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I was inspired by this discussion topic: https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Jira-Cloud-Admins-discussions/How-do-you-keep-track-of-the-sprawl/td-p/2001305 that I wanted to share some tips from my personal experience. I also want wanted to try and tackle this from two directions. I want to offer tips for admins around the things that you can do as a steward of your Jira instance balancing the best practices and user desires. But, I also wanted to use some insights for end users to help provide more transparency of the “things behind the curtain“, so that you have a better understanding as to why an admin will ask for a compromise or reject a request and the things you can do to help control sprawl yourself.
Let’s start by defining what I’m talking about. When I think of sprawl, I think of the increase of “single use“ objects in Jira. Some of the biggest offenders of this are things like: custom fields, statuses & resolutions.
These aren’t the only offenders but they are the easiest ones to ignore by hiding that which you don’t want to see regularly instead of consolidating and cleaning things up.
Here are a few tips you should consider when user request changes to Jira.
When a user makes a new request:
Do you have something already built that will satisfy the request?
If not, do you have the ability to fulfill the request with a component/object that can be reused in the future?
Will completing this request impact any other teams in a negative way?
On a semi-regular basis:
Review the objects that have been created (e.g. custom fields, screen, unused/backup workflows, etc.)
Remove, clean items that are no longer needed (probably best to verify with users before removing)
As an end user, you play just as important of a role in helping to prevent sprawl (if not a more important one!). Here are some things to keep in mind that you can do to help prevent sprawl.
Be aware that the more unique objects (custom fields, screens, resolutions, etc.) your Jira Instance has, the greater impact it will have on the overall performance of Jira. (i.e. it can make Jira slower to load for you).
When your admin rejects are request or proposes a compromise, they aren’t trying to avoid doing the work, they are trying to balance providing you with the the tools that will make your job easier, which also trying to be conscious of the impacts to the entire instance.
When possible, try to keep your admin informed when something is no longer being used that they may clean up.
If you believe I have missed anything important, or I have misrepresented anything, please keep me honest in the comments and I will be sure to update the article.
Have a great rest of the week!