Watcher vs Participant

What is the difference between a participant and a watcher on a JIRA ticket?

2 answers

0 votes

A participant is someone who has contributed, or been named by an agent.

A watcher is someone tagged into an issue.  They don't have to have contributed, they can watch it themselves and anyone with "manage watchers" can add people.

Hi Nic,

Thanks for the answer.  Can you help me fill in more details regarding the type of account each can/should have?

It seems to me that to be a Watcher, you must have Browse Projects permission.  However, to be a Request Participant, you don't need that permission, you just need to be in the Service Desk customer list.

Thus, it is possible to add a customer as a Request Participant to a Service Desk issue successfully, but that same customer could fail to be added as a Watcher.

Do I have that straight?  We've recently spawn more Service Desks and have run into this recently.

A Watcher is someone that will be given permissions for the Jira project.  This generally isn't a customer since they wouldn't have access to your Jira system but only the Service Desk portal. 

A Requested Participant is someone being given permissions for the Jira Service Desk portal.  A customer can be added as a Requested Participant by using the "Share" function in the portal.  There are restrictions on if/who customers can share with based upon the settings you chose in the Jira Service Desk project.  Their access to view/participate would be through the portal only.

Hopefully this makes sense. 

So, if I understand this correctly, if I want to add someone on my service desk team to a ticket, I should make her/him a "watcher".  Doing this seems to be something like adding the user as a BCC to the ticket correspondence; it delivers her/him the notifications, but will not display this ticket in the "watcher's" Service Desk "My Requests" area. 

If this is correct, I like this distinction.  Why?

Distinguishing participants from watchers is an approach that assists at least two ways:

  1. It involves team members by creating awareness of the issue without also exposing them to direct communication from the end customer. 
  2. When our internal team members use the service desk to raise/share requests of their own, they become reporters/participants, differentiating the user's role (on this one ticket) as an end user/customer.  In cases where they are watchers, it is clear our team members are part of the internal group working to bring resolution to the issue. 

Visibility Distinctions

  • Reporters/Participants:  The tickets will appear in the user's own service desk (and, of course, because this person is duly authorized, will also appear in the main JIRA interface). 
  • On the other hand, tickets being 'watched' will appear to this user ONLY in work-related JIRA dashboards and project issue lists.

Am I understanding, or have I missed some other important distinction/benefit/consideration?

I have a follow-up question to this, if I may.

What are the differences in triggered notifications between being a Participant and being a Watcher? 

Nothing.  The emails are the same for all recipients.

Like 2 people like this

Ok.  Thanks, Nic.

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