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Need help with project roles

Jira project roles are super confusing. I really need some advice on how to setup admin vs developer roles and the type of access they all have.

4 answers


I can also recommend webinar The top secrets to success for Project Administration in Jira Server

If I remember correctly it discusses why project roles are better than groups.

0 votes
Mikael Sandberg Community Leader Jun 05, 2019

Permissions overview has a picture at the bottom that shows how it all connects. It all depends on what you want to control. Project roles together with the permission scheme and your workflow allows you to control what different users can do. For example you can allow assignee to only show users that belongs to the Developers project role, or only allow Testers to be able to do a specific transition in our workflow. Project roles are better to use the groups in your permission scheme, since you can then control per project what different users have permission to do in the project.

Thank you for your reply and help.
Is there a way to use some kind of pre-set permissions to roles? 
I understand the granularity, but what If I wanted to use some pre-sets to make it easier and actually get to work, instead of spending days on this.

Hello Lawrence,

Project roles are a flexible way to associate users and/or groups with particular projects. A project Role is kind of a bucket that holds individual users or groups. The members of project roles are users/groups who fulfill particular functions for a project. While you could assign permissions and notifications to users and groups directly, roles are more flexible and sustainable.

Project roles are similar to groups, the main difference being that group membership is global whereas project role membership is project-specific. Additionally, group membership can only be altered by Jira administrators, whereas project role membership can be altered by project administrators.

The main reasons to use project roles over groups in schemes are:

  • Roles help to reduce the number of schemes because schemes can be more generic and therefore shared.
  • Project administrators themselves can manage membership in project roles (on a project by project basis) thereby taking the load off of Jira administrators.
  • Roles are perfect if membership in the role changes quickly – because changes can generally be made quicker by project admins than by Jira administrators.

Project roles can be used in permission schemes, notification schemes, workflow conditions, issue security levels, comment visibility, and when you’re sharing filters and dashboards. The notable exception is global permissions, e.g. Bulk Operations, where you can only use groups.


Thank you Johan.

I'm still confused though. Do you know of a video tutorial that helps you get started setting your permission schemes and roles?
All I want to do is start a project and assign my team the correct permissions for the project and not the whole system.

I don't know any free video courses that really have an in depth look.

The link mentioned by Mikael should help you get started.

If you've also got the global permission to administer Jira, I highly recommend to first copy your default permission scheme and use that to tune according to your needs.

Thank you again for your help.

I gave up and canceled my account.

I gave up, too much time wasted and too frustrating. I need to get things done, not waste my time with an overly complex useless system.

Sorry to hear you gave up 😥Actually, Jira even works great out of the box.

The Jira admin creates a project and makes you the project admin and preferably also board admin.

You can then invite other people directly and start working. The default permissions are usually ideal to start working.

Like Mikael Sandberg likes this

Not sure about that. I can't just give everyone  in my team full permissions to the whole system, instead of just Developer or Project Manager, etc.
This is where Jira lacks big time. A simple, intuitive way to assign roles and permissions.

Mikael Sandberg Community Leader Jun 05, 2019

I agree with @Johan Soetens -Cleverty- , sorry to see that you gave up. As Johan mentioned, the out-of-the-box setup gets you pretty far without having to do anything special, and the documentation has great tutorials to get you started.

@Lawrence Grigorescu

Perhaps you could start with a next-gen project, don't focus yet on really closing down your instance / projects.

Overview of permissions in next-gen projects

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