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🏆 A day in the life of a Jira admin contest

Hello admins! 

We're running a contest (for fun and for swag) to hear about the day-to-day doings of Jira admins. Respond to this thread with a few paragraphs about a real or imagined typical day for you - feel free to paint the picture in as much color as you'd like! 

We will send some fun Jira swag to the admins with the most detail/creativity. 👕

45 comments

Morning

-
Random guy/gal: Hey dude, this doesn't work!
- Me: Ok, I'm going to work on that. Create a ticket please and set me as assigneé.
- Random guy/gal: How do I create a ticket?
- Me:  :palm face:

Evening

- Me (searching Jira docs): Mmm no info, time to search in community.
- (reading a related article at community): There's a feature request. Time to look the progress.
- (some random comment in the related ticket): I'M SURE IT WOULD BE A FAIRLY COMMON REQUIREMENT !!! I REQUESTED THIS 56 YEARS AGO !!! o m g WHATS IS HAPPENIN WITH U ATLASSIAN !!!

Repeat every day

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Not only a real day but groundhog day - every single week.

User: I have a totally unique problem that can only be solved with a custom solution.

Me: Abstracts it out to apply a holistic, consistent, scalable approach.

User: Whoa... are you a sorceress? 

Me: Yes, yes I am ðŸ™ˆ 🧙🏻 

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Bridget Community Manager Apr 05, 2021

Haha I am loving these so far. @Chrissy Clements +++ @Ignacio Pizarro +++

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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Apr 05, 2021

I love this @Bridget! Here's what a day looks like for me:

First thing in the morning, I'm usually on the Atlassian Community for about an hour. I'm either responding to things from the day before, reading new articles that have been posted or looking for questions to answer.

  1. I have three major projects I'm working on right now:
    I'm moving one of our teams from JSW to JSM. This project is almost wrapped up now, but it has been quite to co-ordination effort (I'll likely have an article coming out about this effort soon).
  2. I'm writing an Atlassian Forge app for our Confluence instance that will give our documentation team some enhanced search functionality. This one is well under way and will likely be completed soon.
  3. There is a company wide effort to start breaking out Confluence instance into smaller more logical and manageable spaces. I have been tasks with breaking out everything owned by R&D. I haven't started this yet but as soon as I wrap up the other two I'm expected to start this.

While, most of my time is spend on these projects, I also have my own JSM project where I receive requests to make changes to our Jira instance.  As a part of this, I have a bi-weekly change management meeting with many of our R&D Directors to discuss the larger Jira changes.   Out of this I'm looking to get approval or direction to make changes to our Jira instance which may have wider effects on the organization.
I also have a channel on our Slack instance where quick questions can be asked, and those that require more effort can be turned into JSM issues.  I have noticed that more questions seem to be asked in the afternoon, so I try to leave a 2 hour block (usually from 2-4pm) available to answer questions and respond to JSM issues.

Lastly, I have a team stand up (which is more of a social time until we can get back to the office) which takes place mid-morning.

At the moment this is what my typical day consists of, and I couldn't be happier!

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Curt Holley Community Leader Apr 05, 2021

A good day = Writing automation (via Automation for Jira) to make people Jira experience more pleasurable and accurate. Working on other value add initiatives like getting the Deployments API working with Azure DevOps Yaml based release pipelines. As well as educating people in the joys of visualising their content in an Advanced Roadmap plan, upskilling them in JQL and how to be more self sufficient. And!!! perhaps learning something from, or helping someone on the Atlassian community or joining an Atlassian webinar.

A bad day =  Answering the same basic questions over and over. Directing people to the confluence page where the answer is already documented (and that I'm sure I've directly them to before). Tidying up other people's mess or confusion about how board setting and filter queries work. Trapped in admin tasks that consume time and are repetitive but can't be automated.......yet!!!! 🤞

A typical day = A balance of the 2 and usually more like a Good day than a bad day.

 

But!!! at the end of the day (as they say) I love being a Jira Admin and enjoy the challenge of always being able to solve any problem (with a little help from the Community or Atlassian support)

☮ & 💓

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AUTOMATION AUTOMATION AUTOMATION

As you can tell, automation is a key term in our organization. Our company takes advantage of many Atlassian products (JSM, Jira Software and Confluence).

 

My typical day is looking through Jira Automation capabilities and trying to apply them to our existing use cases. 

 

Our team also ensures that necessary screens, workflows are correctly set up for our company's use cases. It was very easy to see that a Jira Admin is a MUST. Without one, the data structure in Jira can get unorganized very quickly!

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Product Manager: Check if Joe Dow has access to Jira

Me: Yeah, buddy, since 2014

Product Manager: I cannot assign issue to him

Me: This has little to do with access to Jira. Have you heard about Project Roles?

Product Manager: Comon I'm too busy for this stuff, just make it working now!

 

Developer: I cannot access issue in project. Which roles I have?

Me: Give me issue number.

Developer: Perhaps you should make a group, tune up roles and alter Permissions?

Me: I'm too busy for that, just give me issue number quickly. They switch off old issue view today and admins section will not be available in 2 hours.

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Morning

-
 Product Owner: Major customer emergency - let's pivot
- Me: What's the issue, have we a ticket written up? what version number
- Dev Manager: (On a newly created slack channel) - Guys major issue, let's talk about it in the meeting in 5 minutes
- Me:  :palm face: Can someone forward me details on the issue to create an issue....

Afternoon:

-Product Owner: Guys, we are deprioritizing that issue, let's focus on current path

-Me:  What is our current path, where is a roadmap

-Product Owner:  We are waiting for management to finish that up

-Me: Can we just log our time? 

 

Moral of the Day: If I had a dollar for every time we mention what's the ticket for that - I would be retired by now

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Hi All! 

My primary role is as a Scrum Master so my typical day is mostly working with the team on their boards and backlogs.  Only the Ops Manager and I understand Jira enough to act as Admins, so I get a lot of requests around access, setting up new fields, screens, workflows, etc for projects.

Recently I've been spending a few hours a day researching best practices for incorporating the new tools we're using (CircleCI and LaunchDarkly) into Jira via the plugin apps, and how to keep our practices in Jira in lock-step with our architecture/release changes.  It's been a huge hurdle.

I've also been trialing Jira Advanced Roadmaps, so doing a lot of learning on implementation and usage for those tools.  

So in summary, my average day Jira Admin tasks are maintenance, updates, playing around with plugins, and research.  

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Bridget Community Manager Apr 06, 2021

@Vanessa Castro  if you ever decide to switch jobs, make sure you include the dollar per ticket question in your contract 😆

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Someone: Hey, I need an X, is it possible to do in Jira?
Me: Hmm seems basic, pretty sure it's doable.
Someone: Alright, I'll drop you a ticket for that.
Me: Sure, I'll do a research and see what I can do about it.

Hours later...

Me: Damn, it looked so generic, it's like air to breathe, yet Jira does not offer this functionality! Let me try something else...

Hours later...

Me: Workaround #23. Nope. Ok, time to contact customer support, this all looks completely wrong.

Hours later...

CS: Sorry it's a bug, here is the link you can vote and follow...
Summary: Unable to change the date format.
Ticket Date of creation May 2006.
Voters: 12384.

The END.

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Project vs Idea vs What are you talking about...

Someone: Can you join a meeting, sorry for the short notice.

Me: What's it about? My calendar is update to date

Someone: Thanks, sent invite

Me: Ok

Someone: Thank for Joining, we have a Jira project but need to show ROI at the story level

Me: To myself, a project, oh really.

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Opened admin console after 3 years of undocumented changes and general neglect,  and no surprise it's a birds nest of schemes and types. Deleted 100 unused and unnecessary schemes today. Made a note to sort out user profiles tomorrow. Oh yes, and implement some workflows that actually support, not hinder, agile development.

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Paul so true. I have examples of workflows that consist of 20-30 steps. Its nightmare. They think that it's good but in fact most steps are meaningless and developers just click them through.

Another example are workflows with lots of conditions. And developers asking me each time to give them rights to overcome conditions. Comon guys, history of an issue cannot be altered (at least in cloud) and if you talk about discipline let developers know that all their actions are recorded. Perhaps they will make a couple mistakes, but will learn soon what is good and what is not.

 

The best ideal workflow consists of three steps - Open, In Progress, Done. If you need more think of creating another project and link issues together. It is not that difficult with Automation for Jira. 

It is not a good idea when several teams (PM, Developer, QA, CI) work on same issue. Make 4 issues - and all problems with Sprints will suddenly go away. Developer should not wait for QA to test an issue - they can work in parallel. If QA finds a bug - no problem, create another issue and dev will put it to next sprint, while original sprint is closed forever.

 

Of course we all need metrics, but using "issue reopening counter" as a metric is overkill. Each issue is an atomic task. Ready, set, go, done. Next please.

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"It is not a good idea when several teams (PM, Developer, QA, CI) work on same issue. Make 4 issues - and all problems with Sprints will suddenly go away. Developer should not wait for QA to test an issue - they can work in parallel. If QA finds a bug - no problem, create another issue and dev will put it to next sprint, while original sprint is closed forever."

Agree that minimizing steps in a flow is best practice. The issue I face is test and doc's are not getting scheduled correctly as nothing ever moves to 'in test' / 'in review'. I am dealing with some poor practice in the team and a lack of respect for agile definition of ready and definition of done, so I am putting in-place a couple of steps so we don't start work that is ill defined and get work off development and into test in a way that can see this happening. Bugs I agree go through a different workflow.

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PO/PM: Hey man, can you add a green button on the left that takes me to a page in confluence?

Me: Why don't you use the standard functionality of adding items in the project?

PO/PM: Oh no, we would really need that BUTTON.

Me: Well, Jira is pretty flexible piece of software, but I'm afraid it's not that flexible.

 

PO/PM (literally 30 mins after): Hi again, can we move this dropdown to be above the status and get rid of the summary and the issue type, get some data from Salesforce and NASA's site, put some unicorns here and there? Oh, and can this be done in 5 minutes, as I need it for my planning.

Me: 

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User:  Hi I need your help, please. I cant see a backlog to start my sprints in my project. 

Jira Admin:  Your working on a kanban board we need to create a scrum board to provide you with sprints and a backlog to create your sprints.   

User:  What is a scrum board? 

Jira Admin:  A scrum board is where you see your sprints in action and displays all the items that need to completed in a current sprint.  I will show you what that looks like in another project.  Call me and I will share my screen.  The visual demo will show you what a sprint looks like and the backlog.  

User:  That would be great will call you now.

Jira Admin:  Here is a project that has a backlog with scheduled sprints.   This is also where you can create epics that be used to identify where your stories will fall under. 

User:  What is an epic? 

Jira Admin:  An epic An is a large body of work that can be broken down into a number of smaller stories, or sometimes called “Issues” in Jira they often encompass multiple teams, on multiple projects, and can even be tracked on multiple boards. and are almost always delivered over a set of sprints.

User:  Your just a great source of information, thanks so much for demo makes thing a lot clearer when I can see it. 

Jira Admin:  my pleasure anytime 

a Happy Customer.jpg

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As the unofficial Jira Admin for my department, this is my life!

 

Boss: Here's this thing we do, that we've always done this way, and it's really inefficient and not great, but oh well.

Me: You know that I can just make some Jira automation to handle that, right? It's pretty quick

Boss: Don't waste your time like that.

- Later -

Boss: Why can't we track this metric? I want to be able to see it on all our tickets going back two years.

Me: Because you listed that information as text in the description, there's no way to pull it out of existing tickets. I can add a field to the ticket to input it on all new tickets, at least that part is easy.

Boss: That seems like a lot to do, don't bother.

- Later -

Me, to myself: (I really want to get these fixes done. Maybe if I suggest everything at once, I'll get the okay for some of them.)

Me: I'm concerned about our overall process, I think we need to change how we use Jira to make it easier on the team. It'll be a big lift to fix, though, so I won't have a lot of time to work on it.

Boss: What is this?

Me: It's basically implementing all of the fixes I suggested in the past all at once, which is an insane workload to do. I probably can't do it all at once.

Me: (Prepares for boss to say no.)

Boss: Okay, let's pitch it all to the department head next week.

Me: ... Wait, really? All of it?

Boss: Yes, all of it.

 

It is mystifying as to what the priorities are sometimes, and how much effort my boss thinks it takes to accomplish things in Jira. Also, be careful what you wish for!!

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elizabeth_jones Community Leader Apr 14, 2021

I'm the Atlassian Admin for my company. A typical day includes the following:

1. adding new team members and assigning permissions

2. Training and coaching on best practices for new teams, new projects, new users

3. Creating new projects, dashboards, and templates

4. Reviewing our Organization Advanced Roadmap and updating for accuracy

5. Answering questions and looking for root cause issues for things like: my component won't stick, what's wrong? My issue is done, but not showing resolved, what's wrong? Can I automate this task? Something is broken, this doesn't work, I'm not sure how to.....

6. Logging into the community to search for answers to new questions that leave me completely stumped, fixing everything, posting new best practices to Confluence

7. Work on my day job, go to bed, wake up and do it all again :)

 

The secret is that my Atlassian Admin work is my favorite, so I'm happy to do it every single day.

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Walking into a new clients office and get introduced to their Jira.

"It is working perfectly for our unique need, but we are having some issues with KPI's"

Take a quick look at the setup and find

  • 1200 custom fields
  • 43 custom workflows, all unique with 270 different statuses, out of which 7 are closed statuses
  • 9 integrations where one is managing the release field in Jira as master
  • 900 lines of JS where most is outdated
  • 400 Jira projects, 200 of them have had any activity in the last 5 years
  • 62 groups and 19 permission masks
  • 1 project with 1200 project members and 400 custom fields using a workflow with 38 statuses. Trying to open the board for that project crashes Jira.
  • 16 addons, 3 of them test related and 4 not in use for 3 years

Walks over to the first development team that report no defects in their project to see how they manage that. Finds out they use tasks for development and stories for defects, because that is the only way the workflows fit in their board with less than 16 columns.

Return to the client and tell them that they need a cleanup plan and a centralized starting point because people can not work together and the system in about to crash....

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Also:

Walking into a meeting where a team want to discuss a new setup for their project...

hamlet.jpg

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Jimi, my Jira with 300 custom fields still has a potential for growth :)

But yes, number of steps in workflow can be a good IQ test. I would say 5-6 is OK, 10 is silly and 15+ is "please call a doctor, this person has no idea what he is doing"

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@Sergei Gridnevskii of course it does :)

Don't get me wrong, custom fields have their uses, but I always go for YAGNI (You ain't going to need it) and ask if the person asking for the field are willing to pay $5000/year for the field for maintenance and support.

More often than not people ask for fields to hold information that is better served in Confluence, or fields that already exist that they just need other values for.

 

Sometimes though you get weird ones like adding a select field for "defect type" (seriously...) or to map 100 fields for an integration where none of the fields have any value in Jira.

This is where the big NO comes in. 

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I suspect the custom field need scales with the type of projects in execution, the number of projects in the organization, and functions supported within that organization.

On the whole I agree with Jimi - minimize the use.

In my tiny (and we are talking super-tiny) instance I found 63 custom fields and am pretty sure that 50% of them are never used, and the remainder are of quite low value. I have introduced 1 for an automation flow to store a total that we use, but this is not exposed the standard users.

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User: I raised a Jira but IT says they don't see it

Me: You raise a Jira issue in the project JIRA.  You need to raise an IT Service desk request.

User: I dunno, IT said to raise a Jira

----------------

User: Can I get a new button?

Me: Do you want a new workflow transition?

User: What's that...just want a button.

---

User: I added Joe to my confluence page to have view and edit but he can't see the page

Me: Does Joe have access to the Confluence space?

User: What's a space?

---

User: Can I get a board?

Me: Do you mean you'd like a new Jira project to track on a kanban/scrum board?

User: What's a jira project?

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