The voice of business architecture. And more.

Jira is Monkey Business

Colour me confused. I expect this to be a short post.

In the Business Analyst space, Jira, Atlassian’s issue and project tracking database application is fairly ubiquitous. Jira is a tool that is neither good nor bad. Rather, it depends on how it’s used. This post is not a rant on how great or dismal Jira is. Rather, I question the hiring managers who cite it as a must-have skill. I question this about many such mentions.

Must be experienced with Jira.

Must know Microsoft Word.

Must have experience with Excel.

What does any of this even mean?

Whilst there are some more advanced aspects of Jira, especially in customising it and extending its functionality, perhaps integrating it with other systems, I wouldn’t presume this is the experience hiring managers are seeking from a Business Analyst. So what’s the problem?

The problem is that you could train a chimpanzee to use Jira in about 5 minutes.

Jira UI for Issue Entry

Since Jira is customisable, no two companies necessarily have configured it the same way. Different rules and categories may apply, but quite literally an elementary school child could pick it up, probably even faster than the chimp. Quite honestly, if you can purchase a product from or pretty much any other website, you can figure it out because Jira is even easier.

Could the organisation have configured Jira in some convoluted Rube Goldberg sort of way? Sure, but your Jira experience elsewhere isn’t going to help with this.

The question I ask myself is, “Did these companies hire some people without Jira experience and come to the conclusion that they had better make that a job requirement?” Did someone sit down on their first day and say, “Man, I just can’t figure this out!”?

I’m just saying that if you can’t figure out Jira, you’d probably also be challenged by using a mouse or a keyboard.

And don’t get me started on the Microsoft Word skill requirement. This all seems like monkey business.

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