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Is the "Jira / Atlassian Admin" a full time role when using cloud hosted products

Just wondering if organisations that are using Cloud still have a full-time employee or employees to help administer and configure Atlassian products or if its left to users themselves to set-up?


My first three years Administering Jira at various clients were all Cloud instances. I know Atlassian has started putting in these next gen projects for people to make fields etc, but you really need someone to steer the ship.


A lot of places throw it onto a Dev Ops person until it becomes an inevitable mess because they understandably can't develop enough time to working on it.


I guess it depends on the size of the organization.

Hi @Aiden Marriott ,

I echo @Steve Letch comments and I will double or even triple-down on them. This is a question that comes up from time to time and I should probably take some time to write an article on it but the answer is a solid "yes". I will qualify that a bit; a very small shop can't afford an Atlassian Admin so a DevOps person isn't the worst choice as they do tend, at least, to think in terms of process but they don't have the other bits that a broader admin might and think of things like field names, field usage, common vs. special workflow and on and on. Additionally, when it gets larger and more complex, the DevOps person won't have the cycles as it is big.

I think Jira gets borked in this regard because it shows up as an equivalent in too many of the "comparison" sites where it gets lumped into lists with other applications that do the same thing on the face but amount to little more than spreadsheets with pretty colors and large friendly buttons. Ok for a handful of humans but won't scale to the enterprise. Where this gets insidious is that bad decisions by a neophyte in Jira let them spread like a cancer across the enterprise when it does grow because it can scale to the enterprise.

As an example, I inherited a system that had been in the "everybody is an admin" mindset and, as such, inherited a dumpster fire with extra hobos. After 3 years I am still cleaning up the mess. Some of the worst things like four fields named "Due Date" aside from the system one were extant in the environment. Permissions are a byzantine knot. User Groups are... I dunno WTH but along with jacked Permission Schemes, User and Role settings, and massively overlapping user groups, that will be a long standing festival to clean up.

Conversely, while my Jira instance supports literally the entire organization with only one of me, our SalesForce environment that supports ~1/4 of the org has 3 admins. Frustrating. 

So... long answer short: If you intend to grow Jira to an enterprise class management environment, get a good Atlassian Admin in as soon as you can and do all you can to make sure they don't think of leaving. The general user populace will make bad decisions and will lead to dissatisfaction with Jira through no fault of its own.

Like Aiden Marriott likes this

"Dumpster fire with extra hobos" - Love it, I am going to steal that line!  I feel your pain, I have seen the same situation myself.  

but why is there really any serious company that thinks that IT and Jira or Confluence applications in particular, to answer your question, can be "managed" by clicking on an icon as if it were an iPhone? Managing a company is not like preparing a hamburger, don't you agree @Aiden Marriott ?

Like Aiden Marriott likes this

@Calogero Kalos Bonasia I also see this mindset. Too often it can have its roots in two places:

  • When a company is very small, to manage it really can be as simple as that. However, that can be a Bad Thing later if poor choices were made clicking said large friendly buttons
  • A given level of management might think it is that simple based on a lot of hard work by people that bury the complex well and make it appear simple based on  they things they are still allowed to do. I have seen this one many times. What is worse, that is often manifested in said human's own management chain that doesn't see the effort to make a given thing appear simple when it is not.
Like Calogero Kalos Bonasia likes this

@Mike Rathwell @Calogero Kalos Bonasia - I agree if you have 5-6 developers working on a project they could spin up an Atlassian cloud instance and pretty much run it themselves no problem.  Its when you get into large set-ups with lots of different use cases and project configurations that problems occur.  There needs to be a careful separation of schemes where appropriate and control over changes.  You end up with a real problem when you have lots of people with just enough knowledge to be dangerous playing around with settings.  

There is also the fact that every "Jira" setup is different based on customisations and marketplace apps, so even people that "know Jira" from previous experiences don't necessarily understand an organisations specific set up and how to manage the add-ons.  In the cloud particularly looking after something like XRay or Zephyr is completely separate with its own backups and configuration to look after.

Like Calogero Kalos Bonasia likes this

@Aiden Marriott This is true, there are many plugins, and it is like knowing another real program.

For example I preferred not to get Atlassian certifications and to specialize on certain plugins, I know at least 6 of them very well, both for Jira and Confluence, I know how they work, how to configure them and I can explain to people how to use them to get value and benefit.

It's really a profession of its own. And it takes time and continuous study. It's not precisely a "click and go" on the iPhone icon.


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