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How Many Administrators?

Does anyone have any advice as to how many administrators is a good number?  We're a medium size organization, with currently less than 300 users.

6 comments

Deleted user Dec 04, 2018

Hi @Keith_Kennedy

Putting a number on it is really a hard question to answer. You should aim to have as few as possible if you want to following the best practises.

This is something you'll have to see depending on the work coming in and the work getting resolved by 1 admin.

I've seen instances with over 5000 users with less than 10 admins (excluding project admins). So I'd say try it out for yourself, see what works for you, and if you really want a number, how about not more than 5 unless necessary? (But really, hard to put a number on it, depends on the company mostly)

Kind regards
Jorden

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Mikael Sandberg Community Leader Dec 04, 2018

I agree with @[deleted], putting a number on how many admins you need is hard. It all depends on the workload and your company. Currently I am one of two admins and we have about 500 users in Jira, Confluence and Bitbucket.

Payne Community Leader Dec 04, 2018

I agree with Jorden to keep the number small. More than one, but not many more. We are a similar size group as yours - almost 300 employees total, with 100 software/service desk users (the remainder being end users who use the support desk), and we have 2 main admins, with 2 additional backups who aren't as versed as we are, but they CAN take action of both of us happen to be unavailable. The two of us keep each other abreast of our actions and also use a Jira project to document our work. This model works well for us.

When I started, I used to say you need between 3 and 10, depending on size of the user base and volume activity.  3 is a minimum but they can easily be part time - the reason for 3 is just-in-case - one on holiday, the second taken ill, you probably want at least one other with admin access.

12 is a rough maximum.  If you think you need more, your projects and processes are too complex, and you should be looking to standardise things and/or delegate more to project admins.  More than 12 people will really struggle to work together well enough to keep on top of changes which could affect each others work.  That alone is probably a good reason to try to keep a lid at around 5 or 6 if possible.

I've seen Jira admin teams of 5 (and that was 2 experts and 3 part-timers) cope really well with 150,000 users and a couple of million issues, and admin teams of 10 fail to look after a Jira half that size because they tripped over each other constantly.

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Hi @Keith_Kennedy,

It is not about the number, it is very important to maintain proper communication between the admins. I have worked in one of the biggest instance with 30K users but still our admins are limited to 5 and 3 part timers. We handled in such a way that we make major changes only twice a week max. All the changes are documented before and after.

So limiting the admin rights is very important and documenting everything and sharing among admins also helps to maintain large instances with limited resources.

Hi Keith, 

I have to agree with all of the above.

As @[deleted] knows (he is/was an Atlassian Consultant at the company I work for) you can have an instance with many many more admins. It obviously has some downsides that could cause impact to the rest of the organisation but it all depends on your use case.

To dive a little deeper: we have 100+ Jira Admins. Most of them are Scrum Master or Coach of one or more teams. Because we want our teams to operate as autonomous as possible 2+ years ago we decided to grant them admin permissions. Mainly so they could manager their own workflows but some of them went a bit deeper and added Jira Automations (through Jira Automation Lite App) or even Groovy Scripts/Script Runner Scripts.

We only had some impact (someone renaming a status or a custom field) a few times a year. I don't want to minimalize this but for our 1500+ users this is acceptable because they get the flexibility and autonomy in return. For us as admins the biggest downside is the bigger mess in configuration (duplicates, messed up naming, etc).

TL;DR 

Try to keep the number of admins as low as possible (but keep 3 as a minimum, because of what @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ said). But do know that by making good arrangements you could potentially make the group bigger if there's a very solid use case.

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