I have found how to add, modify and delete people from various roles but I am looking for some documentation describing what each role can and cannot do. For example, what does an approver approve? Can they only approve or can they also create issues or add descriptions to an issue? What can a developer do that a user cannot and visa versa, etc., etc.
Since JIRA can be highly tailored, you'll need to look at the permission scheme AND talk to the administrator to see if they have any workflow conditions restricting which roles can execute transitions. For instance, I normally only allow someone in the tester role to execute the transition indicating a bug fix has passed testing. I also only allow the assignee to execute transitions. The idea is someone else shouldn't be messing with your work.
Jim, here are some simple fast answers.
a user is the most basic level, basically allows a person to log in and "see" projects
a developer can do most of everything. they can work on issues, choice watchers, assign issues, etc.
then you get into more specific roles that you all have set up.
At least start with this and sometimes you have to "try" different things. I am honest with my uses and get them on the phone, ask what they need to do, then give them a "logical" permission and ask them if they can now do what they need to do. If it works I keep track of what that permission did for next time.
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