New Atlassian System Admin - Need some advice

Hello! I'm just took the position as the Atlassian Suite Admin for my company. I'm a power user of Jira they've turned into the go-to person for all Atlassian app administration. We have server versions of Jira/Confluence/BitBucket. I'm excited to learn and grow into the position but I have a ton of questions and need a mentor in exchange for maybe a few free lunches/coffees.


I'm also an ACP, Scrum Master, and Product Owner, so I can offer agile related help in exchange as well.

To name a few questions...

  1. What training is the better option for your $
  2. Is the training/certification program during the Atlassian Summit the best bargain?
  3. What kind of add-ons should I have and what ones for Confluence vs. Jira?
  4. Does anyone really use Portfolio for Jira server?
  5. What add-ons or integration do enterprises use to get their metrics roll-up through their leadership?
  6. Plus all kinds of other things like writing scripts with ScriptRunner, and getting approvals w/o Jira HelpDesk


Thank you to anyone who sees this contacts me. I really appreciate the help! Have a fantastically wonderful day!


Hi there!

Welcome to the Admin Side!  

Those are some super good questions too.  I can try to answer them as best as I can.

1 &2.  There are a *lot* of training options out there.  When I first started I would look for sales on a site called Udemy.  They will frequently run $10 sales, but the quality of the classes varies a lot, with the recordings and presenter style.  I did get good information from them, but the content might be a bit dated, and the sound quality can make it hard to understand some presenters, still for the value, not bad and somewhat better than youtube.

Adaptavist has online training offerings though their Adaptavist Learn site, its $350 for a year's subscription.  I had the opportunity to trial it for a couple of months.  The classes were straightforward and up to date at the time I took them.  I even learned a few new things going through the beginner classes that would have been super nice to know when I started working with the tools.  In addition to it covering the Atlassian Suite it also covered ScriptRunner, though I didn't have time to go though that course during my trial period.  

Atlassian also has their University course, both online and at Summit.  They are not the least expensive option, but from what I have heard are quite though and well put together.  I have not taken anything but the certification prep courses myself, but even those are well done and I very highly recommend the Jira Project Administration Course and Cert package.  at $100 for both the training and Cert it is a really good deal and the training is really in depth. 

The bonus to taking the courses offered at Summit, is that they are live and give you the opportunity to have discussions and questions face to face with instructors and fellow students.

3. Addons  This really comes down to what you are trying to do in your system, to say what Addons are the best, but in general, from an Admin point of view,  I do recommend ScriptRunner for both Jira and Confluence.  I also recommend Jira Suite Utilities, since you are on server.  It add a lot of functionality to Validators, Conditions and Post Functions in your workflows.  I don't have it at my new job and I miss it!  MultiExcerpt is good for Confluence, as it allows you to take multiple bits of information in a page and display them on a seperate page,  great for management dashboard type views.  

I hope some of the users here can add to this list a bit more too.

4.  Yes. 
: D@Greg Sprowls has used it pretty extensively and we try to run an evening presentation or two each year on it and different ways to use it.   If you are evaluating it, also take a look at Big Picture and Big Gantt, they are similar tools to Portfolio, depending on what functionality of Portfolio you are looking to use. 

 5.  I can only speak to the companies I've worked with and say that the only tool I've seen used is Big Picture or Portfolio, but I am sure that there are others and maybe there would be more answers, posted to the Community at large.

6.  There are all sorts of possibilities to this question, a lot of them are here on Community and can be found with a search that is more specific.  With the Approvals in specific, there are ways to accomplish this in the transition, where you limit who can transition the issue. look at the Conditions in a work flow.  The options are limited, but they can be expanded with an addon, such as Jira Suite Utilities.


Hope all of this is helpful and I am sure our group can add more information to this post as well.  

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I have some experience with Portfolio, I would say enough to be dangerous.  Most of my experience is on the cloud side.  I am just now working in a position where we have a server-side installation, but I do not have all the admin rights I used to.  So I am happy to field questions where I can.

Additionally, if you haven't seen it there is a new roadmap feature for Jira projects.  I haven't had a chance to play with these but I am really interested in trying this out.  I think that this might be a good first step for people who don't need full-blown Portfolio.

LarryBrock Community Leader Jan 28, 2019

Hello @Elaine_Reece!

I'll second the welcome from @Kimberly Deal _Columbus ACE_ - we're glad you're here (and we have cookies!).  :-)

Those are some great answers from @Kimberly Deal _Columbus ACE_ and I'll throw a few more observations in here:

1. Training comes in any forms and if you're looking for webinars, Atlassian has a good channel on YouTube with all kinds of webinars including product specific ones.  I know several Solution Partners, including my employer Praecipio Consulting, have many webinars on products, techniques, etc. available on YouTube or their website for free.  Sometimes I find the webinars better as they can be shorter, more topic specific, etc.

2. I'll also recommend taking training at summit.  It can be a great way to sell your boss on sending you to Summit (which is incredible) and the interaction with all the people you will meet there is invaluable.

3. Addons - hmm, where to begin.  My Jira favorites right now are Automation for Jira, PowerScripts, and Turbo Kit. For ITSM implementations, I highly recommend Insight for Jira as it integrates in the CMDB function with the issue tracking function very nicely.  I agree with Kimberly that Multi-Excerpt for Confluence is really nice and if you are into electronic document approval, Docusign for Confluence is great.

4. Yes, many companies use Portfolio for Jira.  It has and continues to improve significantly with each release and solidly supports enterprise agile efforts like SAFe.  This webinar from last fall was really good.

5. In addition to Portfolio or Big Picture Enterprise, eazyBI is a fine reporting package and Tempo has an excellent suite of tools for management types.

6. Jira Suite Utilities, Jira Workflow Toolbox, and Automation for Jira can all help with approvals in Jira Software (only) environments.  Power Scripts is a growing competitor to Scriptrunner that shouldn't be discounted. 

Hope these answers help and if they do, please consider clicking the "Accept Answer" buttons beside them so others benefit from the "answered" flag in their search results.

Thanks, and again - welcome to the Admin Community!

~~Larry Brock

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Thank you @LarryBrock The combination of both excellent responses answered everything. I unfortunately do not have an option to accept either answer. All I can do is reply, like, comment, and report inappropriate content. 

Ahh, that's right.  This was posted in the Columbus Group space so it's not treated as a question.  An admin or Champion could move it to a question space but there's a bug and the "Accept Answer" button still wouldn't show up so I'll just leave this right here.  Glad you found our info helpful - I know I can speak for Kimberly that it makes our day to help others successfully. :-D


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