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Why is it almost 2021 and I'm still recieving mountains of spam from Jira and can't change it?

Today I looked at the calendar, and was shocked to see that despite this question, asked in 2016 (https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Jira-questions/How-can-users-disable-Jira-email-notifications/qaq-p/392674) and this question asked in 2017 (https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Jira-questions/How-can-I-manage-email-notifications-as-a-user/qaq-p/636814), I'm still recieving mountains of useless emails that I have to sift through every day, making the Jira email notification system completely useless?

Just today, I recieved 50 emails, 49 of which was our project manager going through and copying values from the "Story Points" field into the "Story Points Estimate" field, and 1 of which was our QA analyst adding a comment on a ticket. Jira, of course, decided to send an email for every single one of these events, despite the fact that I DON'T CARE about the updates made to the story points estimate field. I DO care about the comment left by our QA. I spent 5 minutes checking every single one of these emails to see if any of them contained any useful and informative content. 5 minutes of time wasted by Jira's needless spam. Isn't Jira supposed to increase productivity? How is wasting my time by making me sift through mountains of garbage increasing my productivity? 

As mentioned in the previous questions, it is impossible to change this. Unrealistic suggestions were made ("Just get your Jira Admins to change the notification settings on a system wide basis!") and ("Just enable Batch Mode"!) but these are not realistic. The first one is not an option because the jira admins have much more important things to do than to spend hours of their time fine tuning the notification settings on a project-wide basis because of complaints by the users, all because of a broken notification system by Jira. The second one does not solve the problem. If my project manager makes 5 meaningless updates to 1 ticket, then yes, all 5 of the meaningless updates will be batched into 1 email. But if my project manager makes 1 meaningless update to 50 tickets, then I will still recieve 50 meaningless emails. 50 meaningless emails that I must spend on average 5 seconds per email checking to see if it contains anything useful, or is just another instance of Jira deciding to fill up my inbox with garbage. 

I can't believe that users have been shouting loudly and clearly: "Jira, please stop spamming us!!!" for 5 YEARS, and yet Jira continues to send spam. I wonder what is the environmental impact of all this Jira spam? How much electricity is used to send these meaningless emails? 

ATLASSIAN. I WILL SAY THIS LOUD AND CLEARLY. YOU NEED TO ALLOW ME, AS A USER, TO SET MY OWN NOTIFICATION SETTINGS SO THAT I CAN DECIDE WHICH EMAILS I RECIEVE. 

I have set up a spam filter to ensure that all Jira emails go directly into the trash, and if someone asks ("Why didnt you see that comment I left on the ticket?") I will tell them that it's because Jira fills up my inbox with useless garbage so it's going into the spam folder and if they don't like it then go complain to Atlassian.

WHY is there not a simple settings box, allowing me to specify which types of events to send emails for and which to not? 

Don't send me an email if the story points estimate field is updated, don't send me an email if someone changes the product owner field, don't send me an email if someone adds a label, don't send me an email if someone changes the priority. 

Do send me an email if someone leaves a comment. 

Why, Jira, why? All of your emails from henceforth will go directly into the garbage where they belong. 

1 comment

It's not changed, because it's currently doing the right thing.

I think it's best to picking apart one of the solutions

>Unrealistic suggestions were made ("Just get your Jira Admins to change the notification settings on a system wide basis!") .... The first one is not an option because the jira admins have much more important things to do than to spend hours of their time fine tuning the notification settings on a project-wide basis because of complaints by the users, all because of a broken notification system by Jira.

The notification system is not broken, it is set up to enable people to send the notifications they need.  Your admins have chosen not to set it up in a way that suits you.

The admins "have more important things to do" - not if they're supposed to be the administrators.

In the real world, you must get your admins to fix it.  Frankly, if you think your admins have more important things to do, get them to take the simple route - get them to spend 5 minutes setting the notification schemes to "no one gets anything" and see what falls over.  You'll find two things happen - all your email noise goes away, and you'll rapidly come to understand what emails you should be getting and why being able to opt out individually is such a bad bad idea.

Like Monika Rani likes this

The reality is that there is not a "one size fits all" notification scheme. Our organization, like all other organizations, are made up of multiple teams of people: project managers, engineers, QA analysts, executives, product specialists, and more. Each group of people has different needs and different requirements about what they see on these tickets. As the notification settings are on a per-project instead of per-user basis, any administrator would be foolish to disable certain types of notifications that may be spam to one user group but very important information for other user groups. So obviously the smart move from the administrator is to disable very little types of notifications. As a result, Jira sends spam. Obviously the right solution is to allow every user define their own notification settings. 

How is not allowing users to fine-tune their own notification settings the "right" behavior? This is a very basic functionality is present in every other enterprise management system that I have used.

When I join an organization, and see that the organization is using Jira, it is very disappointing because I know that it means I will wake up every morning having to sift through a mountain of garbage. 

I have been with 5 different organizations, and all 5 of those organizations have had this situation. Why do you think that is? Do you really think that every organization is simply using the product incorrectly, or will you come to realize that it is the product itself that is broken? If you design a system intended to be used one way, but all of your users end up using it a different way, is it really the users that are wrong? 

Why is being able to "opt out individually" a "bad bad idea"? As of this writing I have "opted out individually" of every single email from Jira. All Jira emails go directly to Spam. I've defined my own notification settings, because Jira won't let me. And I'm not the only person who's had to resort to this. So what's worse, users being able to define what specific emails they want and don't want, or users blanket blocking all emails so that they can finally have some peace?

>Why is being able to "opt out individually" a "bad bad idea"?

Really incredibly simple one.   I have seen someone arrested (and sacked for gross mis-conduct) because they ignored an email from Jira.

You're right about "ne size fits all" - there isn't one.  But you can, and should, get your admins one that is "one size is pretty close" (per project type)

Like Monika Rani likes this

Sounds like that user may have really benefitted from being able to selectively decide which emails to receive, rather than being spammed with endless nonsense causing them to start ignoring emails from Jira. Then perhaps they wouldn't have ignored the important email, by only receiving the ones that are important. 

No, the complete opposite - it was part of the job to get and act (or not) the notifications.

If he had had the option to opt out, he would have been shifting the responsibility and breaking the process.

Anyway, the point here is that you are railing against the wrong thing.  The tool is working fine, and can be set up to do the job properly.

You have a problem with your process and/or the people who don't understand how you might work best and/or the setup of the tool  (the third is definitely the case)

Changing the tool to allow you to break the point of the notifications even further is the wrong answer.  Fix the process/people/setup.  (And the third one isn't limited to "make the admins do their job properly", but includes moving the communication to channels that work better - turn off email and do it in Slack for example)

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