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why doesn't jira have a "customer" field as standard?

Yes, I know it's easy to create custom issue fields (  So I'm not blocked.

But every work tracking system I've ever seen has a notion of "customer" as one of ~6 basic fields, and Jira vanilla usage has dozens & dozens & dozens, but not "customer"... what am I missing?

Not knowing any better, I'm thinking that it's very easy to get caught up in "Ars Gratia Artis" instead of staying customer focused. The absence of "customer field" is strange to me, it is a missed opportunity to encourage customer-focused thinking, business-benefit focus, instead of art for the sake of art.



1 comment

Hi John,

Jira vanilla (Core) is a bare bones issue tracking system. It is built and delivered in a way that allows us to shape it as needed and that is part of what makes Jira powerful. We must keep in mind that what we need from Jira is not necessarily what others need from Jira. It is also necessary to keep in mind that Atlassian has no way of knowing exactly what every customer needs and is doing what they feel necessary to deliver a set of products that meets the needs of many as broadly as they can without diluting functionality. I recommend you check out Jira Service Desk if you're looking for a customer focused issue management and ticketing system. Cheers!

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Sorry, yes I do understand that jira is flexible. 

There are 25 standard fields (, and I'm just finding it strange that "customer" is an element in both the list of 4 agile sw development values the and the list of 12 agile sw development principles (, but it's not a baseline/standard issue field.  Maybe the disconnect is that I am unfairly projecting "Agile" expectations onto the jira sw? 

Oh well, it's not blocking my work, it's just odd to me.

The decision was probably just never made.  When Jira was first written, it really was built as a replacement for an issue-tracker for developers that was failing a lot of the user base it had.

All the system fields you see now are (descended from) fields in a tool written by developers for developers to do simple development tracking.  They were streamlining as well, wanting to start with pretty minimal fields.  There's quite a nice essay about why Jira does not have a "severity" field somewhere.  Customers were not something developers were interested in in a simplified tracker.

By the time people started trying to use Jira with customers (and Agile was starting to have an appreciable effect on tracking tools), it had custom fields.  So there was never a need to implement a system field for them. 

So, it's a historical story as to why they're not there, rather than a design!

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