One of the most common questions I get speaking with new JIRA users (and even some experienced ones) is how to best organize their JIRA projects. While there's no one way to organize JIRA projects, there are some parameters to consider. In this article I'll do three things:
The goal is that by article's end, you'll be making more informed decisions on plotting out your instance!
At a base level, a JIRA project is a grouping of work items or, in JIRA terms, "issues" that are held in common. If JIRA issues are a variety of different colored, shaped, and purposed LEGO pieces, projects is a box that hold them. Each issue contained within it will share a common key. So, for project "Lego Castle," issues will be itemized as, LC-1, LC-2, LC-3, and so on.
Simple enough, right? Beyond that, JIRA projects will stand alone in a few ways.
One last thing to note, projects in JIRA aren't by nature terminal. By default, you should consider projects as ongoing efforts. To take our LEGO analogy further, you aren't just building a stock, prepackaged castle; you're adding additional drawbridges, turrets, etc. as you go along in an ever-evolving endeavor.
That said, you can certainly close out and archive projects pertaining to ad-hoc efforts.
There are a few common strategies that are commonly taken with respect to organizing projects. Again, there's no right or wrong way - it's simply a matter of appropriate fit.
Within these categories, you can get as granular or as broad as you want or you can even mix and match - just try to mirror your organizational habits and proclivities in your project setup.
A note of caution on Team and Business Unit setups: If your business is prone to consistent reorganization, this could create quite a bit of headache for you as a JIRA administrator. Merging projects and project settings can be cumbersome, so consider your organization's stability before proceeding.
So what else might you want to factor into your decision making?
So there you have it! While this isn't a comprehensive rundown of what considerations you might make in terms of project organization, it should help you get started and stir up some ideas.
If you've organized projects in alternative ways, feel free to comment below!
Footnote: This article is a bit of a starters guide to JIRA projects and how to get going quickly. If you're interested in diving further into the nitty-gritty of JIRA Software, nothing beats a deep read of our "Configuring Projects" documentation.