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Unlock more value of your ITSM processes with group-based assignments in JSM

Hi, all!

Today we would like to discuss with you the Assignment Group concept, which we successfully implementing for our customers. 

As you know, out-of-the-box Jira Service Management (JSM) doesn’t support the concept of shared responsibility – everything is driven by single-person responsibility via leveraging the “Assignee” field. However, many teams, especially the ones following ITSM practices, may experience the need for the functionality enabling ticket assignment to groups or teams, while working on projects. Yes, there is an Atlassian Team concept, but unfortunately it was not intended for working with assignments.

Realising the frequent need of using team- or group-based assignments on tickets, as well as to enable notifications of corresponding teams or ensure extra security by leveraging issue security levels coupled with group assignments, we created the Assignment Group concept. First, we tested it on our internal projects and later began to suggest using it to our customers, who also expressed their need for such functionality since their work on requests was usually distributed among groups.

According to the developed concept, the “Assignment Group” field is a custom field of the Group Picker type, which contains a list of Jira group names with members. Based on the value of the "Assignment Group" field, JSM can be configured to use this field for:

  • Automatic assignments 
  • Indication of who is working on a ticket right now  
  • Sending notifications to all members of the group 
  • Clearing the “Assignee” field when the “Assignment Group” value is changed 
  • Displaying team-based queues 
  • Configuring security levels, and more

Here is a short guide on how to use the Assignment Group concept on your project: 

  • Create a set of groups in Jira user management, add members to these groups. All members should have a JSM license. We recommend using Atlassian Access for user management across all Atlassian products and configuring groups provisioning from your user identity provider. This way you minimise the time you spend managing users in the groups 
  • Create the “Assignment Group” field of the Group Picker type (the field will pick up the groups created during the first step) and associate the field with corresponding screens. N.B.: The “Assignment Group” name of the field is just an example, you can choose whatever name you want

Assignment Group.png

  • For the tickets routine, you can configure a rule, which automatically sets the “Assignment Group” field. Alternatively, if an assignment is based on request types, it can be added as a hidden field in a request type in JSM 

image.png

  • For notifications sending, modify the notification scheme by including “Assignment Group” in corresponding actions (create/edit/resolve) 

notification.png

  • For an easier ticket routine, you can create a set of JSM queues based on assignment groups 

queue.png

  • For additional security, you can configure security levels based on “Assignment Group” values 

security.png

As a result, you have well-functioning team- or group-based assignments along with additional reporting, which you can use for further analysis. 

 

Have you experienced the need to set group assignments in Jira? What do you think about such an approach, would you like to test it on your ITSM project? Share your own life hacks and ideas on alternative workarounds and feel free to ask any questions.

4 comments

Dirk Ronsmans Community Leader Dec 15, 2022

Hey @Nadia

Coming from using and implementing other tools for ITSM we do encounter the absence of a group assignment very often.

We've tried the same approach as you but do stumble on to a few issues with it.

  1. How do you filter what groups are available in the list? Jira comes with a lot of out of the box groups and security groups which we don't want to show in the list.
  2. How do you link the Assignee to the Group? At this time there doesn't seem to be a way to filter the Assignee field based on what group was chosen so you could still be assigning an issue to a user that is not a member of that group. (self-assignment solves that but still not really perfect)

 

To solve 1. we tend to use a Insight Custom field where we define the groups inside an object schema so we have full control over the list ourselves but still no way to solve the assignee filtering.

 

We do work a lot with the idea of "assign to a team and the team must choose who take on the issue" and however this is very silo-based thinking it's still the way of working for a lot of companies and teams.

Like # people like this

Hi Dirk, 

Thanks for your comments!

If you’d like to filter the groups, there are couple of options:

  1. Using Assets (Insight) based custom field as you described - absolutely great workaround, as filtering is just there. However with the Assets you may get some limitations with the reports - Asset objects are not recognisable in the excel exports (hopefully though Atlassian will correct it soon), and may not work with all dashboard gadgets yet. 
  2. Another option is to use automations and another select list field together with the group picker field, with the mapping between these 2. So any time you set assignment group, you set both group picker and select list field values, and synchronise them if any changes. Here is the example automation rule to sync both fields: Populate Assignment Group.png

As for the linking assignee to the group, my college recently published an article describing how you can filter assignee based on the assignment group, please find it here (you’ll be interested in Scenario 2: group assignment). Do hope it helps 

 

We are at your service, if you have any further questions. 

Like # people like this
Dirk Ronsmans Community Leader Dec 16, 2022

Interesting approach on the group filtering. I believe using either an Assets field or select list would be the same (just differently in the automation) but it would indeed still allow you to use the build in groups in the background (while filtering out the groups in the select list)

We prefer using Insight/Assets as it allows us to give control to a user/group to edit/add/remove groups without the need to be admin on the system (to change custom field options)

 

I just read the article from your colleague and also a nice approach but sadly you can still select the wrong person (and the list would also be super long on larger instances) but it would at least prevent the wrong member to be set.

 

i'm still waiting on the Team field that Atlassian is building (currently EAP for JSW) which would allow us to truly filter and do group assignments..

Like # people like this

Hi All,

Even I want to explore "Group Assignment" functionality using Insight. Lets see how it goes and how much can I solve.

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