Confluence, Jira, Stride and Slack integrations

Coffee Table atlassian products

Introduction

Scrumpy Planning Poker integrates with various external systems like Jira and Confluence to make the voting process as transparent and convenient as possible. In this post, we shall discuss, the most common integrations that are a must-have for every scrum team using story points for estimating tasks.

Setting up the integrations

When you sign in as a room moderator to the Scrumpy Planning Poker application, you can configure the integrations from the settings page:

Open the settings dialog box
Open the settings dialog box

Inside the settings, there are several integrations mainly done through user/API token combinations or web-hook URLs.

Jira integration

The Jira integration is described in detail in Jira integration for Scrumpy Planning Poker and consists of entering the details:

  • Jira root URL. This is the root domain which you open when navigating to the Jira ticketing system. For example, your-company.atlassian.net.
  • Jira user. This is the user on whose behalf Scrumpy Planning Poker will update story points, add comments with estimate summary or create Confluence summary pages for the refinement sessions. For example, [email protected]
  • Jira API token. This is the API token that can be obtained from the Atlassian Account Manager. The API token is used to authorize your Jira user to make comments, update story points or create Confluence pages.
Filling in Jira API token
Filling in Jira API token

After the Jira integration is set up, when a ticket is refined its story points are automatically updated and in addition to that, a comment is added when and how it was estimated.

Jira ticket integration
Jira ticket integration

Confluence integration

The integration with Confluence uses the same link and credentials as the Jira integration. You can specify which Confluence space will be used as a container for the summary pages created from the refinements.

When the last participant leaves a planning poker room, and this room is set up for summarizing in Confluence, a new Confluence page is created. The page is a summary of the voting session containing anonymous votes from the participants in the refinement session. The following screenshot shows an example:

Confluence summary page
Confluence summary page

Stride integration

The Stride application integration is used to publish messages in a chat room when a story is refined. A brief message similar to the one added as a comment in the refined Jira ticket is printed, for example:

Stride integration
Stride integration

The integration consists of entering the following details in the settings dialog box:

  • Stride room URL for posting messages. This is the link that can be copied from Stride when a bot needs to publish messages there. An example is https://api.atlassian.com/site/aedcbe61-1d38-4c3c-8781-aff9d49e7e12/conversation/5abe1d2c-d447-41ea-9cae-6ff44b1ecbf0/message”
  • Stride authorization token. This token can be obtained from the Stride application. For example: e6fK73KSUiRiKysQaQdb.

Slack integration

The Slack application integration is used to publish messages in a chat room when a story is refined. A brief message similar to the one added as a comment in the refined Jira ticket is printed, for example:

Slack integration
Slack integration

The integration consists of entering the following details in the settings dialog box:

  • Slack web-hook URL. This link can be taken from the Slack settings for the Incoming web-hook integration page. The appearance of the posting robot can be customized there also. The link can be entered in the settings dialog box of Scrumpy Planning Poker.

Integration demo

The following video shows how the Jira integration is used and the advantages when Scrumpy Planning Poker is directly integrated with Jira:

The 10% scrumban rule for every sprint

The 10% Kanban rule

Introduction

It is a common practice for many Scrum Masters to commit to the exact capacity displayed in the Jira Portfolio. This is often not the right approach and leads to failed sprints. The simple question is why this happens when the capacity calculations are so punctual?

The rush to deliver more

Product owners tend to push towards increasing the velocity after every successful sprint which looks like a natural reaction to the latest achievements. As the team completed a certain amount of story points last sprint, it is expected that it can complete more the next one. And this is repeated until a sprint fails. This push is kind of urge to test the team’s limits. Our experience shows that this is counter-productive. In the end, it appears that this demotivates the team as they see every future sprint as doomed.

The doomed sprint
The doomed sprint

The hectic end of a sprint during a delivery rush

When the team’s capacity is calculated to cover exactly one sprint, any delay or materialized risk is reflected by urging team members to work in a hectic rate at the end of the sprint. This leads to actually delivering less than promised due to the stress that something is going wrong. That’s why this rush at the end of the sprint should be eliminated at all cost.

Let the team deliver more by its own will

The velocity can be increased by adding a 10% of the capacity as a buffer that is used to work on tasks not included in the current sprint. Those tasks are fulfilled in Scrumban mode, i. e. from the backlog in Kanban mode during the sprint. It is used as a risk buffer and also to let the team complete its sprint (or at least the sprint goal) a couple of days before the end. Those tasks can replace a problematic task in the sprint (e.g. when there is an external dependency that threatens the sprint). The 10% capacity will be delivered extra, on top of the planned capacity and this will reflect un-materialized risk, e. g. the risk was averted. In case something goes wrong, this buffer will be exhausted, but the sprint goal and commitment will be met. This extra capacity in Scrumban mode should be monitored and if it goes to 20% for example, it means that it is time to increase the team’s velocity by 10% and still keep the 10% buffer.

Deliver early, deliver extra
Deliver early, deliver extra

Our experience shows that this is the time when employees work without pressure and contribute the most. This makes the increase of velocity possible, at the will of the team, without the urge from outside and with less stress. This way, the velocity increase is natural and desired.

The tooling

Scrumpy Planning Poker is a great tool to keep team members attention during the refinement sessions and properly estimate stories in Jira (and not only). It helps in avoiding the Big Rush at the end of the sprint and keeps estimates exact by provoking honesty in story estimations. You can start your first Scrumpy Planning Poker session right away!

Try BETA!

Tutorial

The following video shows how to integrate the Scrumpy Planning Poker application with Jira and let it edit and estimate stories on your behalf, quick and easy. Scrumpy Planning Poker saves you time!

Jira integration for Scrumpy Planning Poker

Jira Integration

Introduction

Scrumpy Planning Poker provides an easy way to connect to Jira and Confluence. The integration includes automatically filling in story/bug/task details, placing story points on tickets when voting is complete and finally adding a comment in the story how it was estimated and what was the average estimate. Optionally, a Confluence summary page can be generated with anonymous voting information for each ticket refined during the session.

The Atlassian Plugin

The most straight-forward way to integrate with Jira and Confluence is to install the Atlassian plugin. From inside Jira using a simple shortcut, a planning poker room can be open and associated with the currently selected project board. The name of the room is the name of the Jira board. The Jira users will be mapped directly to participants and the estimating process can immediately start.

New Jira shortcuts
New Jira shortcuts

From inside the story search box in the planning poker room, the Jira tickets can be individually selected or in bulk using JQL.

Quick add/remove JQL
Quick add/remove JQL

Getting the Atlassian API token

In case installing the plugin to the Jira Cloud instance is not an option, an API token can be generated to let Scrumpy Planning Poker use Jira and Confluence on your behalf.

The information that Scrumpy Planning Poker needs

Using this API token, Scrumpy Planning Poker will be able to search tickets in Jira as you type them in the search box, automatically update the story points estimate, add comments in the ticket with a summary and finally generate a summary Confluence page.

Obtaining the API token

To get this token, navigate your browser to the Atlassian Account Management portal and log in if not yet signed in.

Atlassian Account Management
Atlassian Account Management

The next step is to select the API tokens menu on the left. This menu will take you to the next screen, where you can create a new API token. Those tokens can be revoked at any time and are not connected in any way with the master password of your account.

Atlassian API token
Atlassian API token

The final step is to press the Create API token which will generate a new API token. The token can be copied to the clipboard so that it can be easily pasted in the Scrumpy Planning Poker settings dialog box later.

Create new API token
Create new API token

After pressing the Create button, the token is ready to be entered in the Scrumpy Planning Poker settings and start using the Jira and Confluence integration.

Setting up Scrumpy Planning Poker

After the Jira site URL, the user on whose behalf the integration will happen and the API token are at hand, they can be entered in the settings page of Scrumpy Planning Poker.

Open the settings dialog box
Open the settings dialog box

When the Settings dialog box opens up, choose the Integrations tab to navigate to the settings that are specific to integrations with external applications.

Navigate to the Integrations tab
Navigate to the Integrations tab

The final step of the configuration is to fill in the Jira URL, the Username and the API token for Jira and Confluence integrations. The Jira URL is usually in the format <company>.atlassian.net or <company>.jira.com.

Filling in Jira API token
Filling in Jira API token

After the Atlassian credentials have been set up, a Confluence space can be selected to contain the summaries of the refinement sessions. For example, a brand new space called “Refinement Sessions” or “Refinement Sessions – Blockchain Team” can be created. If this is not needed, but previously set up, the X button can be used to remove the option to generate refinement session summaries.

Finally, the setup can be tested by trying to search for a Jira ticket in the search box of Scrumpy Planning Poker:

Searching for a Jira ticket
Searching for a Jira ticket

Congratulations! You can now set your Jira URL, user and API token in the Scrumpy Planning Poker’s room settings. This will allow you to search for Jira tickets, automatically fill in estimates in tickets and get a generated summary page at the end of the refinement session.

Please check this video tutorial on how you can setup Jira and Confluence integration and how you can prepare the tickets for the refinement sessions, estimate them and let Scrumpy Planning Poker automatically fill in the estimates and comments.