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Scaling JIRA administration: Creating a JIRA group with some administrative privileges? Edited

We've used JIRA for our developers for some time, but our dev teams are growing and the power of Atlassian tools is becoming more apparent to non-dev members as well. As a result two things are occurring:

  1. a big uptick in requests (new projects, new custom fields/status/workflows) to JIRA admin (3 part-time admin who have primary responsibilities elsewhere)
  2. a lot of requests for JIRA admin access (people who have used JIRA before and want to be helpful by implementing their changes themselves)

We end up with beleaguered admins trying to keep up with requests and also fixing unintended side effects of people making changes on shared resources.

We'd like to do two things:

  • establish a core set of status/workflow/fields that meet our business needs
  • create a "sub-admin" group that allows JIRA admin to simply create a project and then hand over to this subset of individuals who have ability to modify workflows, screens, etc. 

What would be the best way (if there is a way) to do the latter? Can I expand the privileges of the project administrator? Would creating a user group make this easier (albeit allowing privileges in broader areas)?

2 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

If you really can trust those employees of yours who've worked with JIRA before to not cause more harm than good, I would suggest creating a new default permissions scheme for your projects. In this permission scheme, you could give the authority you want to a group of users called "Power Users" or "Almost Admins" and then add your trusted employees to those groups. This allows your projects to continue to share workflows if necessary (for example, there are three service desks in my cloud environment that need to share a workflow) while letting your trusted employees edit functionality where they need.

Alternatively, you can create a new project role, give permissions to that role, and then manually add/remove users to/from that role on a per-project basis. Either way, you'll want to have somebody knowledgable (yourself or one of these three part-time JIRA admins) keeping an eye on everything. They'll have less time to work on other things, but you've said yourself that even non-devs are realizing how powerful and important these tools are. These tools are definitely important enough to become at least one admin's first-priority.

A note of caution: it's been my experience that many people who love to tinker don't always see the whole picture nor understand fully what their tinkering does. I've recently had to nuke an employee's permissions because he's proven time and again that even though he can make it sound like he understands something, he doesn't understand the functionality he edits and routinely breaks it causing far more work for me in the end.

A basic understanding of JQL does not make one a sys admin; give power sparingly only to trusted employees or you'll likely regret it.

Your first option is what we've been considering and will likely do. Your note of caution is almost like you've been looking over my shoulder! One of our requirements for admitting users to this power group is some basic training to ensure there's a common baseline of understanding before giving abilities. 

Exactly, "with great power..." is something the Power Users and Almost Admins need to understand.

0 votes
Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Apr 04, 2017

Hi Bryan,

with Jira 7.3, you can enable project administrators to edit their project workflow under the condition, that the workflow is not shared with another project.

Look at the release notes:




This is true. It could be our long term solution, but currently we have teams with shared workflows. I'm glad using the simplified workflow is no longer a requirement for this, though. 

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