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Jira Service Desk: one project for internal and external customers or not?


I'am in the middle of organizational changes in my company. Creating processes, changing tools etc. We have three core groups: developers (including testers and project managers), support and sales team. We choose to switch to Atlassian products.

At a first we decided to change organization in our support team thus we bought Jira Service Desk and created simplified ITSM processes (Issue Management, Service Request Management, Change Management and Problem Management).

I'am wondering about your experience, opinion and lessons learned about Jira Service Desk organization.  

My environment:

  • Internal customers (white-collars) generating typical IT Help Desk questions and problems like "I need access to X application", "My internet connection is broken", "I forgot my password" and so one.
  • Internal customers (developers) working together with support team on solving bugs and asking for changes (deployment).
  • Many external customers (clients) reporting incidents, asking questions etc.
  • One relatively small support team to manage all this things.

I'am thinking about two solutions:

  1. One project for internal and external customers. 
  2. Two projects. First for internal and second for external customers.

For now I can see following pros and cons for both:

One project for internal and external customers.


  1. One source of tasks for support team. They don't need to switch between projects to find out what to do.
  2. One raport for managers - no need to switch between projects.
  3. One Customer Portal for all.
  4. ...?


  1. I think I might experience some problems with permissions due I don't want external customers to have access to internal tickets and external customers to read another ones tickets.
  2. Queues might be to messy (to many tickts).
  3. ...? 

Two projects. First for internal and second for external customers.


  1. Better separation for internal and external tasks.
  2. Better permissions management.
  3. ...?


  1. Two sources of tasks for support team.
  2. ...?

Which is better solution and why? Maybe some of you have tried both ways and can share the knowledge. I don't want to invent a wheel once again ;)

In the future we want to have Jira Software and Jira Core for other teams. For support team we are thinking about Statuspage (is there a way to separate internal and external issues?). Maybe integration with other Atlassian product (Bitbucket, Hipchat etc).




1 comment

Jack Brickey Community Leader Apr 23, 2018

@Seweryn Szatkowski, this is an often discussed and debated topic. I will share my thoughts here.

Single JSD Project and one or more JSW projects

IMO, the only real benefit here is for your JSD agents as they can work out of a single project. However, in reality you can easily set them up w/ boards that display their work from all projects. This gives them the ability to either work in either the traditional JSD Queues view or w/in a created Dashboard and/or Kanban board. You mention that it simplifies the reporting to managers but again you can easily create a dashboard to illustrate all of the Agent's work. In fact, having multiple project provides some unique reporting differentiation opportunities. As a leader, I generally find it useful to differentiate between external and internal customers. Granted this can be done w/ a single project but separate projects affords easier differentiation in the long run.

Two JSD projects and one or more JSW projects

The benefits here are clean lines of separation w/o the worry of external customer potentially being able to observe internal issues. While you can certainly manage a single project to ensure customers can't observe issues not intended for them there is a risk there that a change, e.g. an external customer being added to an internal defined Organization could result in this happening. Two projects has the flexibility of more definitively differentiating your workflows, request types, etc. For example, do you want your external customers to see request types that are meant for internal customer, e.g. "New PC", "Badge Access", etc.

While there is certainly more points to be made and others will likely chime in here, my personal preference would be two projects and work the solution to minimize the extra effort for your agents. You could even setup some automation to have issues automatically created in the internal project every time an external project issue is created. Then create automation to automatically resolve the external linked issues when the internal one is linked. Though this may be overkill IMO.

good luck!

Like # people like this

@Jack Brickey Thank you very much for your answer. I'm pretty convinced that separate project are the right direction :) 




Jack Brickey Community Leader Apr 24, 2018

sounds good and good luck. As you move forward and have further questions the Community is a great place to rely on. Many question are already answered. 

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