How can I use JIRA to manage multiple projects with multiple clients?

What is the recommended method (or best practice) for using JIRA to manage multiple projects with multiple clients? We are a web agency with a single project manager, who is responsible for managing the projects and tasks for all clients across each internal team (design, dev, and marketing).

I've searched quite a bit through the documentation, use cases, and via Google - perhaps not searching on the right keywords - but have not found any details on how best to implement.

I've considered using project categories to define the clients. I've considered creating a single project for each team - managing clients and requests on a per-task basis. But, both methods appear to be cumbersome to manage by a single person - especially as the list of clients and projects grows.

1 answer

Here's some info about my own implementation, which I find rather easy to manage (I'm the only system admin)

  • We use Server, not Cloud
  • We have roughly 200 active users
  • We have about 200 projects in 6 categories.
    • 180 projects are for each individual products we make / maintain
    • 20 projects are for individual users, HR, social committee and so on.
    • Every project manager we have handle between 1 and 100 projects, but most have about 10 each.
  • We use templates with the Project Creator plugin to make project creation easy, and more importantly, doable by non-admin users. That relieves some pressure from the system admin and improves re-usablitity of your schemes since your users use templates and don't request fancy workflows all the time.
  • Some technical users from our clients have limited access to the project managing their product. We use security schemes when we want them to see only certain issues within that project. This requires that reporters are careful when reporting issues, but is otherwise quite practical on the project manager's part.
  • We have the JIRA Service Desk for clients that have a JIRA user, but would rather use a simple ticket process instead of using JIRA to look for their own issues.
  • We use the JEMH plugin for clients that would rather just send emails to log issues and receive notifications when comments are added.
  • We use JIRA Agile for dev teams sprints, but your project manager might want a high-level view. For those, we have Structure.

All this represents a significant time (and money) investment from the system admin, especially JEMH, which is powerful and works very well, but is quite complicated to configure for a junior admin. But it pays off after a few months.

I don't think anyone could recommend a single foolproof method that works in every case. I suggest you take a look at the plugins I mentioned, and make sure your project manager gets really good with JQL notation for filters. The managers who can make good filters are the ones who have the easiest time keeping track of issues across multiple projects.


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