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How to make a decision in Jira

Jack Wallen shows you how to make a decision in Jira to show stakeholders and employees how you arrived at your conclusion.

A man looks at project management schedule on a whiteboard.
Image: Christina Morillo/Pexels

Decisions, decisions: We all have to make decisions. Sometimes those decisions don’t come easily. Sometimes we struggle and struggle to come to the right conclusion to a problem. Hopefully the vast majority of decisions are the right ones. But sometimes that conclusion is wrong.

Whether a decision is right or wrong, sometimes it’s just as important to know how you came to that conclusion. With just the right amount of breadcrumbs, your teams and organizations can see what led you to the choice you made and that can be crucial to training your staff or helping those around you understand what happened, well or bad.

SEE: Hiring Kit: Project Manager (TechRepublic Premium)

If you use a project management tool like Jira, there are features that can help you. In Jira, specifically, there is a certain document known as the DACI: Decision Documentation Template that can help you to repeat decisions or come to an ill-considered conclusion. By using this template, you are essentially creating a template to help you make future decisions.

DACI stands for Driver, Approver, Contributors and Informed. DACI, developed by Intuit, is actually a popular decision-making model designed to improve the effectiveness and speed of a team on a given project. DACI achieves this by assigning team members specific roles related to decisions, hence the acronym. This ownership of responsibilities gives team members ownership of the decision and helps them work together to reach a conclusion. The DACI template can also help your team members understand how you make your decisions and what your expectations are of them.

But what is each group responsible for?

  • The driver is the project leader.
  • The Approver is the person who has the final say on a particular aspect.
  • The Contributors are the individuals who can be consulted for advice on the decision.
  • The Informed are those people in the organization who are not directly involved in the decision, but want to stay informed.

Used wisely, this template can make a big difference in your decision making.

What you need to make a decision in Jira

All you need is a valid Jira account. You can use the free or paid plan as the DACI template is available for free in all plans.

How to add the DACI template to a project

Log in to your Jira account and select a project to work on. After selecting the project, you should see a Project Pages link in the lower half of the left navigation (Image A).

Image A

The Jira sidebar on a Software Project page.
The Jira sidebar on a Software Project page.

Click Project Pages to display the Create a page sidebar on the right (Figure B).

Figure B

The sidebar Create a page in Jira.
The sidebar Create a page in Jira.

In the Create a page sidebar, click Decision to display the DACI template (Figure C).

Figure C

The DACI template.
The DACI template.

Give the page a title and fill in the page properties, tag those responsible for the various aspects of the decision. The only requirement at this point is the page title. After adding the title, you can click Publish to make the template live.

Once the template is live, anyone who has access to it can start adding content. I highly recommend filling out every piece of data with the idea that the more details you add, the easier it will be to see how you, or your team, came to the decision.

That DACI page is in the Project Pages section of your project, which can be edited, shared, and even have a child page.

That’s all to make a decision in Jira. This DACI template can make a big difference in how your organization handles complicated future decisions. Use this template wisely and it can make some of those complicated decisions decidedly straight forward.

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