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Jira Instance Cleanup Guide

48 comments

Kate October 10, 2022

@Kim Mooney 

Loving this topic and the information provided; very helpful. One of the things my team struggled with is the ability to extract information from the back-end of Jira in order to complete tidy-up Analysis and Work. 

If you don't mind me adding my wish list; the ability to pull the following data (as opposed to screen-scrapping) would be awesome:
- Project Lists
- Board lists
- Dashboards
- Scheme lists etc

For example, we found that we had over a thousand dashboards (which was a nightmare to copy/board over 40 pages of lists)....

We were able to request this information be pulled directly from the backend by Atlassian support, but it would be nice to be able to do this ourselves. My dream information for these would also include information like 'last updated' or 'last visited' but I know that's a big ask.

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Paula Hidalgo October 11, 2022

Pulling information means learning a scripting language (such as python), using the REST APIs, and understanding JSON.  For Jira Platform, the API documentation is here The Jira Cloud platform REST API (atlassian.com). This will get you all the design element information except for Board list.  For board list, you need to omit the {boardId} in this API The Jira Software Cloud REST API - Get Board

For your script, you need to get an API token: Manage API tokens for your Atlassian account | Atlassian Support

Use Excel to format the JSON file into a format you can use (here is a video that can help How to Import json File into Excel - YouTube)

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Darrel Jackson October 11, 2022

A few comments:

  • Calrification: For project audit, you need to go to Settings > Projects > Manage Projects in order to view when issues were last updated. Going Projects > View all projects doesn' tgive you the last updated date.
  • Is there a way to determine if a user group is in use (i.e. is assigned to project permissions, filter permissions, board permisssions etc). I don't think there is.
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Kim Mooney
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October 14, 2022

@Yatish Madhav - As promised, here’s what I found out for you:

Hope that helps!

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Kim Mooney
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Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
October 14, 2022

@David Meredith - I certainly appreciate the analogy and I’m definitely passing the feedback I’m receiving on this post along.

@Kate - Glad it's helpful! To make sure your wish list gets seen, I’d recommend making a feature request which you can do here

@Darrel Jackson - Thanks for the clarification! I’ll make that change to the guide. As for your question, I’ll double check with my team and get back to you.

Yatish Madhav
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October 16, 2022

@Kim Mooney  - thanks for getting back to me.

Hmm, ok that is unfortunate. I will have to go through them all. A tedious task but would be beneficial to clean up. Would you agree?

RE removing the custom field, what does "you should check to see where it’s been used" mean in it's entirety? I.e. i have been checking automation rules and filters and then ofcourse screens linked to existing projects. Oh and if the last used field is lng time back. Anything else?

I think 1 more important think on this clean up topic would be ... does clean up infact affect performance? And if so, is there any stats, research, etc into that? That would help me justifying the time spend on this. 

Thanks again

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Cristian Zuccalá October 28, 2022

Muy buen aporte!! apalusos!

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Gwendolyn GARAN
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November 4, 2022

Nice article.

However and about users maintenance, given the behemoth that is Atlassian, I would have expected analytics and governance tools more fleshed out than a "here's how to create your own maintenance tools, using excel, good luck to you".

It is tedious to waste so much time configuring it when it should be a basic tool provided in the Atlassian suite. Do you have a roadmap for this?

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Jasir Hassan Tariq
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November 27, 2022

Great!

Akhil December 1, 2022

Hi @Kim Mooney  This will be helpful for new people on board.

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Robert January 11, 2023

Hi @Kim Mooney 

This is a nice guide, a good check list to follow. Thank you for sharing!

I hope Atlassian will help us to get things do easier in some points. For me for example this issue is a blocker to clean up the user groups easy: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JRACLOUD-78635.

I hope you can push things forward :)

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Oksana Dersovitz January 17, 2023

@Kim Mooney , I am finally getting around to this article and following through on the cleaning. 

Here are the issues I am having:

1. You are saying to identify the projects that haven't been updated for 2 years, but there is no way to do that. We have just under 1,000 projects. On the Projects -> Manage Projects page, there is no way to do a JQL query for projects not updated for a specific period of time. There is also no way to query or filter by Project Lead, which is incredibly important when project managers leave or get promoted and I need to reassign all their projects to another Lead.

2. When administering schemes, there is no way to sort or filter on schemes that are not assigned to any projects (orphan schemes) and there is no way to bulk-delete schemes. I have hundreds of schemes I need to delete for cleanup and the only way is to delete them one by one. Impossible!

Please, can these pain points be taking into consideration when you develop new features? All admins will thank you!

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Yatish Madhav
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January 17, 2023

I resonate with @Oksana Dersovitz  on both the points she raised. 

Just today, i tried to see a create and last updated date for projects and still am busy with a Jira clean up almost for the last 12 months now I think ... I have been checking projects and its issues individually but too difficult to find those that are not used or have not had activity.

Same with schemes, I understand they are backbones to Jira projects but very tricky to find out which can go and which must stay ... eg I mauy have 100s of schemes that are the same but only way to see is if I open them side by sideand play "spot the difference"

Exciting to do .. but frustrating too :)

Thank you

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Litew8 GmbH April 20, 2023

Thanks for the great guide, but as @David Meredith & @Haddon Fisher pointed out. Cleanup is fighting a symptom, while things like unnecessary created schemes during project creation are one cause that goes untouched.

While we would recommend everyone to create new projects with the 'Share settings with an existing project' checkbox. It requires to setup template projects, usually is unclear to users which projects to use and its also limited in what configuration are copied/shared.

Therefore we built a solution that allows to create custom project templates, that easily avoid the technical debt during project creation.

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JIRA Admin
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May 6, 2023

@Kim Mooney  This is really helpful checklist from the UI perspective, will you be able to provide clean up information from the server disk space perspective?

Salinda
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June 7, 2023

This is a great article to start Jira 

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Raymond Muyuka July 7, 2023

I am definitely going to clean up after reading this.

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Symantha Gates August 10, 2023

Thanks @Kim Mooney  - great post to get started. Any tips on how to identify the JIRA cloud default fields vs the custom fields team members have added? We would like to move people towards the default system values as much as we can as part of our cleanup. 

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Helen C August 23, 2023

Hi this is a great document and really helpful. I'm an audit geek so this is very appealing. I have picked up some things to do that I hadn't thought of, so a massive win for me. 

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William Crossland November 6, 2023

Thank you for this.

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Susan Waldrip April 16, 2024

Thanks @Kim Mooney for this great list, and to everyone for your additions. I admin a couple of Jira Service Management instances (not JSW) and most of the items in your list and the suggestions also apply to JSM. We're just releasing our first projects now and I'd started a list like this but yours is much more thorough (and with details and links!), nice to start with this right out of the gate. Thank you so much!

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Rob Horan
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May 7, 2024

This is a fantastic resource to help admins get started, but there are certainly going to be challenges.  The top table identifies the two biggest auditing challenges that I am aware of:

  • Are there unused apps, or apps that have been made redundant by native functionality?
  • Check which projects use the app and speak to the team using it to weigh your options.

The challenges with apps are identifying:

  • Which apps are actually being used
  • Who is using the apps
  • How and where the apps are being used

The link provided (How to view connected apps) allows admins to see which apps have been installed but not how they are used. Admins of a well-governed and documented instance will likely have all of this information readily available, but for many, I assume the problem is that the instances have grown beyond the control or understanding of the teams using them or the admins running them. 

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Alexey June 24, 2024

Before planning the cleanup, we need also prepare the strategy for cleaning custom fields. 

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