How many JIRA administrators should you have?

Is there any guidance for the number of JIRA administrators vs. the number of users or the number of projects, or customizations? How do most large enterprise systems staff the JIRA administration role?

2 answers

2 votes

Actually, the answer is pretty absolute.  A minimum of 2 (just so you have a spare for holiday/sickness etc) and a maximum of 10.  Ideally 3 or 4 though, for a large install.

You are of course, right in suspecting that complexity increases the amount of admins you need.  Although the instinct to increase admins as the numbers of users goes up, that's not really a useful idea.  100 users in 10 projects all doing things differently is a lot more work than 10,000 users in 1,000 projects who only have three ways of doing it.  Typically, in large installations, you get a heavy skew as well - 5% of your users will make 80% of the work.  The other 95% will take a handful of standard approaches and just use them as they are.  

Part of the administrator's job really is to get people to standardise processes and practices in similar ways - not because it reduces complexity of admin, but because it helps all your users work together better. 

What is most important is that your administrators

  1. Work closely together
  2. Are good enough to know when a change they have been asked to make may affect other config
  3. Track change requests and plan changes - you can probably guess that the best thing to do is have a "JIRA support" type project for the users to ask for admins help.

There's loads more of good scaling stuff in Matt Doar's talk over at https://summit.atlassian.com/archives/2013/inside-the-massive-team/large-scale-jira-administration 

Awesome answer Nic :D

This is useful but wonder if there is any "official" documentation to support this for a business case to hire a full time JIRA admin. We have 500+ user, 1000+ projects, 120000+ issues but no one with the real skill set and dedicated time to manage the application. On top of that we have Confluence and another instance of JIRA being deployed in another area of the business. We have some in house knowledge and basic admin skills but this is all on top of other peoples jobs so change is often slow and painful to get right. I want to business case for a new member in my team to support solely JIRA and Confluence for our business but some supporting documents would be great. 

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