Is there a way to set up a scheme by project category that automatically sets certain people up to be watchers on a project if they are not the reporter or assignee without them having to manually click watch?
A simple way to do this is to create a role such as Project Watcher and assign people to it that you want to watch EVERY issue. Then update the notification scheme and add that role wherever you have Watcher. The project lead can add/delete people from the role as needed. If you have a group that wants to watch all projects (lord only knows why) create a group for them and add that group to the notification scheme.
There are a lot of requests in my JIRA instance to implement this setup, kinda like this actually. See if what we did can work for you.
First, I thought I could implement by creating different Notification Schemes. But, I have 1,200 JIRA Projects in my instance (and 17,000~ active users) so maintaining it at that level is nearly impossible.
Then what we did is we asked each project to request for a "dummy user", set that dummy user as the "project lead" and set the Default Assignee to the Project lead. The dummy user should then "auto watch issues" then its email address updated to a distribution list who wants to receive the notifications. This way, the distro list will autowatch all issues and receive all the email notifications. This kinda works for us bigtime.
JIRA doesn't have this feature natively, but you can use a third-party plugin where you can add watchers:
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