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Reduce Developer Burnout By Enlisting Help From Jira Software & Jira Align

By Elizabeth Clor

Developers have always been particularly at-risk for burnout: The nature of their jobs is very isolating, and they spend much of their days in deep concentration, staring intently at a computer screen. According to one study, close to 60% of developers report suffering from burnout, for reasons including poor leadership, unclear direction, being overworked and toxic work cultures.

Nowadays, development teams are expected to do more with less time and possibly fewer resources, as well. Companies today release software faster and more frequently—38% of developers are releasing software monthly or faster, up from 27% in 2018—which creates a high-stress reality. COVID-19 has only escalated this problem: over the past year, the digital shift has also resulted in added pressure and burnout for developers.

However, with the right technologies, companies can address developer burnout head on and break down the silos that once created extra stress.

Create visibility across teams

According to a recent report by McKinsey, organizations that successfully complete an agile transformation see a 30 to 50% improvement in operational performance and a 20 to 30% improvement in employee satisfaction. And to adopt these types of agile approaches, companies are investing in technologies that facilitate these types of workflows—like Jira Align.

Jira Align helps organizations become more agile by more clearly connecting overarching business goals to everyday work processes and strategies. It aggregates team-level data to make all ongoing projects or work visible across an entire enterprise—and in real-time. Program managers, for instance, can use this tool to ensure their projects are running smoothly and all of the necessary resources have been allocated on time while delivery teams can use it to track their sprints and keep them aligned with the company’s overall business goals or strategy.

In effect, Jira Align does just what its title implies: It aligns all parties involved in a project (like developers and their project managers) on what needs to be done and by when. From the Jira Align platform, every team member can get an overview of what others are working on—and display how much work is currently on their plate. This way, it’s easier for project managers to spot when developers are being overworked and correct for it before burnout ever occurs.

Maintaining variety in workloads

Managers can also help developers avoid burnout by ensuring that their workloads contain some variety—or, at the very least, make sure that they aren’t working on the same project day after day. Experts agree that in order to inspire employees (and developers in particular) to perform their best work, managers have to offer them the right combination of business-driven work and more challenging, creative types of work. Too much of either can be exhausting for developers to manage, especially since their work is already so isolating and time-consuming.

Jira Align’s program management tools can help managers make sure that their developers’ workloads are diverse with the rolled-up progress function. This feature gives managers and all other relevant team members an overview of what is being developed, including everything from larger epics to smaller tasks. They can investigate the responsibilities of each individual developer and make changes to their workloads if necessary.

Help developers avoid arduous, manual tasks

One of the easiest ways for developers to start experiencing burnout is through laborious tasks like bug fixes and recurring sprints. These are necessary aspects of any software release, but can be time-consuming and monotonous. A study from the software company Rollbar looked at the causes of developer burnout and identified fixing bugs and errors as their biggest pain point. 38% of respondents claimed that they spend up to 25% of their time fixing bugs, and more than a third said that if they didn't have to spend so much time fixing code, they would spend more time with their family (37%), exercise more (33%) and get a full night's sleep (31%).

Jira Software, which can be easily integrated with Jira Align, offers a bug tracking tool that reduces much of the difficulty associated with software development. The feature can not only capture and track bugs in software, but after locating them, a team can prioritize those issues based on their level of urgency, and—most importantly—the team’s capacity. For example, managers can assign a bug fix to a specific developer who hasn’t had to perform one for some time. With this feature, managers can rank the importance of each fix. This ensures that no developer is wasting their time or energy on bug fixes when they don’t have to.

Matching workflows to preferred work schedules

Another way companies can avoid developer burnout is by allowing employees to work remotely or maintain flexible work schedules whenever possible. By doing so, employers give their developers more time to write quality code—free of in-office distractions, commutes or meetings. And when developers have more time to do their work well and effectively, they are ultimately more satisfied with their job. In fact, one company saw their developer retention improve by 24% after allowing them to work from home twice a week.

With a solution like Jira Software, companies can more easily manage remote work or flexible work schedules. The Atlassian tool offers customizable workflows that employers can use to create project schedules that match varying working hours, for example, and keep teams aligned on ongoing projects across time zones and varying locations.

When armed with Atlassian tools like Jira Align and Jira Software, employers can not only more effectively address developer burnout, but proactively prevent it. Contegix’s team of Atlassian experts can help any organization understand how to seamlessly add these tools to their workflows successfully—and reduce developer burnout along the way.

To learn more about how Contegix can help organizations adopt Jira Align and Jira Software (and avoid developer burnout in the process), visit our Atlassian Solutions.