WBI Launches Jira User Group for AFRL Experimentation, Education 

11.06.24 07:56 PM By Jennie Hempstead

Jira, a top-ranking commercial project management software platform published by Atlassian, is the focus of a new user group launched by Wright Brothers Institute and Air Force Research Laboratory Digital Capabilities Directorate (DCD). Joel Rauch, Digital Systems Administrator at WBI, in partnership with DCD, is leading a recurring bi-weekly one hour hybrid session to showcase the Jira Software Platform. Wright Brothers Institute, located at 5000 Springfield Street, Suite 100 in Riverside, Ohio, is hosting the Digital Test Bed’s hybrid event series.

“The group is an opportunity to network, provide feedback to other personnel, and demonstrate various software features and functions,” said Rauch, himself a Jira user for just over two years.

Providing a place to experiment and learn digital platforms like JIRA will give the Department of the Air Force a competitive advantage over US adversaries. In 2020, the Strategy Bridge a non-profit organization focused on the development of people

“Once learned and adopted correctly, Jira can be extremely beneficial to an organization looking to manage a project effectively,” Rauch explained. More importantly, “We include real life examples of how it's being used currently in AFRL.”

Rauch is joined by AFRL/RY contractor Jacob Wilhelm, Agile Coach/Trainer, and DevOps Architect. Wilhelm provides short, digestible demo sessions with Q &A interspersed while clicking through the tools. For those unable to attend the sessions, each meeting is recorded and available on the DLE. 

Ariel Lawson, Delaware Nation Industries (DNI) Technical Writer and contractor on behalf of AFRL/RQW, is a first time Jira user. She has remotely attended each session and reports back to her team about the feasibility of implementing Jira. Her team members are largely all first time Jira users as well.

“I like that Jira is connected to Confluence—that you can merge the two platforms,” Lawson explained. Confluence is a content management workspace which is also published by Atlassian. It is a tool that Lawson uses with her team.

More than 65,000 companies worldwide utilize Jira. Hundreds of applications, such as Confluence, integrate with the platform as well, making it highly customizable. Wilhelm provides an apt description for those who may be brand new to this type of software platform. “Jira is a single pane of glass to see everything that’s going on across a project.” 

The Digital Laboratory Environment (DLE) is the gateway to the resources that the Jira User Group utilizes. To request an account, or to learn more about AFRL’s DLE, please visit  https://dle.afrl.af.mil/my.policy

AFRL personnel interested in participating in the Jira User Group may attend at any time. To register, please email jira.group@wbi-innovates.com. For more information by phone, please call (937)424-8661. 

The Wright Brothers Institute is an Innovation Institute, partnered with the Air Force Research Laboratory since 2002, serving the Dayton region. 


By Karen Doody with Jennie Hempstead 

Jennie Hempstead