A Jira Service Management Guide for Support Teams


Jira Service Management is an end-to-end service management platform for IT teams and business teams handling service requests from customers or employees. Originally known as Jira Service Desk, Atlassian reintroduced the platform as Jira Service Management with multiple enhancements designed to benefit modern support teams in the post-2020 environment.

Customer satisfaction rides on the support team’s back, sometimes more than any other team. If a customer needs something, the support team has to make sure they get it. If something goes wrong, the support team has to make sure it’s resolved quickly. A good service desk, used in the right way, is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction.

This Jira Service Management guide explains what a good service desk, used in the right way, actually involves. And how your Jira Service Management system can turn your support team into customer service pros.

Jira Service Management: an ITSM tool that’s not just for ITSM

Originally, Jira Service Management was targeted solely at IT service management (ITSM) teams, who manage and maintain hardware and software for their customers, whether internal or external. Service desk software is used by those customers to request service by generating a ticket, e.g. “I need a new phone/laptop” or “I need a password reset” or “my system isn’t working properly”.

Over time, Atlassian realized that non-ITSM teams were starting to use service desks to provide services in an ITSM-like way. For example, a HR team might use one to onboard/offboard employees and handle requests from new starters. A facilities team might use one for building maintenance issues, desk moves, event planning, and requests for equipment. As a result, Atlassian have added features for business teams as well, such as project templates for facilities, legal, HR, and general service management. You could now say that Jira Service Management is more of an enterprise service management (ESM) tool than just an ITSM one.


How Jira Service Management simplifies ITSM

The problem with many ITSM service desks is that they’re overengineered, incorporating most if not all of the 26 processes described in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). This makes them too expensive and too complicated to use. Many of those processes just aren’t relevant to most companies.

Jira Service Management (JSM) keeps things simple for support teams by incorporating the four core ITIL processes only: request fulfillment, incident management, problem management, and change management. Because Atlassian knows that these are all most companies need.

Plus, JSM is an agile tool as well as being an ITSM tool. In the past these were two very different disciplines. The fact that JSM does not rigidly adhere to ITIL allows scope for features inspired by agile methodologies, such as agile incident management, cross-team collaborative capabilities, and improved reporting.

A good service desk needs SLAs

Many support teams use service-level agreements (SLAs) to ensure that they are delivering good service. However, a lot of traditional service desks make it difficult to configure, change, track, and report on SLAs.


Jira Service Management lets you create the SLAs you want in a matter of minutes. It’s much more flexible and comes with several out-of-the-box reports, along with the ability to create your own, so you can check how well you’re complying with your SLAs. After all, your SLAs are basically useless if you’re not tracking your performance against them.

Jira Service Management reporting

In order for service desk teams to maintain customer satisfaction, they need to measure how well they’re doing and identify areas in which they could do better. Both of these things require looking at reports.

Jira Service Management comes with default reports, custom reports, and dashboards. The default reports can’t be changed. The custom reports can be edited and you can create your own. Jira dashboards let you add multiple reports (called gadgets) to a single page and offer the most dynamic kind of reporting.


Dashboards also allow you to enhance your JSM data visualization and data storytelling by adding Atlassian Marketplace apps like Custom Charts for Jira, which offer more control over chart type, data choices, color, descriptions, and labels.

Jira Service Management reports that all support teams will find useful

There are 5 reports that we think support teams ought to be looking at, which either come with Jira Service Management or can be generated using Marketplace reporting apps.

  1. Customer satisfaction report – this lets you see your customer satisfaction (CSAT) ratings in chart form. The single CSAT report that comes with native JSM is a simple table with limited filtering options, but the right Marketplace app will let you make different kinds of charts and filter the data however you want.

  2. Created vs Resolved Issues – this shows whether support teams are keeping up with the work that’s coming in. It comes out of the box as a basic line chart, but you may want to make a more customized version using a Marketplace app.

  3. Workload report – this helps see whether support agents are able to stay on stop of their workload, or may have too many issues to deal with. The native JSM pie chart does the job, but you may want to seek out a reporting app to customize the data and how it’s displayed, e.g. if you want to show/hide specific assignees or chart by original or remaining estimate instead of issue count.

  4. Organizations report – this lets you see trends across your customer base, e.g. which companies are submitting the most tickets and what types of tickets they are. Most of the native reports don’t let you chart by Organization, so you’d need an app like Custom Charts for Jira to get insights into where your requests are coming from.

  5. SLA reports – these let you see whether you’re meeting the expectations stipulated in your service-level agreements (SLAs). There are a few SLA reports that come with JSM by default, and you can create your own using the JSM custom reports option. However, your only charting option is a basic line chart. Marketplace reporting apps offer more options.


Going deeper into your ITSM data

The JSM reports above are a good start, but identifying problems, trends, and areas for continuous improvement requires support teams to go deeper into their ITSM data.

For example, you might want to generate a chart that looks at issue priority and status per organization, SLAs breached vs not breached per assignee, and requests broken down by component. You might also want to look at average customer satisfaction (CSAT) rating per assignee, open ITSM issues, and changes planned for the month. (Many of these reports will be useful to non-IT support teams such as facilities teams as well.)


Out-of-the-box Jira Service Management doesn’t let you report on these data points, but there are some great reporting gadgets on the Atlassian Marketplace that do.

How to improve your SLA tracking

With out-of-the-box Jira Service Management, the only way to get SLA reports on a Jira dashboard is with the Service Project Report gadget. However, this gadget doesn’t let you make SLA reports on the dashboard. You have to go into the project and generate them as project reports first, then the gadget pulls these already made reports onto your dashboard.

It means, if you have multiple service projects, you have to generate each one on a per-project basis, and if you want to change the configuration, you have to go back into the project. You can’t do it on the dashboard. In effect, you lose the speed and efficiency that comes with dashboard reporting.

Ideally you need a Marketplace app that lets you build reports and charts out of your SLA data directly on the dashboard. Procuring an app for this purpose is simultaneously an opportunity to gain a lot more choice and control over how those charts appear.

Don’t forget the most important metric of all

The role of the support team is to maintain and increase customer satisfaction. As the main way to do this in Jira Service Management is by using reports, then reports based on your CSAT ratings must be your starting point. Analyzing the nature of requests and who’s submitting them; measuring your time to first response and resolution; and checking whether you’re keeping up with issues coming in, are all well and good. But none of these metrics are more important than knowing whether the customers are actually happy. The strange thing is, the CSAT survey in JSM often gets overlooked.


Support teams ticking all the right boxes might assume their customers are happy, but that doesn’t mean they are. For example, even if you’re resolving issues within the time stipulated in your SLAs, you might not be giving the customer what they want. You want to avoid the watermelon effect, in which good, ‘green’ metrics hide the true, ‘red’ state of your operation.

Illustration of the watermelon effect.png

Basically, you want to always pay equally close attention to whether your customers are happy as to whether you’re hitting your other ITSM metrics. After all, a good service desk isn’t one that meets all its SLAs. It’s one that actually, and satisfactorily, solves the customers' problems.

1 comment

Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 31, 2023

Hi @Berry_OldStreet_ - thank you for preparing a nice article related to support teams! I think it would be very useful.

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