It's not the same without you

Join the community to find out what other Atlassian users are discussing, debating and creating.

Atlassian Community Hero Image Collage

What's your best Jira Software tip/trick/workaround?

Corinne Dent Atlassian Team Aug 13, 2019

Howdy 👋🏼 this is Corinne from Jira Software Cloud’s Product Marketing team. We're working on an initiative to help our customers make their Jira implementation the best it can be. To that end, I want to tap into the collective Community brainpower to find out all the tips, tricks, hacks, and best practices you utilize to keep your Jira instance (and, consequently, its users) as happy and productive as possible. For example, one admin shared that being ultra-disciplined about the number of custom fields in an instance keeps it clean and user-friendly (and better for reporting!). 

I’m open to hearing about settings, boards, issues, fields, reporting… you name it! What advice would you give others who are just setting up their Jira instance or are looking for ways to make their existing instance better than it is today? I am primarily interested in Cloud-specific best practices, but if you have one that runs the gamut of Cloud & Server, fire away!

Who knows, your advice could appear in a content piece that helps thousands of other users.

Cheers,
Corinne

24 comments

DPK J Community Leader Aug 13, 2019

Here are few tips that I use,

  • Always keep issue summary and description clean
  • Put some keywords in description, this will make issue easier to search
  • Try to use all Jira fields, like don't put environment information in description there is field for it.
  • Always assign dates to issue (Due date, etc)
  • Incorporate important points from comments to description, this makes life of implementer easy.
  • Links are your friend use them. But always assign correct link type.
  • Learn JQL
Like # people like this
Corinne Dent Atlassian Team Aug 14, 2019

Thank you @DPK J ! These are such simple best practices but so impactful in the long term.

Hey @DPK J - I'm going back through your feedback and curious why you called out assigning dates specifically. Is this because it's easier for search? Any other benefits you have found? Also, if you could elaborate on the benefits of using links, that would be great!

Mike Rathwell Community Leader Oct 03, 2019

Hi @Corinne Dent I'll let @DPK J add his own $0.02 but his points are seriously important.

Dates: It's not just easier to search but also far easier to track stale issues. In some of my non-tech projects, there might be SEVERAL dates (not just a due date) so that different timings can be managed and reminded on (Notification Assistant is stellar for that). At least that's how I use it.

Links: Huge. I have many separate projects for both tech and non-tech users. Links let me keep relationships for an effort together and visible from wherever one lands. As an example, a dev project might need a new landing page from creative... the workflow has a way to automagically create the creative ticket out of the dev ticket and assign it a custom "Related issue created" link outbound and "Created by related issue" inbound link. Not only can one see in the ticket but one can search for such links and see the view to it all.

Like # people like this
Corinne Dent Atlassian Team Oct 03, 2019

Thank you @Mike Rathwell

You've definitely raised benefits I hadn't thought about and will benefit others who read this article.

DPK J Community Leader Oct 03, 2019

@Corinne DentThanks for taking this up.

@Mike RathwellWe started using Jira 7-8 years back, and we always use to forget adding time tracking to issue, and after some time we realized that all non important recently generated issues get assigned to sprint whereas all old issue keeps on slipping. So we stated adding dates, time etc to issue, specially `End Date` to issue. Now, we know what features/issues are committed to customer in what timeline, and we can easily prioritize them accordingly.

Like Corinne Dent likes this
Jack Community Leader Aug 13, 2019

Here is my starter kit for new users...

  • Plan on adding one or more automation addons, e.g. Automation for Jira, Scriptrunner, Power Scripts, etc. You can really extend JSW and JSD to the next level with these. Examples: create recurring activities on a schedule, use Epics to create common tasks to maintain process adherence, i.e. when you create a Epic meeting certain criteria then create all associated tasks and assignments.
  • Make sure to incorporate Resolution into your workflows. Either use a post function to set the Resolution when transition to Done or present the field in a transition screen for selection.
  • Make use of FIlter Subscriptions to remind users of due dates or similar so things don't fall thru the cracks.
  • Use Sub-tasks as approvals for a given task and set it up to prevent moving task to done until all sub-tasks are done.
  • Last but not least, stay connected w/ the Community for a wealth of tips and assistance.
Like # people like this
Corinne Dent Atlassian Team Aug 14, 2019

These are great. Clearly you are right on the last bullet :) Thanks for chiming in.

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

Nailed it!

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

Rachel Wright has many tips at her site https://www.jirastrategy.com/ and in her book.

Like # people like this
Scott Theus Community Leader Aug 14, 2019

Rachel Wright is my hero.

Like # people like this

Totally epic. The book is high in my Bucket List of reads....!

And the website is great; the only non-Atlassian website saved as a favourite in my Atlassian favourites tab 🤩😎👍

@Rachel Wright  : your fan club is assembling.... ! ! 😍💝

Like # people like this

I also refer new admins to both of Matt's books, published by O'Reilly books:

- Practical JIRA Administration

- Practical JIRA Plugins

Mike Rathwell Community Leader Aug 13, 2019

To extend/spin @Jack 's comments:

  • Assume that you will be adding Automation for Jira, Scriptrunner, JMWE, and JMCF so... just do that. A solid basic toolset for most of The Things.
    • Learn Groovy.
  • Try to follow the principles set forth in recent articles to avoid "anti-pattern" but don't do it at expense of making the tool fit the use case. If you force fit a process control on a process that doesn't fit well, adoption will be painful/unsuccessful.
  • Re-use as much as you can. For snowflake fields, set the field context to keep 'em in check
  • Add "Notification Assistant" to make lots of nice targeted, automated and/or time delayed "reminder" emails.
  • Make it look nice. A small thing but going to the effort of finding good icons and setting corporate colors make it feel 'homey".
  • Automate as much as you can. Make Jira do stuff for the users so a) it gets done (correctly) and b) makes their lives easier.
  • Don't try to force Jira to do your reporting if it gets complex; Jira macros in Confluence (often inserted in other macros) allow reporting/documentation to be in a home suited to it.
  • Keep stuff in people's faces just below "car alarm" status. Slack integration can be your friend here.

Beyond that, for my part, spend the time noticing what your user base does day-to-day. Walk around. If you see someone trying to run a process from a spreadsheet and email, offer to fix it for them.

Like # people like this
Mike Rathwell Community Leader Aug 13, 2019

Oh... forgot one more that works well for me...

When I am creating/updating/etc workflows, I tend to version them... Not deeply, a VM.m type of versioning. I don't always update the version with every change if small but if there is any substance to a workflow change:

  1. Copy the current workflow and give it a new version (Major if a huge re-write, minor if adding more than a few changes/features
  2. Make the changes on the new version just created but not yet in production
  3. Replace the old workflow with the new one when ready.

This affords a couple of things:

  • If there are many interrelated changes to make, one can get them all done and apply all at once especially if some stuff breaks other stuff until all the things are done
  • If Something Bad happens, one can very quickly roll back to the previous version

However, if you have automatic transitions and they're looking for a transition in a named workflow... they break. I found this out the hard way... 

Like # people like this

I find it very difficult to build hierarchical views to grasp the whole picture of our work. I should be able to build queries from the top down and vice versa with ease. For example I may want to query what’s flagged for a fix version from the bottom up or what releases are epics and stories mapped to for an initiative. Duplication is fine if that’s reality. An epic may span multi-releases. It should be easy to provide these answers to executives. I use structure a lot and love it, but some queries I just can’t figure out and they seem practical. Not all teams are mature and we need to see current state to evolve -  life is messy. 

Like # people like this

Hi @Corinne Dent ,

Its will be helpful If You and Your team Concentrate on Basic Could Enterprise Software Bugs. 

 

1. Cloud: Download Morethan 1000 + rows

2. More Control to Admin based on role or users wise.

3. https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JRASERVER-64477 : This is Very Basic Bug in Any Could Enterprise Software system.


4. Don't Force the Companies to use 3Party plugins for very basic things 

I found these issues in My One moth Experience in Jira while doing Integration with JIRA. There are many Tickets with same bugs with Different status. It will be useful for the customers, you or your team consolidate those bugs and fix them instead of waiting for the bugs fixes for years

Thanks. 

Like # people like this

@Corinne Dent - what a GREAT thread! Kudos to you. 🤩🥇👏

It sounds really boring, my ultimate top tip is....... WEB BROWSER FAVOURITES ! !

I love being overtly organised - OCD-vertly OCD-rganised??? 😎🤘 - and get great joy from the knowledge that all my favourite JIRA and Confluence pages are within two clicks of opening. 

(I have the same for Atlassian and everything to do with Community and Support, including saving my favourite blogs... which I just did with this one! #NERD 🤓)

Untitled.jpg

Like # people like this

This is such a good one!! Thank you! Also feeling very honored to be part of your bookmark folder!

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

@Corinne Dent : What a lovely reaction. You are MOST welcome :D

Ignacio Pulgar Community Leader Aug 14, 2019

A couple of things I'd ensure all Jira Admins know in advance:

  1. Custom field contexts
  2. Global looping transitions

Both features can save tons of time while keeping your instance in good shape.

Like # people like this
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Aug 14, 2019

There are so many good tips here.  As an admin for Jira server that is in the process of migrating to Cloud, my best tip for any other server admins attempting to make this type of migration would be to sign up for a trial instance early and familiarize yourself with the administration UI as there are a number of things that are quite different that what you may be used to using in server.

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

Such a good tip @Jimmy Seddon ! As a Cloud user who enjoys a weekly update on UI without warning, I would add: do this weekly and as close to the migration as possible :)

- Don't add a lot of issue fields / integrations, that are used only once in 1000 issues. It makes Jira slow and not fun to work with.

- Don't restrict users to certain flows - Make it simple and flexible like trello.

- Keep it organized - we do weeklies to make sure there aren't duplicates and all issues are understandable.

- Use next-gen projects!! They're so much better then the classic ones, unless you need more complex configuration.

Like # people like this
Corinne Dent Atlassian Team Aug 15, 2019

Thank you for the feedback @Tal Levi . Love to hear you're having success with next-gen projects!

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this
Mike Rathwell Community Leader Aug 14, 2019

Oh.. one more simple one... I just dropped a ticket with a plugin vendor for an odd problem. They use (duh) JSD. It returned the default JSD response:

"Just confirming that we got your request. We're on it."

That reminded me of this tip....

I ran into a case where a person in the user community, base on the wording of the default auto response that we were, in fact, working on it that very moment. We weren't. It was in our queue. in the interest of semantics and a clearer statement of fact I changed it to:

"Just confirming that we got your request. It has been added to our service request queue"

Like # people like this

It's a polite fiction intended to make you feel good. 

"Your call is very important to us"

"We are experiencing higher than usual call volume"

Like all cliches it has a limited lifespan. 

Like # people like this
Mike Rathwell Community Leader Aug 14, 2019

"The check is in the mail"

Like # people like this
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Aug 14, 2019

My favorite thing is a simple one.  The use of GG.  

It's a keyboard shortcut that works in both Jira Server and Jira Cloud.  Simply press the G key on your keyboard twice quickly to bring up a menu search.   You can use this to search for specific admin pages, like Global mail settings, Lexorank, look and feel, etc.  Or it can be used on an issue details page to see what actions you can take, like edit, transition, comment, etc. 

You don't need to memorize the location of everything in Jira, you can use this to keyboard shortcut your way there.  This search is not for looking up issues in Jira, use the quick search or the issue navigator and some JQL for that.  Technically this is not Jira Software specific, all Jira flavors (Core and Service Desk) can use this little feature.  But I am frequently surprised at the number of users that don't know about this keyboard shortcut.

Like # people like this
Jack Community Leader Aug 14, 2019

yes indeed. I use the "." frequently.

Like # people like this

Wow... this blog is fast becoming one of the greatest knowledge shares of allllll time ! !

A second tip I would like to add is another simple one that is damn useful, especially when the back-log is built up for the first time and looooooads is going on:

Version & Epic assignment on Back-Log items.

By first clicking on the version and epic I need to assign a back-log item to... it ensures that I don't have to do it later, which can be such an arduous task if done incorrectly.

(I once went on holiday during a project start up and came back to a back-log of over 100 issues and not a single one assigned to a version and/or an epic. 😵 Thankfully I am the Admin and have BULK change rights....!!)

 

Untitled2.jpg

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this
Corinne Dent Atlassian Team Aug 15, 2019

Thank you @Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR - the screenshots are super helpful too.

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

Welcome @Corinne Dent . I loooooove getting visual. Always happy to put in a Screenshot!

Last tip from me.... really make use of the Saved Reports function... especially when it comes to having to review Tempo work logs on the daily !

Untitled5.jpg

Like Marianne Miller likes this

The simplest things are usually the better ones. So [not taking into account huge setups that might be required for some particular purpose] the basic guidelines in my opinion would be:

 

Be clean. Use of custom screens

  • Create the fields you need and assign them to the screens you need so no extra unneeded fields are on screen.
  • Create specific screens to assign for important transitions wich show the information that the user has to enter at that point in time. Maybe a field doesn't need to be mandatory but if the information is availiable it should be entered in time, not whenever. Having the field pop up in front of the user will remind him to fill it.

Be sharp. Use of custom workflows

  • The default workflow is great for general purpose tasks but you'll find very convenient having mapped every relevant status for you. Also, this allows to introduce conditions to execute transitions (aproval, validations...) and automate to some degree what happens after a transition (a whole bunch of postfunctions)
  • A great trick is to add a date/time field that autofills on transition because you can export that field to any report you might need later.

Be organized. Use of custom dashboards

  • You don't need to get fancy using a lot of gadgets. My advice would be to really take a look at what you can do using JQL and with that in mind use the custom filter gadget to grant that those important tasks are allways easy to see.
  • Also, create different dashboards for people with different needs.

Improve to fit your needs. Use of plugins/apps

  • Expand the capabilities of vanilla JQL (JQL Booster Pack)
  • Have more postfunction options for transitions (Jira suite utilities, workflow enhancer)
  • Automate some key steps (automation for jira, scriptrunner)
  • Have more custom fields (power fields)**

 

** Specially interesting: SIL customField. That's a field where you can write your own code, having into account multiple variables related to not only issues but also your jira instance and it returns the corresponding result.

 

I believe the rest of things that come to mind right now are not so general but solutions I came up with for some very specific scenarios. So... those were my two cents.

Like # people like this

Really proud of that JQL Booster Pack mention <3

Like Iago Docando likes this
Iago Docando Community Leader Oct 15, 2019

And you should. I've used it extensively, mostly to build awesome dashboards but also to manually pinpoint any deviation from the intented normal workflow and such.

Great work. I'll endorse it anytime.

Screens and Fields

- Keep them simple

- Use Tabs to prioritize fields

Workflows and Boards

- Keep your workflows simple.

- Map all statuses to columns on your board.

- If possible, no more than 7 statuses!

Notifications

- Don't send too many Notifications, the team will start ignoring them.

Like # people like this

I couldn't agree more with the notifications part. Send notifications only if action is required or as a summary of a completed fairly complex action. And very important: format those differently so it is very clear when an action is required.

I don't agree 100% with the "keep the workflows simple part". Allow me to elaborate: keep it simple FOR THE END USER.

As an admin you should provide your workflows with as many functionalities as needed. One very useful thing I normally do is having workflows that show different routes for different users based on the user permissions, on the values that are being introduced during the life of the issue, on time elapsed, on responses received from other systems... This is simple FOR THE USER, since he only has access to the one or two transitions he is allowed to execute but internally this is some sort of basic automation like the one I talke about in my answer.

Basically just some conditions and postfunctions working together.

Like # people like this

Yes, that's true. Thanks for your feedback. Speaking of simple workflows the main point I also want to make is the use of transitions instead of extra status steps and to recognize the difference in the process of drawing business process. 

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

Lots of good advices in this thread! My tip for Jira Software users would be to use the right-click on the Backlog view to:

  • Send an issue to the top of the backlog or to the current sprint
  • Split an issue
  • Perform a bulk change (you can select multiple issues using Shift or CTRL)

 

backlog.png

Like # people like this

Yes indeed. It's great that Jira has a right-click menu! I use it occasionally to move issues into a sprint or for prioritization. 

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

Love these tips @Manon Soubies-Camy ! Tres bien 🤩👍

I use them often!

One advice I would give to Admins about point 3, is to be careful who receives the Bulk Change permission: in the wrong hands.... it can be disastrous! 😵☠

Like Manon Soubies-Camy likes this
Marianne Miller Community Leader Aug 27, 2019

There is so much here that I'm not sure where to start.  this is a great topic!  One of my most used items though is to use and manage your issue filters to make easy to read and understand Dashboards.  Use JQL to narrow your search results and ensure you have the relevant fields on display. You can then bring them into your dashboards to report lots of different information in different way.  For example, you can do a 2 dimensional chart of issues completed by application (custom field), and also show it graphically with a pie chart.  Our management teams find a lot of value in this and I find I'm constantly adding/updating the dashboards to keep the team performance, to show current and completed work and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.  It's been a big win for our team.

Like # people like this

A simple trick that I always use is that I create a small set of standard transition screens. I name them "1 Assign Only", "1 Resolution Only", "1 Comment Only" etc. I use the number 1 to force these transition screens to the top of my list so that they are easy to see. This makes it much easier to have a small set of standard transition screens that I use all the time rather than the multitudes that Jira creates when I create a new project.

Like # people like this
Mike Rathwell Community Leader Aug 28, 2019

Great one @Derek Fields -RightStar- 

I've done the same thing.... Common ones for the 80% transitions and make others only for special snowflake workflows and transitions. Saves no end of pain and anguish. 

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

@Derek Fields -RightStar- / @Mike Rathwell : What an intersting tip! Maybe I miss the context or it's not relevant to my projects, but how does this work exactly?

How does it improve life? :oD

Is it possible to share some screenshots to help elaborate on the subject!?

Ignacio Pulgar Community Leader Aug 29, 2019

Hi @Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR ,

It took me a little bit to understand this tip too.

@Derek Fields -RightStar-is referring to the creation of screens that are usually added to transitions just to edit just one field, like Resolution, Assignee or Comment, which are very frequent cases.

That's useful when there are multiple Jira Administrators configuring workflows, in order to avoid the creation of multiple identically configured screens.

The key of the tip is preceding the screen name with a character so that the alphabetical order of the admin Screens page effectively pins those screens on the top, to promote their re-utilization, as well as adding a descriptive name to the screen which allow to recognize the field in the screen with no need to actually enter the screen in order to check it.

Like Andy Barker - TWNKLS AR likes this

@Ignacio Pulgar : Ah great! I am none the wiser, but this has definitely increased my knowledge. Thank you so much.

It doesn't help that we are a tiny company with 1 Admin, low amount of projects, and we are likely not using Atlassian on the same scale as you guys ! ! (we're not even configuring worklows!) 

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

Workaround for lack of multiple boards in next-gen:
Create a jira classic project. Create as many boards as you want even if only using them for next-gen projects. I hope next-gen gets updated to make this workaround unnecessary.

Hi @Corinne Dent : Any update on the Basic cloud software BUGS? 

Comment

Log in or Sign up to comment
Community showcase
Posted in Jira Software

Metrics Fun: 2019 in Review

Hello, Atlassian Community!  I thought it would be fun to do something different for my teams' last retrospective of 2019 so I'm planning to do a "year in review" with info-graphics.  Wha...

219 views 4 3
Join discussion

Community Events

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find an event

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.

Host an event

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events

Events near you