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Looking for suggestions...

I have a small consulting firm with only a few internal users on a free account.  I'm considering moving to the Standard @ 7.50/month/user.  I don't mind the expense if I am able to manage our work well, which seems to be the case.

That said, because I have clients, I would like for them to be able to view and comment on tickets.  I presume that means at least one additional user per client.  Is that correct?  If so, this can become quite an expensive solution.

I'm looking for suggestions for how to best approach this.  Thank you.

- Nick

3 answers

@Nick Coppola 

If you have JSM and Jira Software, you can keep your customers, and your service desk informed of issues, development, bug fixes etc.

You Service Desk staff need specific JSM licenses to work in a Service Desk project and manage the issue.  However, your developers can work on the specific issue as contributors to the issue and their comments are seen by the customer (note: customers will only see their own issues in the Service Desk Portal).

However, if a customer feature request or bug come through the Service Desk portal or you want to inform the customer via the portal, you can link a task, or story, or epic, with a service desk issue.  That way, the customer can see the status of the linked issue as it moves toward hotfix or release.

This kind of setup is pretty typical in environments where service desk are your customer facing team supporting software release.

There are a lot of articles and questions here in the community around setting up your workflows and notifications to support an integrated environment but it does work with Jira Software and Service Desk very well.

Hi @Nick Coppola

With Jira Software (because you used that tag), every user is a licensed user.

With Jira Service Management, you can create a service project where your clients are customers and access the portal without paying for a license.

How much information do your clients need to be able to see in your issues?

You might consider if the Jira Service Management product would be sufficient to help you communicate with your clients. With that product, Service Team Members (your people who work on the issues) require a license, but you can also grant access to "customers" to have very limited access to the issues and they don't need a license.

The design of Service Management projects is like a help desk system, so you customers would be able to see only the issues that they individually create, or that are Shared with them, or that are created by a member of their Organization. Customers can't see all fields in the issues, and can't see Agile Boards, Jira Dashboards, or other such reports.

Another possibility is to create a shared account for your clients to use. While this is technically feasible, it is not advisable, as you lose traceability to the specific person who makes a change while using that account.

I think there might be third party apps that could help you share information with your clients without giving each one a license. I seem to remember such being mentioned in other posts, but I don't recall the specifics. If you search for "jira cloud share issues with unlicensed users" you might find links to more suggestions.

Thank you.  So, I'm wondering, do the two products work together?

This is more project management and customers may bring requirements, etc.. but they won't create their own tickets generally.  We will triage first, make sure we understand what's being requested, that it's not already part of an existing project, and then we will create the issue.

I just would like for the clients to be able to see the issues and comment.  I suppose the issue, description, status (in progress, testing, etc..), and comments would be ideal.

Currently, we can export the issues but then we need to wait for the client to respond and then need to integrate back into the system.

So, I don't want to lose what we have, but want to be able to better facilitate client input and awareness in real time, if possible.

By "the two products" do you mean Jira Software and Jira Service Management? They can coexist in a single Jira instance/site, but you would have two separate projects - one that allows limited visibility to your customers, and one that your customers cannot view.

The customers would be able to see the summary, description, and status of Service Management issues, and the client-visible comments on the issues. Service Team Members can create comments and choose whether or not those comments are visible to customers.

You could create a link between the Service Mgmt issue and the Software issue.

You could use Automation for Jira if you wanted to synchronize data between the two linked issues.

Do note that your clients would not be able to see ALL the issues in the Service Mgmt project unless you did extra configuration to support that. If it is necessary for all clients to see all issues in the Service Mgmt project that will take additional configuration but I think it is possible.

This would result in you paying for licenses per user for two Jira products, as the licensing for Jira Service Management Team Members is separate from the Jira Software Users licensing, so your cost still increases.

Yes, I mean both Jira Software and Jira Service Management.  If by two separate projects we are now talking about tracking issues in two places, I hardly see that as an attractive solution.

I think I would need to explore the creation of a link between the two, as well as the use of automation to synchronize data.

Customers, ideally, should not see anything but their own project, the issues within that are exposed to them and the comments that are enabled for public consumption.

Yes, you would be tracking the issues in two places

1. Service Management makes the issues visible to clients without the clients requiring a user license, but does require you to purchase licenses for your team to be able to manipulate the issues in that project.

2. Software makes the issues visible only to licenses Software users, so you would have to buy licenses for it for your team and each client that you wanted to allow to see the issues.

When you see customers should not see anything but their own "project", how would you identify the client's project? If you were licensing them for Jira Software would you segregate the issues for each client into different Software projects? If you used Service Management, visibility of an issue for a customer is based on

1. the individual customer is the Creator of the issue, or

2. the issue has been Shared with the individual customer, or

3. your customers are grouped into Organizations, and the issue is shared with the Organization.

Well, I want users to see only those projects they are assigned to.  So far, I've setup projects for each client and an internal one.  Under the free version users can see everything so we'd need to go to the paid version.

I'd like my internal project to be mine and protected.  I'd like the others projects to be accessed by the resources I assign to them, either by project or issue.

When I think about the licensing, it seems to be a solution for bigger organizations because I could probably produce a solution ( I have something I've written already) that does precisely what I want.

We went this route for the idea of its integration with documentation and Git.  However, if in order to do it correctly, I now need to pay for clients to access the projects or maintain two sets of issues, I'm not sure that's a win.

As a developer, I feel like these are pretty straight-forward needs.  I'd be interested in knowing what other software developers, who are not internal IT, do.

I'm afraid I don't know of any other way to do this than

1. creating a custom solution that utilizes a generic "service" account behind the scenes to interact with Jira, letting the client users interact with only that custom solution directly rather than directly with Jira, or

2. paying for additional licenses in one way or another; either Jira Software licenses for your clients to access the Software projects, or adding Jira Service Management and licenses for your team to access the Service Management project with which the clients would interact through the Service Management portal.

If you used Service Management, you would not need to create separate projects per client. You would just need to group your clients into Organizations and ensure each Service Management issue is shared with the Organization to which the reporter belongs so that all members of that client's organization could see it. In my company I think that the team using this used Automation to automatically share the issues with the Organization, but I don't recall if they had automation or had to manually add each new individual customer to the correct Organization. Note here that Organizations are a grouping mechanism that you configure within Service Management.

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