I received a request where a team wants to require 4-6 pieces of information on each of 4 custom issue types for their project. They do not appear to have a need to search/filter on the information provided. The need appears to be, users entering tickets are aware of and provide the information required to fulfill the request. I could add custom fields for each of these pieces of information, but I'm wary of adding approximately 20 custom (mostly free text) fields just for this one project. I don't have a specific reason for not wanting to the add the custom fields other than it seems messy.
Am I being too picky on not wanting to add all of these custom fields? If not, does anyone have altenative suggestions?
I would start with finding out what happens if the users don't provide the information. Does the request get tossed in the bit-bucket without comment? Does the request get rejected with a note asking the user to provide more information? Does it kickstart an entire complicated process?
In other words, the cost of NOT having the information right away may be higher than the PITA factor of creating twenty custom fields for a single project, which doesn't really take that long and only needs to be done once.
Then find out what the actual incidence is of people NOT providing the required information. If you're dealing with a hundred requests a day, and once a week someone forgets...give them a single text field and they can probably deal. If you're dealing with a hundred requests a day and half of them get sent back for more information...required custom fields might be a good idea.
Also, it sounds like they're replacing an existing process from another type of system--whether pen-and-paper, or Excel spreadsheet, or what have you. There might be a way to make the process more JIRA-like. Rather than trying to replicate what they already do, try to determine the actual goal of the process.
Without knowing what this information is, it's hard to render advice that's a lot more specific than that. (For example...if it's contact information, bite the bullet and add the fields!)
I found the Message Custom Fields and believe this will suit my purpose. I created an "Instructions" custom field with the "Message Custom" type. I then created a seperate field context for each of the custom issue types in this project and set the default value in each of the contexts to be the instructions on the information required to be entered for the specific issue type. The project already a specific Screen Scheme so I just add this field above the description field. I used the AUI HTML https://developer.atlassian.com/display/AUI/Messages to format the instruction for line breaks and other visual cues. The initial feedback I've received from the project lead has been positive.
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