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How we handled the most asked question: "Can I assign an issue to multiple users?"

Hello community!

I wanted to give you insight about the most asked question from customers and how we solved this problem.

First of all, I want to emphasize that this is not a good idea. To assign an issue to multiple users is always a bad idea and you should always avoid it if you can. This is because, it's against the nature of Jira itself and it creates a problem with accountability. If an issue has multiple assignees, than you can't probably know who is responsible and also who did the most work, so it messes up the performance statistics. 

But, if a customer wants something, they want something. Sometimes as a consultant, all you can do is explain why this is a bad idea and convince them otherwise but still commit to the idea. We got this question from multiple customers so we decided to at least create a solution and this is what we did:

  • Firstly, we create different mail groups for different teams. For example; we have a mail group called and all the people in sales team are in this mail group.
  • Second, we create a Jira user using this mail address.
  • Then we create a workflow that assigns certain issues to this user based on something. This something can change according to your workflow, it can be a custom field value or a text parsed from summary or group that the reporter is in. 
  • Then we create filters such as : "assignee = AND status = Not Assigned Yet". At this point we have different filters such as: Sales Issues, Marketing Issues, HR Issues etc. We also create dashboards with gadgets specific to the teams so that they can only be bothered with their own issues. You can also use queues if you use Service Desk.
  • We also set the notification scheme to send mail to the assignee when the issue is created.
  • Finally, all users look at the related filters or dashboards to their team and the user who first sees the issue assigns it to themselves.

Customers who mostly use this system uses a performance evaluation based on how many issues a user solves. Again, this is not an ideal solution but this is how we solved it.

Hope this helps someone out there struggling with this issue.




interesting your solution, but I as a basic concept think it is very wrong to assign the same activity to a group of people, knowing that that activity can only be carried out by one person (at a time).

Joe Pitt Community Leader Nov 18, 2019

Nicely worded. This is the basic response I give for the question, but I don't give as much detail. The last time I answered this they didn't know what a email distribution list was. 

Taranjeet Singh Community Leader Dec 16, 2019

Not ideal, but a nice solution, just using distribution list as a JIRA user. I have already tried that for one of my clients in the past, and it worked well for them.

This is completely unacceptable. 

How my company handles accountability is not Atlassian's problem to solve.

It's laughable that you happily acknowledge that this is THEE most asked for thing and yet you fail to address it properly.

I think you hit it on the head with your comment:

"How my company handles accountability is not Atlassian's problem to solve."

And just for clarification - this is not Atlassian's comment that it is their most asked question. This is just the observation of a single user. 

@John M Funk Thank you. This issue has been killing me today. Everyone keeps going back to the same argument: "That's not how you do it". It's not the Agile police to tell me how to run my company, or anyone else's.

Hi, I have a team that is working 24/7 on incidents, on different shifts and different solutions (and projects inside Jira).

I'm using distribution list etc. since there are different groups to escalate internal and exyernal to my team. This use (proposed in this article) is not nice also for security reasons but the solution could be only have the possibility to assign tickets to specific groups.

We know that "assign an issue to multiple users is always a bad idea" but give the possibility to the USERS to decide is mandatory (for example through a configuration that enable/disable this feauture for every single project).

On my opinion this feature is mandatory for all the Jira and JSD projects and Atlassian should develop it like other ticketing tools in the market.

Do you know if the development of this feature is already started or not ?

Thnak you very much

Best regards 


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