When I started using Jira, I thought it was the most complicated software ever until I continued using it. Then I found out how vast and intriguing Jira is and I wanted to know and understand everything there is about Jira. Fast forward to today, I can call myself a “Certified Atlassian Expert” - this all happened because I wanted to understand the #1 software tool called Jira. If you’ve been administrating Jira for more than 1 year, it is high time you look into certifying yourself and becoming proficient in the usage of Jira in terms of Industry-standard and product knowledge. For one thing, when your users report a problem, the first thing you should do as an administrator is to evaluate the issue that has been reported for generality.
What you should do
Is it a known problem? Check if the issue that is reported is generally known to be a problem. You can do this by finding out what other people are saying in the Atlassian community.
You can search for the problem in jira.atlassian.com to see if any bugs have been reported there in the past.
You inspect the problem to find out if it is reproducible. If yes, what are the likely phenomenon you’ve seen, and is this the expected behavior of Jira?
Lastly, if you’ve done all there is and the problem is still unknown or cannot be resolved then report the problem to Atlassian support providing a brief or complete summary of what you’ve done.
Performing these preliminary checks is what an administrator who is supposed to be a subject matter expert in an organization should do. Besides that, you increase your knowledge and understanding of the product and it becomes easier for you to work with Jira.
What you should not do is
I used the word “over complaining” because this is 2 or 3 layers above an average complaint. Don’t get me wrong, if something is a pain it is a pain but provide constructive complaints as over complaining never provides a solution rather it just makes you bitter about the situation. You can never solve a problem by blaming or making a fuss about a particular problem. For one, it doesn’t provide a logical solution to the problem at hand and secondly, it is time wasted when proper reasoning can be put to work. I’ll give you an example, an internal user reports a problem about not being able to receive notifications from other users within their project. As an administrator what you should do is first find out does that user has the necessary permission on the project. You can use the notification and permission helper to check what kind of access the user has in respect to the project they’ve reported. Secondly, is the user a member of the group or project role in that project designated to receive a notification? Thirdly, has the user disabled any notification on their end that might be causing the problem. These are supposed to be the preliminary checks by an administrator before going to the next phase of troubleshooting the problem which is to check for the “What you should do” above. If the first 3 steps fail, the secondary thing you can do is to run a test and confirm your theory of what you think is the likely problem. In most situations, a test will determine if the problem is actually a Jira issue or a bad configuration gone wrong that wasn’t scalable during requirement gathering.
Blaming has always been a strategy by some people to avoid having to take responsibility. An administrator should have the integrity to always know what’s the next step in problem-solving. Rather than blame the guys down at IT for not communicating their requirements on time before making changes to the workflow. Work with them on coming up with a solution that will aid the organization in the bigger picture.
With the zeal of using software, you will definitely know everything that occurs within it but it takes time.
Practice makes perfect
This is so true, the more you keep doing the same stuff or rather in this context keep on using Jira, the more you will become very familiar with its operation and mechanism. So let me ask you this question, do you really want to understand Jira? If the answer is yes, then get on with it and start looking at things differently that will make your administrative journey a success every single day.
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