog, updating and reporting status, and also integrates development tools. GreenHopper provides best suited toolset for your Agile development team.
Testing (QA) team reports and analyzes different features, like regression and production bugs in the application, and integrates testing tools. The combination of custom workflow in Jira for your testing team, the use of the Bonfire testing plugin, and integration with your development team using GreenHopper works perfectly for your testing team.
Design team designs the product, gets feedback from people, and forwards it to the development team to implement. The design team caters to the requirements of multiple business and development teams. Use the Kanban system for regular flow of work based on prioritization.
Project management team tracks status and plans for the long run based on reporting and charting data. The mix of Jira reporting capabilities and GreenHopper charting for your teams enable project managers to track and plan the product roadmap in a much easier and better way.
Site operations team works in a way similar to Kanban, to deliver maximum value and prioritize work better with high priority production issues first and future proof projects.
IT infrastructure team handles team infrastructure requirements and works with the entire organization for infrastructure stability perspective. The inbuilt support of Kanban in GreenHopper helps many IT teams to work effectively.
Marketing and sales team prioritizes projects, develops marketing strategy with development, design, operations team, and so on. A single platform to interact and prioritize with multiple teams enables you to plan and implement your business strategy much better.
Customer support team takes end user feedback and works with development and product team, and prioritize it better. Kanban system suits the services team best, and customer support teams use GreenHopper Kanban system for the same.
One of the major requirements from any tooling system is how easily it allows coordination between all the above teams.
Jira, with all its power of customization and flexibility, allows you to make it work for varied teams. Each team can have its own customized work flow and status change condition for their day-to-day tasks and operations.
We will cover in later sections and chapters how GreenHopper can help you with the backlog management from team collaboration perspective for all the above varied teams to deliver the real business value.
For development teams, Atlassian tools suite can easily be integrated with the Jira system. Think of continuous integration build tools (Bamboo), online wiki for documentation (Confluence), source code repository integration (Fisheye), code review (Crucible) tools, and so on. All can be integrated with your backlog management tool for better tracking, visibility, and productivity.
For the testing team, to work closely with the development team to be able to verify and validate each Story and create feature bugs or regression bugs along with the Sprint itself, Jira provides testing plugin (Bonfire) to record testing sessions and to work closely with the development team.
In combination with Scrum, Kanban, and other hybrid Agile methodologies, GreenHopper allows you to manage teams in a much better and easier way.