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Improving JIRA workflows and publishing on the App Store

Improving JIRA workflows and publishing on the App Store

Weeknotes for week beginning 3rd May 2021

Improving JIRA workflows

My new team have been hard at work over the past six months developing new tooling for Hackney Council. Having spent the first 10 days on the team getting to know everyone and understanding what was working well, and what wasn’t, one theme kept coming up again and again – the JIRA setup. I spent much of last week refreshing my memory of the JIRA admin interface and putting together a proposal of how we could make more of the tooling at our disposal, including improving our Slack and GitHub integrations and making the tool work harder for other disciplines in the team, including designers and researchers.

I welcomed support from colleagues in other teams who have been through the same process and one piece of advice seemed particularly relevant:

With JIRA there’s always going to be someone complaining that it doesn’t work for them, or they don’t like the new process.. Think about the smallest workflow change you can make which will deliver the biggest value and repeat that process iteratively, like you would on any other work you do.

We’re going to try our first iteration of the updated JIRA setup this week, and review at the end of the next two sprints.

Getting published in the App Store

For a few weeks now I’ve been putting some energy into an iOS app for the popular #tomorrowspaperstoday Twitter hashtag, bringing the latest UK newspaper front pages to your device as soon as they’re sent to print the evening before.

It’s not live on the App Store just yet because I’ve been struggling to get it through Apple’s strict approval process. Not wanting to spend too much time on it before first judging if there’s any real audience, I prioritised getting the smallest set of functionality live for my first publish. That was rejected, as with all my subsequent attempts as it breached Apple’s review guidelines (section 4.2 for those who are curious) around minimum functionality, in that it should “provide features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website”. This has been frustrating, as I am heavily relying on Home Screen widgets, something that a website can’t provide, and in recent builds I have added push notifications, something websites also can’t do on iOS.

I submitted it for review again this weekend, so fingers crossed it’ll make it through without appeal!

Note: I’m also looking for beta testers, who want to test the app now (before it goes live), and to test new features as I work on them. If you’re interested, do reach out to me on Twitter @chrishutchinson. If you’re just interested in knowing when it’s live, you can follow @papers_tomorrow.