Adding Issues to Epics

In January 2024, Atlassian rolled out a new strategy for issue and Epic use in Jira Cloud. The Epic link and Parent link fields on the issue view screen were replaced by a single Parent field. This strengthened the relationship between Epics and their issues and introduced new ways to search and manage associations.

For example, a user can add or change a parent Epic association in an issue’s breadcrumbs. Simply hover over the breadcrumb area and click the pencil icon as shown.

Click to add or change the Epic in the breadcrumbs

The original Epic link field (still used in Server and Data Center) doesn’t support sub-tasks, but the new Parent field does! Simply add the field to your sub-task screens to easily associate child issues with other hierarchy levels.

Parent field on sub-task screen

Epics can organize work for a single initiative or encompass work for multiple teams, sprints, and releases. 

Check out my article on Salto’s website to for a non-tech usage example to help demonstrate the value of Epics in a Jira project.

Read: How to Create an Epic in Jira

Learn how to create, manage, and utilize Epics effectively.

Jira Evolution Continues with Idea Tracking

When Jira was first released in 2002, it was purely for software development.  Fast-forward 20+ years and things have certainly changed! Today we have purpose-built project types for business teams, service and support teams, and now for idea tracking too. Before we explore ideation in Jira, here’s a quick recap of the major Jira launches.

Key Jira Milestones

2002 – Jira 1.0 is launched for software developers to track their bugs and tasks.

2009 – Atlassian acquired GreenHopper which added release planning, burn down charts, and many of the agile and board features we use today in Jira Software (JSW).

2011 – Atlassian launches the first cloud-based version of Jira. It was originally named “JIRA OnDemand” and the on-prem version was called “JIRA Download.” The names were re-branded in 2014.

2012 – Scrum boards became a standard Jira Software feature. They were originally named RapidBoards.

2013 – Jira Service Desk (JSD), a former hackathon project, joins Atlassian’s suite of tools. It was relaunched as Jira Service Management (JSM) in 2020.

2015 – Jira is split into two application types: Jira Core and Jira Software.

2017 – Atlassian re-branded their corporate identity with a new logo and individual product logos. “JIRA” was renamed “Jira”.

2018 – Atlassian introduced next-gen (now called “team-managed”) scheme-less projects for Jira Cloud.

2021 – Jira Work Management (JWM) is launched to help business teams collaborate and work in one place.

2023 – Jira Product Discovery (JPD) is launched to help product teams track and prioritize ideas. 

2024 – Jira Software and Jira Work Management are combined under the brand name Jira.

Jira Work Management (now “Jira”) vs Jira Product Discovery

So, where does that leave us and what is there to know about the newest Jira flavor? If you’re not already tracking ideas in Jira, now is a great time to start! And by the way, tracking product ideas is just the beginning. Why not also track ideas for new employee benefits, recommendations for recognition opportunities, or ideas for your kitchen remodel? Jira Product Discovery serves the space between initial ideation and execution, no mater the idea type.

Check out my article on Salto’s website to explore the differences between Jira Product Discovery and Jira Work Management in Jira Cloud.

Choosing Between Jira Product Discovery and Jira Work Management

Read: Choosing Between Jira Product Discovery and Jira Work Management

I’ll show you the differences so you can select the best option for your organization’s needs.

Settings Created for Jira Product Discovery Projects – Not What I Expected

Mistakes in Jira administration are learning opportunities. Here’s an example of one of my incorrect assumptions and what new settings are actually added when Jira Product Discovery projects are created.

Jira Cloud Deployment Type

Today I expected Jira to behave one way and after some experimentation, I learned that I was wrong. Sometimes this happens and there’s no reason to be afraid of it or embarrassed. Mistakes are an inevitable part of Jira administration. I don’t see them as a waste of time, I see them as opportunities to learn and improve. Allow me to explain.

In 2023, Atlassian launched Jira Product Discovery (JPD) in Cloud for product teams track and prioritize ideas. Just like all Jira project types, JPD projects come with built-in settings and templates to help you quickly build and get started. When evaluating project types and templates, I always recommend creating them in a test environment first. It’s important to understand what additional settings different project templates create in the background. That’s because lots of new settings may mean more items to clean up in the future.

For this article, I set out to document all the new settings added when Jira Product Discovery projects are created. This way you can see what to expect in your own application without messing it up. E.g.: I’ll make the mess so you don’t have to! But after experimenting, I learned that there were few new settings to document. Here’s why:

Scope of Settings

The JPD project configuration is similar to other team-managed project types in Jira Cloud. Projects are scheme-less meaning the settings are not shared with other Jira projects. Therefore there are less global application settings created than for company-managed projects. So, there’s actually not much to report! As such, I’ve categorized the information below into more impactful (global) and less impactful (project-specific) settings.

After I created a sample JPD project, I checked the Jira audit log which records some (but not all) admin changes. (Visit: Admin > System > Audit log) The log recorded 152 actions, but only a few of them were related to creating shared settings. I was pleasantly surprised by the low new global setting count! As I mentioned, in my 9 Ways to Learn Jira Administration article, having a healthy curiosity and willingness to try things out (in a test environment, of course) is a great way to learn new things!

New application-level settings (More impactful)

I found the following new settings by hunting around the Jira admin area.

Global Link Types

Global link types created for Jira Product Discovery projects
Global link types created for Jira Product Discovery projects

Three new link types were created. Atlassian sometimes give new products and features a temporary name during their beta testing phase. I’m assuming that “Polaris” was the initial name for JPD.

Global Groups

The following global access and admin groups were also created:

NameDescription
jira-product-discovery-contributors-1-<cloud-site-name>Grants contributor access to shared Jira Product Discovery projects on <cloud-site-name>.

jira-product-discovery-contributors-<cloud-site-name>Grants access to contributors for Jira Product Discovery on <cloud-site-name>. (E.g.: grants contributor product access)
jira-product-discovery-user-access-admins-<cloud-site-name>Grants access to administer users and groups for Jira Product Discovery on <cloud-site-name>. Doesn’t grant any product access.
jira-product-discovery-users-<cloud-site-name>Grants access to Jira Product Discovery on <cloud-site-name>. (E.g.: grants licensed user product access)

That’s it! Everything else I found is stored at the project level. Those settings are:

new Project-Level Settings (Less Impactful)

The Jira audit log reports the following were created. These settings exist in the background and are managed by project-level admins. They are not listed with other similar schemes in the Jira application admin area. Here’s how they work.

Issue types

Jira Product Discovery Idea Issue Type
Jira Product Discovery Idea Issue Type

In JPD projects, there is only one issue type displayed with an orange light bulb icon. There are currently no settings for managing or adding additional issue types. Users can query for issues in JPD projects using the JQL statement: type = idea.

Fields

The audit log shows 1 new field configuration scheme, 28 new custom fields, 28 custom field contexts, and 7 custom field selection options. Again, all this information is scoped to the specific project. Here are the fields and the page to manage them.

JPD Project-specific Fields
JPD Project-specific Fields

As the screenshot shows, it’s also possible to leverage global custom fields, although none are added to the project by default.

JPD Project-specific and Global Custom Fields
JPD Project-specific and Global Custom Fields

Additional settings

A workflow scheme, workflow with a few specifically-worded statuses (Ex: “discovery” and “ready for delivery”), permission scheme, and notification scheme were also created. Those settings are managed in the project settings area. The menu options in the left sidebar look slightly different than in other Jira project types.

JPD Project Settings
JPD Project Settings

Group membership

Additionally, default Atlassian-created service account users like Automation for Jira, Atlassian Assist, Statuspage for Jira and more are added to the new groups noted in the “application-level settings” area above. This is done in the background and membership for these users is not managed by Jira admins.

So, what did I miss? Add your findings in the comments section below!

See also: Default Jira Global Permissions | Default Jira Project Permissions | Default Jira Notifications | Settings Created for Jira Product Discovery Projects

Creating Custom JSM Request Templates

Create custom request type templates for Jira Service Management to streamline support procedures and maintain project consistency.

In my last article for Jira Software, Jira Work Management, and Jira Core, we discussed creating custom screen templates to reduce the number of screens in your application and ensure consistency between Jira projects. Now it’s time to do the same for requests in Jira Service Management (JSM).

Jira Service Management projects have the same issue type screen scheme, screen scheme(s), and screen(s) as a Jira projects. Additionally, JSM projects have request types to determine how issues look to end users in the customer portal. A request is a simplified view of issue data. Further, each JSM request type is mapped to a Jira issue type.

Check out my article on Salto’s website to create your own request type templates and map them to Jira request types. I’ve included step-by-step instructions and examples of how the templates look to Jira administrators and to end users in the JSM customer portal.

Read: Simplify JSM Requests with a Custom Ticket Template
Learn how to create custom Jira ticket templates to streamline service management requests and ensure consistency across projects.

Creating Custom Jira Issue Templates

Create custom, reusable screens to simplify the Jira configuration, maintain consistency between projects, and simplify the fields presented to users.

There are Jira screens for creating issues, viewing issues, editing issues (in Jira Server and Data Center), and collecting information during workflow transitions. How many screens does your Jira application have? Probably too many! It’s easy for the options to grow out of control. Before you know it, there are twelve pages of screens, which is probably ten too many!

So what should Jira admins do? I recommend creating one set of custom, reusable, screens for business tasks, development work, and support requests.

Check out my article on Salto’s website for step-by-step instructions and the standard and custom fields I recommend including.

Read: Simplify Your Configuration with a Custom Jira Issue Template
Learn to create effective custom screens and templates and ensure consistency across Jira projects.

Built-in Jira Software Reports

Jira comes with many built-in reports to provide insights into progress, release health, time logged, forecasts, and more. Each Jira application type, deployment type and project type contain different reports however. I’ve compiled a list of the report types and their definitions in Jira Software, so you don’t have to!

Tip: Be sure to consider reporting options when choosing between project types.

Sections: Jira Software: Cloud | Company-managed Scrum Project |
Company-managed Kanban Project | Team-managed Scrum Project |
Team-managed Kanban Project | Jira Software: Server and Data Center |
Scrum Project | Kanban Project | Extending Reporting Capabilities

Jira Software: Cloud

COMPANY-MANAGED SCRUM PROJECT

Company-managed Scrum reports

Report count: 23
Unique reports: Cycle Time Report, Deployment Frequency Report, and Workload Pie Chart Report

Agile

  • Burndown Chart – Track the total work remaining and project the likelihood of achieving the sprint goal. This helps your team manage its progress and respond accordingly.
  • Burnup Chart – Track the total scope independently from the total work done. This helps your team manage its progress and better understand the effect of scope change.
  • Sprint Report – Understand the work completed or pushed back to the backlog in each sprint. This helps you determine if your team is overcommitting or if there is excessive scope creep.
  • Velocity Chart – Track the amount of work completed from sprint to sprint. This helps you determine your team’s velocity and estimate the work your team can realistically achieve in future sprints.
  • Cumulative Flow Diagram – Shows the statuses of issues over time. This helps you identify potential bottlenecks that need to be investigated.
  • Version Report – Track the projected release date for a version. This helps you monitor whether the version will release on time, so you can take action if work is falling behind.
  • Epic Report – Understand the progress towards completing an epic over time. This helps you manage your team’s progress by tracking the remaining incomplete/unestimated work.
  • Control Chart – Shows the cycle time for your product, version or sprint. This helps you identify whether data from the current process can be used to determine future performance.
  • Epic Burndown – Track the projected number of sprints required to complete the epic (optimized for Scrum). This helps you monitor whether the epic will release on time, so you can take action if work is falling behind.
  • Release Burndown – Track the projected release date for a version (optimized for Scrum). This helps you monitor whether the version will release on time, so you can take action if work is falling behind.

DevOps

  • Cycle Time Report– Understand how much time it takes to ship issues through the deployment pipeline and how to deal with outliers.
  • Deployment Frequency Report – Understand your deployment frequency to understand risk and how often you are shipping value to your customers.

Issue analysis

  • Average Age Report – Shows the average age of unresolved issues for a project or filter. This helps you see whether your backlog is being kept up to date.
  • Created vs. Resolved Issues Report – Maps created issues versus resolved issues over a period of time. This can help you understand whether your overall backlog is growing or shrinking.
  • Pie Chart Report – Shows a pie chart of issues for a project/filter grouped by a specified field. This helps you see the breakdown of a set of issues, at a glance.
  • Recently Created Issues Report – Shows the number of issues created over a period of time for a project/filter, and how many were resolved. This helps you understand if your team is keeping up with incoming work.
  • Resolution Time Report – Shows the length of time taken to resolve a set of issues for a project/filter. This helps you identify trends and incidents that you can investigate further.
  • Single Level Group By Report – Shows issues grouped by a particular field for a filter. This helps you group search results by a field and see the overall status of each group.
  • Time Since Issues Report – For a date field and project/filter, maps the issues against the date that the field was set. This can help you track how many issues were created, updated, etc, over a period of time.

Forecast & management

  • Time Tracking Report – Shows the original and current time estimates for issues in the current project. This can help you determine whether work is on track for those issues.
  • User Workload Report – Shows the time estimates for all unresolved issues assigned to a user across projects. This helps you understand the user’s workload better.
  • Version Workload Report – Shows the time estimates for all unresolved issues assigned to a version, broken down by user and issues. This helps you understand the remaining work for the version.

Other

  • Workload Pie Chart Report – A report showing the issues for a project or filter as a pie chart.

COMPANY-MANAGED KANBAN PROJECT

Company-managed Kanban reports

Report count: 15

Agile

  • Cumulative Flow Diagram – Shows the statuses of issues over time. This helps you identify potential bottlenecks that need to be investigated.
  • Control Chart – Shows the cycle time for your product, version or sprint. This helps you identify whether data from the current process can be used to determine future performance.

DevOps

  • Cycle Time Report – Understand how much time it takes to ship issues through the deployment pipeline and how to deal with outliers.
  • Deployment Frequency Report – Understand your deployment frequency to understand risk and how often you are shipping value to your customers.

Issue analysis

  • Average Age Report – Shows the average age of unresolved issues for a project or filter. This helps you see whether your backlog is being kept up to date.
  • Created vs. Resolved – Issues ReportMaps created issues versus resolved issues over a period of time. This can help you understand whether your overall backlog is growing or shrinking.
  • Pie Chart Report – Shows a pie chart of issues for a project/filter grouped by a specified field. This helps you see the breakdown of a set of issues, at a glance.
  • Recently Created Issues Report – Shows the number of issues created over a period of time for a project/filter, and how many were resolved. This helps you understand if your team is keeping up with incoming work.
  • Resolution Time Report – Shows the length of time taken to resolve a set of issues for a project/filter. This helps you identify trends and incidents that you can investigate further.
  • Single Level Group By Report – Shows issues grouped by a particular field for a filter. This helps you group search results by a field and see the overall status of each group.
  • Time Since Issues Report – For a date field and project/filter, maps the issues against the date that the field was set. This can help you track how many issues were created, updated, etc, over a period of time.

Forecast & management

  • Time Tracking Report – Shows the original and current time estimates for issues in the current project. This can help you determine whether work is on track for those issues.
  • User Workload Report – Shows the time estimates for all unresolved issues assigned to a user across projects. This helps you understand the user’s workload better.
  • Version Workload Report – Shows the time estimates for all unresolved issues assigned to a version, broken down by user and issues. This helps you understand the remaining work for the version.

Other

  • Workload Pie Chart Report – A report showing the issues for a project or filter as a pie chart.

TEAM-MANAGED SCRUM PROJECT

Note: Application and project administrators need to enable this feature at: Project Settings > Features. See screenshot

Team-managed Scrum reports
  • Burnup report – Visualize a sprint’s completed work and compare it with its total scope. Use these insights to track progress toward sprint completion.
  • Sprint burndown chart – Track and manage the total work remaining within a sprint. After the sprint, summarize both team and individual performance.
  • Velocity report – Predict the amount of work your team can commit to in future sprints by seeing and reviewing the amount of value delivered in previous ones.
    • Note: A completed sprint is required
  • Cumulative flow diagram – Shows the statuses of your project’s issues over time. See which columns accumulate more issues, and identify bottlenecks in your workflow.
  • Cycle Time Report – Understand how much time it takes to ship issues through the deployment pipeline and how to deal with outliers.
  • Deployment Frequency Report – Understand your deployment frequency to understand risk and how often you are shipping value to your customers.

TEAM-MANAGED KANBAN PROJECT

Note: Application and project administrators need to enable this feature at: Project Settings > Features. See screenshot Additionally, some reports require sprints. Enable them on the features page too, if desired.

Team-managed Kanban reports

Same as the team-managed scrum project above.

Jira Software: Server and Data Center

SCRUM PROJECT

Same as the company-managed scrum project above without the following reports: Cycle Time Report, Deployment Frequency Report, and Workload Pie Chart Report

KANBAN PROJECT

Same as the company-managed kanban project above without the following reports: Cycle Time Report, Deployment Frequency Report, and Workload Pie Chart Report

Extending Reporting Capabilities

Most reports are customizable and if you can’t get to the data you’re after, there are plenty of apps available in the Atlassian Marketplace.

marketplace.atlassian.com

Choosing the right Jira project type

Jira has multiple application types and each is built for a specific audience and use. The types are: Jira Work Management (JWM) in Cloud, Jira Software (JSW), Jira Service Management (JSM) and Jira Product Discovery (JPD) in Cloud. All types have the same look and feel but different features. The applications can be used separately or together. For example, your organization might use Jira Work Management and Jira Software but not Jira Service Management.

Additionally, each Jira application type contains different project types. Each has special features not available in other project types. Here are the major differences and how to select the best project type for your team’s needs.

Project Types in Jira Cloud

Jira Work Management

Jira Work Management contains all the main Jira features like projects, issues, workflows, and users. You can think of it as providing the core functions of Jira. In fact, it was previously named “Jira Core”. Atlassian added some new and interesting features before renaming it in April 2021. This application type has business projects, templates, and features.

This project type is best for teams like marketing, finance, legal, sales, human resources, and more. Its commonly used for managing projects, processes, and tasks.

Jira Work Management is only available in Cloud and there are two plans: free and standard. Jira Work Management is included with every Jira Cloud license. In Jira Server, the application is still called Jira Core. In Jira Data Center, there’s no such application.

Business Project Features

Business projects in Jira Cloud have some additional views that aren’t available in other project types. The features noted below are fairly new and will continue to be improved over time.

LIST VIEW

The list feature displays parent and child issues in a expandable list format. It’s similar to the format presented after searching or viewing filter results but there’s no JQL query to construct. Instead, all issues in the project are displayed and there’s an easy menu to filter issues by assignee, component, issue type, labels, priority, reporter, and status. You can also filter by issues “due this week”. This feature is a quick and easy way to view issues in a project without needing any query skills.

The best part of this view is that parent issues can be expanded or collapsed to show or hide child issues. This hierarchy capability is highly desired but missing in other areas of Jira. In the example screenshot, the task PMO-1 is expanded to show it has four sub-tasks.

List view in a Jira Cloud business project

Good to Know

The epic issue type does not display as part of the hierarchy in list view. I suspect that this is because epics are a software project concept, not a business project concept. Jira Cloud has many business templates, but none of them include the epic issue type by default. I manually added it to the sample project in the screenshot above because I like how epics help categorize work. To see an expandable view of epics and parent issues (but not child issues) use the roadmap feature in a software-type project.

CALENDAR VIEW

Jira Issues Calendar

Until now, the only way to view issues in calendar format was by adding the “Jira Issues Calendar” macro to a dashboard. The functionality is basic. Issues are displayed based on a Jira project (or JQL filter) and a single date field. The total number of issues associated with a specific day are summed.

In the screenshot, there’s one issue due on October 27 and one due on October 30. The colored boxes represent different workflow statuses. In Jira, hover over the colored boxes to see issue details or click the box to view individual issue details. Fix versions can also be displayed. Finally, you can also export the data to iCal format.

The new calendar view in Jira Cloud business projects is not part of a dashboard and includes some useful additions. The display accommodates start and end dates, assuming you utilize the standard Jira “start date” and “due date” fields. This view also shows the issue type, key, summary, and assignee. The filtering capabilities work the same as described in the “list” view.

Calendar view in Jira Cloud business projects

Again, notice that parent and child issues are displayed but not epics.

TIMELINE VIEW

The timeline view is similar to the roadmap view in a software-type project. This display includes a Gantt-type chart where issues duration is represented by colored bars. Start dates, end dates, and assignees are displayed. Dependencies are created using the standard linked issues feature and indicated using curved red lines. (Not pictured.) The same filtering abilities in the other views are present as well.

Timeline view in Jira Cloud business projects

FORMS

The final new feature for business projects in Jira Cloud is forms. Use a form to collect additional information without adding new Jira issue types or custom fields. Currently, you can create one simple form per Jira business project. The form has a unique URL that can be shared with any licensed Jira user. A Jira issue is automatically created after any form submission.

Read more

License Differences

Jira Work Management users are not able to use agile or software development features in software projects or support features in service management projects. Access to business projects is available to all types of licensed Jira users. Read more

JWM user license is less expensive than a JSW user license. When choosing between application and project types, it’s important to compare pricing, project access, and feature differences.

See Atlassian’s JWM product page and the table on the pricing page for additional feature information.

Jira Software

The next application type is Jira Software. This type is designed for development teams. Although any software development methodology is supported (including Agile, waterfall, or even no methodology or framework) this project type caters to teams using Scrum or Kanban.

Jira Software is available in Cloud, Server, and Data Center. In Cloud, there are four plans: free, standard, premium, and enterprise.

Software Project Features

Jira Software includes the following additional development-specific features:

  • Project templates for Scrum, Kanban, and bug tracking
  • Scrum boards for teams that plan in chunks of work called “sprints”
  • Kanban boards, for teams with less structured delivery schedules
  • Sprints to manage iterations or scheduled work
  • Sprint capacity planning (in Jira Cloud Premium and Enterprise) to avoid over or under resource utilization
  • Story points for relative effort estimation (time-based estimation is also available)
  • Backlog functionality to help teams prioritize future work
  • Release tracking functionality to manage deployments
  • Fix versions to schedule work and affected versions to manage code changes
  • Release tracks (in Jira Cloud Premium and Enterprise) to manage when and how software changes are released
  • Roadmaps to view work in a Gantt-type format
  • Additional built-in reports to track burndown and burnup, velocity, epics, releases, and more
  • Integration with code and deployment tools like Bamboo, Bitbucket, and Opsgenie
  • And more

License Differences

Only Jira Software users can leverage development specific features.

See Atlassian’s JSW product page and the table on the pricing page for additional feature information.

Learn more about the software development life cycle (SDLC) and using Atlassian applications to plan, develop, test, and release software with my Planning and Releasing Software with Jira course.

Jira Service Management

The final application type helps support teams of all types manage their requests.  Atlassian created JSM in 2013 after noticing that 40% of customers had adapted Jira to handle service requests.

JSM is for tracking changes to systems, processes, or applications, resolving incidents and problems like an outage or security breach, fulfilling service requests like a password reset, new hardware, or issuing a mobile device, managing approvals of all kinds, and helping internal or external customers with whatever they need.

Business teams can take advantage of JSM features too. For example,
the HR team can collect benefits questions and reimbursement requests, the facilities team can receive requests for new desks and chairs, and the legal team can process contract review requests.

Sometimes teams have more than one project like a service-type project to support their “customers” and another business-type project to manage all their internal “to do” items. For example, the finance team can have a service project that every employee has access to. This project is used to collect employee reimbursement and purchase requests. They can also have a business project that only finance team members have access to. This project is used for tracking team tasks like maintaining reports and adding new employees to the payroll system.

As always, keep the long term health of the application in mind by not creating more Jira projects, settings, and schemes than you truly need.

JSM is available in Cloud, Server, and Data Center. In Cloud, there are four plans: free, standard, premium, and enterprise. Jira Service Management was previously called Jira Service Desk.

Service Project Features

While you can certainly use other Jira application types for support, Jira Service Management takes support to the next level.

JSM includes the following additional support-specific features:

  • Project templates for ITSM, customer service, and other support type teams (in Jira Cloud)
  • Dedicated queues to organize and categorize requests (in addition to standard JQL filtering capabilities)
  • Request categories for segmenting service requests, changes, problems, and incidents (found in the Jira Cloud “IT service management” project template)
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to define goals and measure metrics like response or completion time
  • A simple customer portal (aka “help center”) featuring a streamlined interface and slightly customizable display
  • Integration with Confluence as a self-service knowledge base
  • Asset and configuration management (in Jira Cloud Premium and Enterprise)
  • Built-in reports for tracking agent workload, customer feedback, and requests deflected by self-help articles
  • Better support for creating issues via email (and from non Jira users)
  • An embeddable widget (in JSM Cloud) to create issues from other web pages or applications
  • Customizable notifications for customers
  • Permission schemes allowing customer access
  • A simple customer survey to collect customer feedback (CSAT)
  • Integration with monitoring, alert, and notification tools like
    Opsgenie
  • The ability to automatically create issues in software projects from events in service projects without impacting automation rule execution limits
  • And more

License Differences

The licensing model is different in this application type. Jira Service Management has two additional types of users: agents and customers.

An agent is anyone providing support, managing the support team, or monitoring support team effectiveness. The agent is the technician who solves a problem or provides the requested help. An agent does all their work in Jira and requires a JSM license to use service features.

customer is anyone who requests support. Customers can include internal users, external users, employees, vendors, contractors, and anyone else who needs help. These users file support requests and view progress in a simplified interface called the customer portal or help center. Customers generally don’t access the area of Jira that agents use to fulfill requests.

See Atlassian’s JSM product page and the table on the pricing page for additional feature information.

Learn more about JSM users, features, and configuring support projects with my Jira Service Management: Administration course.

Product Discovery

There’s also a newer project type is called Product Discovery and it’s intended for product managers. This application helps product and pipeline owners collect ideas, assess and prioritize them, and track them through delivery.

This type is great for product teams managing strategic company priorities, a portfolio, or a product catalog. It has special features for tracking goals, roadmap management, and insights from customer relationship management applications.

Learn more about this new type at: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/product-discovery

How to Choose a Project Type

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when selecting a Jira application type and project type. While it’s easy to switch between Jira project types in Server and Data Center, it’s a more involved process in Cloud.

Potential reasons to choose a business project type:

  • Easier to use and navigate for less technical Jira users
  • Cheaper user license fees
  • All issue types can leverage the same workflow
  • The new list, calendar, and timeline views are easy to use and don’t require JQL
  • The forms feature is an interesting addition
  • The timeline feature provides a sufficient visual view

Potential reasons to choose a software project:

  • The primary users write, release, and deploy code, and/or use development tools like Bamboo or Bitbucket
  • Backlog, sprint, and/or Scrum board functionality is needed to prioritize and schedule work
  • Epics are used to categorize work
  • Multiple workflows are needed to manage different processes
    • Example: A bug’s workflow includes a verification step, a change request’s workflow includes an approval step, a task’s workflow includes neither.
  • Software users can access both software and business projects
  • The roadmaps feature is preferred over the timeline feature
  • There’s a desire to track metrics like burndown, burnup, and velocity

Potential reasons to choose a service management project:

  • The primary users provide service and support for products or applications, to other teams, or to internal or external customers
  • Requestors don’t have Jira licenses
  • Requestors are less technical users
  • There are deadlines (SLAs) to meet for specific requestors or certain types of requests
  • The team uses monitoring, alert, or ChatOps tools
    • Note: Other project types can integrate with Slack and Microsoft teams as well

Can you think of other reasons to choose a specific project type? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related Articles

For related information on the different types of Jira and changes over the years, please see:

Managing Dependent Data in Jira

Question

I’d like to make one field dependent on the data in another field. How do I do that in Jira?


Answer

Basic Example

Single select, multi-select, and cascading select Jira fields
Types of selection fields

In addition to single or multi-select lists, Jira also a cascading selection type.

The cascading field type has two drop down menus. The options in the second menu are determined by the selection in the first menu.

This field works well for grouping work by two levels like category and sub-category. Sometimes this field is useful and other times, two separate fields are used instead. It all depends on whether one selection must be dependent on another and your reporting needs.

Cascading select Jira field

Here’s another view of the same cascading field from the example above. This how it looks when you edit it in Cloud.  The first selection is on the top and the second selection is on the bottom.

REPORTING

I find cascading select fields hard for end users to query. The JQL for this field type is a little daunting. Here’s the format to use and an example in Cloud.

JQL format:
customfield in cascadeOption(parentOption,childOption)

JQL example:
“Operational categorization[Select List (cascading)]” in cascadeOption(“Server Change”,”Storage”)

Use this to query the standard field called “Operational categorization” in Jira Service Management.

Advanced Example

Another method to limit selections is using the Jira Miscellaneous Workflow Extensions app from the Atlassian Marketplace. Here’s an advanced use case I built for one of my Jira Server clients.

The client wanted to better classify the type of support they provide for internal applications. They wanted to limit the selections in a drop-down field based on component selection.

Limit drop-down selections based on component selection.

For example, if the component is “Microsoft Excel” allow “Functional” and “Technical” as support selections but not “Security”. In the screenshot, “Security” was selected, so an error message is displayed at the top of the overlay.

A JMWE custom scripted workflow validator
Custom scripted workflow validator

This was easy to do with Jira Miscellaneous Workflow Extensions. I added a “Build your own” scripted validator, to a workflow transition, and used a little bit of code to limit the custom field selections.

For additional help with fields and related topics, take my Jira: Advanced Administration course on LinkedIn Learning.

Have a Question?

Use the “Ask a Question” form on the top right and we’ll answer it in a future post.

View other questions

Jira Sandbox and Test Environment Options

It’s shocking, but many organizations don’t have a test environment! I didn’t have one when I first started out either. But I quickly saw how important it was to be able to experiment and learn without impacting production data. You need a place to see how your changes work with real-life scenarios. Here are some options, depending on whether you have Jira Cloud, Jira Server, or Jira Data Center.

Contents:

Options for Jira Cloud

Here are some test environment options for Cloud customers using the Atlassian hosted environment.

Sandbox

In Cloud, visit: admin.atlassian.com > Products > Sandbox

There’s a sandbox option built into all Premium and Enterprise plans. This is an isolated environment where you can test and experiment without impacting production. The application has the same user limit as the production application it’s linked to. The sandbox application will has its own URL which is similar to the production URL.

Read more: https://support.atlassian.com/organization-administration/docs/manage-product-sandboxes

Dev Instance

If you’re an Atlassian Marketplace developer, you can sign up for a free development instance. Developer assets are subject to the Atlassian Developer Terms, which are additional to the regular terms of service. This licenses comes with a limited number of users for test purposes. For example, you can only have 1 JSM agent user and 5 Jira Software users.

Read more: https://developer.atlassian.com/platform/marketplace/getting-started

Free Version

There’s also a free version of Cloud. It’s like the paid version, except it includes less features. For example, it doesn’t include project or issue permissions. It won’t help you test those areas. That’s why I prefer the previous ideas.

Read more: https://www.atlassian.com/software/free

Other Ideas

Another option is to get a second application instance and pay for just a few users.

You can also start a new free trial. This might be helpful if you’re testing the features of a different Cloud plan and don’t wish to upgrade or downgrade production.

Finally, if you have no better option, create a test project in your production application.

Options for Jira Server

Atlassian stopped selling new licenses of Server products in February 2021 and support ended in February 2024. But I know some of you are still using Server right now and for a variety of reasons, will continue to use it for some time.

Luckily, the installation process for Server is the same as Data Center. The difference is licensing and of course, Data Center has additional features for enterprise environments. If you still have a working server license, simply follow the instructions in my “How to Install Jira on Windows” article.

Options for Jira Data Center

Here are some test environment options for Data Center customers hosting their own software:

Per Atlassian: “Atlassian supplies “developer” licenses that can be used by existing commercial license holders who wish to deploy non-production installations of our software to use in QA/staging environments.

Read more: https://confluence.atlassian.com/jirakb/get-a-developer-license-for-jira-server-744526918.html

my.atlassian.com

There’s also a 30-day free trial available. Visit my.atlassian.com and click the “New Trial License” link.

If you have no better option, create a test project in prod.

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure you have a place to test your changes before you unleash them on your users! 

Always make sure your test environment settings match your production environment as much as possible. Don’t forget to include any reverse proxies, SSL, or load balancer settings.

How to Install Jira on Windows

A test environment is a vital asset for any Jira administrator. It’s easy to create your own Jira Server or Data Center sandbox for experimentation. You can install Jira on a proper server or on an old laptop under your desk. Here’s how.

Contents:


Note: Atlassian stopped selling new licenses of Server products in February 2021 and support ended in February 2024. But I know some of you are still using Server right now and for a variety of reasons, will continue to use it for some time. Luckily, the installation process for Server is the same as Data Center. The difference is licensing and of course, Data Center has additional features for enterprise environments.


Step 1: Download Installer

Download the desired Jira Software version from: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/update

Atlassian offers installer files for OS X, Linux, and Windows. There are also TAR.GZ and a ZIP archive formats.

Tips:

  • There’s no specific installer for the Data Center deployment type. Simply install the Server type and add a Data Center license key to unlock Data Center capabilities.
  • Atlassian supplies “developer” licenses for non-production installations.

Step 2: Run Installer and Select Options

The installation wizard offers “Express Install” and “Custom Install” options.

Here’s a quick demo of installing Jira on a Windows computer with the default “Express Install” settings. I recorded this so you could see the wizard’s steps before running it yourself.

Custom Installation Options

Choose the “Custom Install” option instead to select the installation directory, storage location for attachments, XML backups, plugins, and indexes, the application shortcut name and location, HTTP and Control ports, and whether to automatically start Jira as a service whenever the computer restarts.

Jira Installation Tips

Previous Installations
If you’ve installed Jira on the same machine before, make sure to remove all previous files and settings to avoid installation errors.

File Access
The default installation directory is C:\Program Files\Atlassian\Jira. The default home directory is: C:\Program Files\Atlassian\Application Data\Jira. You may need to grant yourself access to these folders.

Default Ports
The default TCP ports are 8080 (HTTP) and 8005 (Control). If you’re running other applications (e.g. Confluence), avoid conflicts by selecting unique ports for Jira.

Launch Jira in a Browser
The default Jira application access URL is: http://localhost:port-number. E.g. http://localhost:8080. It may take multiple minutes to load the application the first time is starts and after a restart.

Manage the Service
Stop, start, and restart Jira using the Windows Services utility. Access it by typing Win + R and entering services.msc in the “Run” text box. In the Services window, right click on “Atlassian Jira” to access the options.

Windows Services Utility
Services utility in Windows

You may also have “Access Jira”, “Start Jira Service”, and “Stop Jira Service” shortcuts in your Windows start menu.

Windows Start Menu shortcuts
0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty. Go add some materials!Return to Shop