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Working in an IT team or being a Jira Admin is no easy task. Constant requests, questions and fires need responding to, answering, and putting out. With so many plates spinning at once it’s tempting to cut the occasional corner or take the odd risk and hope for the best. We all do this at some point or another, and it doesn’t always end well.
We can't promise to solve this problem for all areas of your life but we do have a solution for Jira Administration. Specifically, how to use the Atlassian Marketplace to extend Jira so you can safely and responsibly save time when making configuration changes to your instance.
Change is an unavoidable part of a Jira Admin's work life. Therefore it's helpful to have some guidance on how to best deal with change in a safe and controlled fashion.
This is what Change Management provides. Part of the widely adopted IT Service Management (ITSM) concept, and it’s best practice framework, ITIL, Change Management helps ensure change occurs as intended and without problems.
Change Management definition -
As part of Change Management we can also refer to some other ITSM principles:
Configuration Item (CI) is simply any component that needs to be managed in order to deliver an IT service, for example, a Jira priority scheme.
Configuration Management tracks the configurations of and relationships between the various components (or configuration items) of your IT services. (source)
Change Management is how we make changes to these Configuration Items in a defined, standardised, and safe process. All of this with appropriate authorisation.
As a Jira Admin, you will probably want to make frequent configuration changes to your Jira instance to continuously improve its performance, and meet the changing needs of your users.
By implementing a Change Management process to do this, you can achieve a range of benefits, including:
The recommended best practice for Jira Change Management is to first test any proposed changes in a test/staging instance before replicating these changes in your live production instance.
The drawback of this approach is that doing this manually doubles your effort. You need to make the change first in the non-production environment and then a second time in the production instance. That sounds manageable if we are talking about a minor one-off configuration change, but if you are making multiple complex changes, this can easily take up a lot of your valuable time. However, there is a more effective option.
Jira is a very powerful tool. However, not everyone knows there is a way you can extend Jira’s features to make it even more aligned with your specific needs. This is by utilising the vast array of Jira apps found on the Atlassian's Marketplace.
On the Atlassian Marketplace, you'll find an app called Project Configurator for Jira that is great for Jira Configuration Management and for streamlining Jira Change Management. (Please note that I’m one of the folks behind Project Configurator, there may be other solutions out there).
With Project Configurator for Jira, you can test your configuration changes in your test/staging environment before easily replicating the changes in Production. Crucially, by using Project Configurator you can replicate these changes across to your Production environment significantly quicker and with a reduced chance of human errors.
For a video walkthrough of this process please see this demo video
It's not uncommon for Jira Admins to be making configuration changes on a daily basis, therefore the accumulated time savings can be huge. With this repeatable, reliable and streamlined process in place, you can rest easy knowing your Jira configuration changes are not going to crash or break your live production Jira instance.
To give Project Configurator for Jira a try please visit the Atlassian Marketplace.
Or to see how to set up your own Change Management process see this post for more information.
Dan Ivory (Orah Apps)