Translations

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JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook

Sample Chapter: Chinese and English

Chinese and English Sample Chapters

More than one Jira administrator has approached me about translating the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook into another language.  But I only speak English and Jira Query Language!  Enter wonderful Kerwin Chung, a Senior DevOps Consultant in China, who’s up to the task.

Kerwin’s translated the sample “Projects” chapter from Jira Strategy Admin Workbook into Chinese!  You can download both the English and Chinese sample chapters for free.  If you’re interested in a full Chinese or other language translation, let us know below!  If there’s enough interest, we’ll translate the whole book!

Translations
We're exploring offering the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook in additional languages. Tell us which language(s) you're interested in! Enter your email address (optional) and we'll notify you when a translation is ready.
Which language(s) should the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook be offered in?

About the Translator

Kerwin Chung, ACP-SW, ACP-JA
Atlassian DevOps Senior Consultant at Cenoq in China

The reason why I love Jira is its expandability.

It is the best tool for the DevOps toolchain. Lots of companies in China use a lot of open source tools but they use only one commercial tool, which is Jira.

I am proud of being a Jira evangelist. I enjoyed using Jira to organize my own job and am very happy to introduce Jira to my customers and friends. Everyone loves it.

Five Steps to a Successful Jira Upgrade

For most Jira Server users, an upgrade is a major activity that requires careful planning.  What is your upgrade plan?  How will you prepare?  How will you ensure success?  How often will you upgrade?

I approach upgrades as five high level steps:

Step 1:  Research

Conduct all pre-upgrade “what changed” and compatibility research

This very important first step can determine the success of your upgrade.  Start by reviewing the retrospective from the last upgrade so you can improve the upgrade process and plan for issues encountered in the last event.   Also, it’s a good time to make sure your emergency rollback plan is still accurate.

Next, read all of Atlassian’s “Release Notes” and “Upgrade Notes” for every version between yours and the one you’re upgrading too.

  TIP
Look for changes that might impact the application, users, or user behavior.  Look for bugs you’ve been waiting for fixes for.

Also read the Security Advisories, End of Support announcements, and End of Life policy.

  TIP
Ask your REST API and database users to read the Atlassian documentation too, so they can prepare for any changes needed in their applications.

After, verify the compatibility of your hardware, operating system, database,  java version, add-ons, and any internally developed customizations.  Resources:  Jira Requirements, Supported Platforms, and Checking Add-On Compatibility

Finally, double-check that your license is valid through the upgrade testing period and you are not about to reach your license limit.   You don’t want license issues to delay your upgrade.

Step 2:  Pre-Upgrade Tasks (Test Environment)

Copy all production data to lower environments, update plugins, upgrade and test

  RECOMMENDATION
Don’t have a test environment?  Remedy that issue first!  Ideally you’ll have a secondary server instance but if that’s not possible at least create a local instance on your personal computer.  Make sure the resources powering your test environment match your production environment as much as possible.  Make sure the software version and configuration are an exact copy of production.

  RECOMMENDATION
Before upgrading your test environment, be sure to copy all of your production data to the environment.  It’s not enough to test an upgrade on a vanilla instance; you need to test it with your specific configuration data!

By now you should know which version you’re able to upgrade to.  Download the installer file, stop the application, and run the binary.  Document the installation process, so you can repeat the steps in production.  Review all configuration files, paths, custom files, and settings for accuracy.  Also check the logs for major problems.

If all is well on startup, it’s time to update the Universal Plugin Manager, other add-ons, and re-index.  After the re-index, start your regression testing.  Make sure all basic application functions and new features are working as expected.

 MISTAKE
During testing, I discovered one of my heavily used plugins wasn’t compatible with the upgrade version and had moved from free to paid.  I clicked the “Buy Now” button on the “Manage add-ons” page, assuming it would take me to a shopping cart with pricing information.  Instead, it immediately installed an unlicensed version of the new plugin code!  All of our workflows broke and I was inundated by reports of license errors from users.  I had to quickly generate a free trial code to restore functionality and sheepishly contact the purchasing department to secure emergency funding for the new plugin.  I did all this in production!  #facepalm

Finally, contact your REST API and database users so they can verify all is well with their applications.  Also, compile any “new features” documentation to share with end users.  Conduct an end user and project-level admin demo if UI or feature changes are substantial.

Step 3:  Upgrade Preparation

Line up support resources, schedule production upgrade activities, and announce plans

At this point, you are confident in the stability of your test environment and ready to schedule the production event.  Start by identifying an upgrade team.  Who will execute the upgrade?  Who will “smoke test” the major functions?  Who can you contact if there’s emergency?

After you have your team assembled, pick an upgrade time outside of peak use hours.  Communicate the upgrade date, time, and expected duration to users and any support teams, like the company help desk or network operations center.  Don’t surprise these teams with “Jira is down!” reports during the upgrade window!

  TIP
Use Jira’s announcement banner function to communicate upgrade plans.

Sample Code:
<div style=”border: 1px solid #9e1c1c; background-color: #fff; padding: 10px;”>Upgrade Outage
The upgrade will start on [day], [date] at [time] [timezone] and conclude before the start of business on [day], [date].  During the upgrade window: (1) you WILL NOT be able to login to JIRA, (2) any changes attempted WILL NOT be retained, (3) API calls will fail, and (4) issue creation via email will fail.  For a list of new features and fixes, see our JIRA Upgrade notes.

Download sample wording for your entire upgrade process from the Strategy for Jira store.

Step 4:  Upgrade Tasks (Production)

Backup production data, update add-ons, upgrade and test

  RECOMMENDATION
Hopefully you’re already taking regular (automated) backups of your database and file system.  But when’s the last time you verified that your most recent backup occurred and is actually usable?  Do that before proceeding.

At last, you’ve planned as much as possible, know what to expect, and are ready for the upgrade event!  It’s time to repeat the installation steps you practiced in your test environment including:  installation, add-on updates, and regression testing.  Use the notes you took in step 2 and be sure to address any differences that exist in the production environment.

Step 5:  Communication

Announce upgrade and communicate changes and benefits to user base

Finally, it’s time to announce the upgrade to users and complete post-upgrade steps.

  RECOMMENDATION
Use Jira’s announcement banner function to communicate the upgrade is complete.  Include a link to the “new features” documentation you compiled in step 2.

Review any previous trouble reports, in case the upgrade remedied them, and be ready to respond to new reports.  Check in with your REST API and database users, to make sure all is well with their apps.

Finish any outstanding tasks, compile your retrospective, and make any needed plan updates in preparation for the next upgrade.  Also be sure to thank your upgrade team!

Detailed Upgrade Plan

Jira Detailed Upgrade Plan

A well-crafted plan can help ensure upgrade success.  Download the sample upgrade plan worksheet.  Customize it to fit your needs and environment.  This worksheet may contain more or fewer steps than necessary for your situation, but it gives you a great starting point.  Don’t forget to update and improve the plan after each upgrade.

A test instance and a healthy application are the foundation of a successful upgrade event.  You’ll want to upgrade often for the newest features, fixes, and performance improvements.  Happy upgrading!

Best Practices for Creating a Custom Workflow

If you’re on a software team, you probably use the default Jira workflow or something close to it.  But what if you’re on a business team or the default options don’t fit the way you want to work?  Then it’s time to create a custom workflow.

A workflow is a standard set of statuses (steps) and transitions (movement between steps) that each issue follows in its lifecycle.  Statuses take an idea from “conception” to “completion”.  Each Jira project can have its own workflow and each issue type within a project can have its own workflow as well.  For example, the Legal team has a specific process for contract review and a general process for all “other” types of requests.  Their Jira project might include issue types like the standard “Task” and a custom type like “Contract.”

  • The “Task” issue type has a very simple workflow, with the statues “To Do” and “Done.”
  • The “Contract” issue type requires additional statuses for approval and execution steps that occur in a contract review process.

  RECOMMENDATION
In the beginning, keep workflows as simple as possible, until you’ve uncovered a deficiency or process step that needs special attention.

Custom Workflow Tips

The steps below outline the best practices for creating a workflow:

  1. Before creating a new custom workflow, have the user explain their real life process to you.  The workflow should be as simple as possible.
  2. First, draw (preferably on paper) a workflow to ensure it makes logical sense and all forward and back transitions are accounted for.  You can use the “Custom Workflow Documentation” template in the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook or in ThinkTilt’s Process Template library as a way to communicate and document workflows.
  3. After drawing the workflow, write the workflow out in words. This can uncover additional needs you may have neglected to draw or consider.
  4. Include logical backwards transitions so users can self-manage issues.
  5. Give users options to abandon or stop progress on issues at appropriate times.
  6. Give project-level administrators appropriate options to fix improperly transitioned issues.
    • Example:  Include a “reopen” transition button in the final status to address issues that were improperly closed.
  7. Use transition conditions sparingly.  If a condition is needed, set the restriction to a project role, rather than to an individual, for easy maintenance.
  8. Use transition validators and post functions to minimize the amount of manual work a user has to do.
    • Automatically assign an issue to the reporter when moving to an “information needed” or “verification needed” type of status.
    • Automatically assign an issue to the Project Lead in a “triage” type of status.
    • Automatically move a parent issue to “In Progress” when a child issue starts progress.
  9. Name your statuses:
    • Name statuses so they reflect the current state.  Good status names immediately tell a user what is occurring and what state an issue is in the workflow process.  For example, “Pending Review”, “In Review”, “Being Reviewed”, “Awaiting Review”, etc.
    • Make any status names short and easy to understand what is happening.  Long, multi-word names are harder to query and may be truncated on certain screens.
  10. Name your transitions:
    • A Transition name should be short and reflect an action taken.
    • Good transition names immediately tell a user what action to perform to progress an issue.  Example:  For an issue in “Pending Review” status, a good transition name would be:  “Review Complete.”  If you need a “pass/fail” situation, where an action must pass a test before a transition can occur, good transition names would be:  simply “Pass” and “Fail.”
    • Bad transition names confuse the user about how to move forward.  Example:  “Review.”  A transition button should signify the start or end of an action.  The word “Review” is ambiguous.  If a user clicks “Review,” does that mean they should start a review or that the review has already occurred?

It’s easy to customize workflows and therefore easy to go overboard, creating more structure than you really need.

Phased Approach

It’s certainly possible to capture every little step in your work process and build that into a complex and long Jira workflow.  An alternative however, is a phased approach.  Simply break your process into phases that represent a collection of smaller steps.  The phases represent key decision points. An issue can’t be moved to another phase until the requirements of that phase have been satisfied.  Your Jira status represents the entire phase, rather than a status for every small step in the phase.

Example:  Your company is signing a partnership agreement 
The contracts process requires a review of the contract by both parties and potential edits before final execution.  It’s a predictable process requiring a short workflow like:

Open > In Review > In Execution > Closed

Sample Legal Contracts Workflow

  TIP
A generically named status like “In Review” is better than a legal-specific name like “In Contract Review”.  Other Jira projects can use the generic version regardless of what type of thing needs review.  You want to share assets and schemes between projects as much as possible.

The Legal team is doing many things in the background that may not need to be reflected in the workflow.  For example:

In the “In Review” phase, the Legal team is reviewing the contract, researching legal topics, communicating with internal teams, negotiating terms with the external company, etc.

In the “In Execution” status, the CEO is finding his favorite signing pen, both companies are trading paperwork, and your Legal team is entering the final result into their contracts database.

In the above example, is it useful to create a status for every step that occurs in the contracts process?  Do you need to track how many times the contract was modified during the review process?  Do you need to track which parties have signed the agreement so far?  If the answer is “no” a phased approach may be more useful.  Also, it might be more useful to track signature collection in a custom field.

  RECOMMENDATION
If you’re not going to report on something (ex: “How many contracts have been signed by us?” in the above example) that status or custom field may not be necessary or useful.

Don’t over-complicate your custom workflow with steps and statuses you don’t really need.  Your end users will thank you for it.

System, Application & Project Admins: Who Does What in Jira?

I was recently asked:  “If Jira project admins can now edit their own workflows and screens, what’s left for the application admin to do?”  Plenty!  Application admins are still very much needed, and their work extends way beyond managing a Jira project.  Further, the new project admin abilities aren’t as liberating as they may sound.  Let’s examine the types of admin users.

Types of Jira Admin Users

There are many different types of Jira admin users and responsibilities vary depending on the type.  Admin users generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • System Level Administrators – Users with the ability to perform absolutely every Jira administration function
  • Application Level Administrators – Users with permissions to perform most Jira administration functions
  • Project Owners or Leads – A project’s single point of contact, often responsible for project strategy decisions
  • Project Level Administrators – Users with permissions to manage settings for individual Jira projects.  (Example: Components, project users, etc.)

While the admin types have distinct abilities, a user can be multiple types of administrators at the same time.  For example, an application administrator may also be the owner of a specific Jira project.   An application administrator could be a system administrator as well if those roles have been combined.  For the differences between application administrator and system administrator permissions, see the “Managing Global Permissions” documentation.

Jira Admin Responsibilities and Abilities

Each admin level has a distinct set of responsibilities.  Below we’ll address the four admin types as two levels:  system/application and project.

System Level Administrators & Application Level Administrators

These administrators need to consider the health of the application, impact to the application, and maintenance implications for each decision and change they make.  These admins need to be chosen carefully, audited regularly, and approved by the application owner.

Application admins typically have the following responsibilities:

  1. Assist the Jira Advisory Board in maintaining established standards
  2. Communicate standards, procedures, changes, and maintenance outages to your Jira Ambassador team and end users
  3. Assist end users with user-specific settings
  4. Assist Project Level Administrators with managing settings and maintaining their projects
  5. Complete approved customization requests or suggest alternative solutions within established standards
  6. Manage users, groups, and access
  7. Create and configure new projects, schemes, and assets
  8. Remove projects, schemes, and assets when they are no longer needed
  9. Perform application upgrades
  10. Vet, install, and upgrade apps, plugins and integrations
  11. Check logs for and address errors
  12. Develop and maintain documentation and end user training materials
  13. Monitor and ensure the overall health of the application

Download this list as a worksheet at: jirastrategy.com/link/admin-responsibilitiesTip:  Turn this worksheet into a Jira Admin job description!

Project Owners & Project Level Administrators

Each Jira project has a listed “Owner” or “Lead” who is sometimes also the default issue assignee.   Additionally, individual projects can have an unlimited number of administrators.  As  such, there’s an opportunity to involve additional users in project-level maintenance and  management.

Project admins typically have the following responsibilities:

  1. Set and maintain Components, Versions, and other project-specific settings in accordance with established standards
  2. Manage users and groups in the “Users and roles” area
  3. Routinely triage (or appoint a triage person) to assign and review issues as they are created
  4. Maintain the data and accuracy of data in the project space
  5. Report any project issues or customization needs to the Jira Support team
  6. Respond to questions or approvals requested by the Jira Support team

additional Editing Abilities

Additionally, project admins have limited workflow editing abilities in Jira version 7.3 and limited screen editing abilities in version 7.4.  Also in 7.4 these abilities can be enabled or disabled through Permission schemes.

Project admins can only utilize assets that already exist.  For example, they can add an existing status to their workflow or an existing custom field to a screen, but they cannot remove a status, create or rename statuses, or create new custom fields.  They can modify transitions, but not edit transition screens or transition behaviors (properties, conditions, validators, or post functions).  Further, these editing abilities only apply to projects where the workflow and the screens are not shared with other projects.  If you’ve been sharing project configurations, as highly recommended in the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook, it’s possible that few or none of your project admins will have these new editing abilities.  Additionally, the default workflow and default system screen still cannot be edited by anyone.  Read more about these features in the 7.3 and 7.4 release notes.

How to check for Workflow Editing Abilities

  1. Use the Admin UI
    If you have few workflows, you can manually look for ones that are only used by one project.  In the Jira Admin UI, visit Admin > Issues > Workflows.  Click the “View” link next to each workflow.  The following page will show how many projects use the workflow.
  2. Use Atlassian’s Script (Jira Server Only)
    Atlassian created an admin helper script to detect workflows and administrators impacted by the 7.3 change.  The script requires node.js and you must be able to execute it on your server.
  3. Use the Database (Jira Server Only)
    This method is not perfect but it got me to the data I needed.  Work with your database team to improve the sample queries or format them for your database type.

First, I counted the number of projects used by each workflow, looking for any that are not shared (those with a project count of 1.)

Sample Query:  SELECT wse.workflow, count(p.pname) AS `Projects Using Workflow` FROM nodeassociation n INNER JOIN project p ON p.ID = n.source_node_ID INNER JOIN workflowscheme ws on ws.ID = n.SINK_NODE_ID INNER JOIN workflowschemeentity wse on wse.scheme = ws.ID WHERE n.source_node_entity = ‘Project’ and n.sink_node_entity = ‘WorkflowScheme’ GROUP BY wse.workflow ORDER BY `Projects Using Workflow`, workflow;

Next, I retrieved project details for each of the not shared workflows.  I mainly wanted to know the project id, project name, and lead.

Sample Query: SELECT p.id AS project_id, p.pname AS project_name, p.lead AS project_lead, ws.name AS project_associated_workflow_scheme, wse.workflow AS workflow_scheme_associated_workflow FROM project p LEFT OUTER JOIN nodeassociation na ON na.source_node_id = p.id AND na.sink_node_entity = ‘WorkflowScheme’ LEFT OUTER JOIN workflowscheme ws ON ws.id = na.sink_node_id LEFT OUTER JOIN workflowschemeentity wse ON wse.scheme = ws.id LEFT OUTER JOIN jiraworkflows jw ON jw.workflowname = wse.workflow WHERE  wse.workflow = ‘Workflow Name 1’ OR wse.workflow = ‘Workflow Name 2’ …

I put all the info into a spreadsheet for further analysis.  From this abbreviated workflow and project list, I was able to examine individual project settings, like screens and permission schemes, to determine who would be able to take advantage of additional project admin features.

Deciding exactly what you want project admins to do may require experimentation as you adjust to the possibilities of Jira 7.3 and beyond. Ultimately, you’ll want to maintain a balance between providing ease and flexibility while still maintaining standards and control at the system/application level.

What other duties do application/system and project admins have at your company?  What’s your strategy for communicating responsibilities to users?  Can you improve any of the workflow editing ability detection methods?  Add your thoughts to the comment section below.

Who’s in Charge? Jira Governance for Business Teams

Getting off to the right start is always the best way to go.  It’s not always reality.  We usually inherit things – business processes, Jira applications, our parents’ bad habits, etc.  In her excellent resource, the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook, Rachel Wright recommends starting out by creating a Jira Advisory Board.  If you’re starting from scratch, this is a great first step.  If you’re already using Jira, now might be the time to put your Board in place, especially if you’re considering expanding Jira to other teams in your organization.

Different organizations have different ways of governing their processes. Rachel recommends that the role of the Advisory Board include:

  • Deciding what customizations to create and support in order to strike a balance between giving teams what they need and maintaining a manageable, high-performing application.
  • Setting standards for privacy, security, and storage and handling sensitive information.
  • Developing a process for providing support for teams’ Jira projects.
  • Determining what a successful Jira application looks like.  What metrics will define success?

Who Should be on the Advisory Board?

When you consider how powerful and mission critical Jira can be for your organization, it’s clear that it shouldn’t be directed by just one person.  But who else should be on your Board?  Rachel recommends a group of about five people including:

  • An end user – techy-minded or not
  • A Jira Administrator who understands the application’s capabilities
  • A Project Manager, Business Analyst or Strategist – basically a process-oriented person
  • A high level manager or VP who’s ultimately responsible for the work that gets done in Jira
  • A wildcard member to keep everyone on task

Consider having your end user or your wildcard member come from a non-technical business team.

Why Create a Jira Advisory Board Now?

You’re probably thinking, we’ve managed this long without a Board, why do we need one now?  If that’s the case, one of two things is probably happening.  Either your Jira Administrator is handling everything on their own, trying to please everybody, and relying on their own knowledge for deciding what should and shouldn’t be implemented.  Or you do have a group of people who work together to set standards and support Jira users – you just don’t think of them as an Advisory Board.

If you don’t already have one, the moment of expanding Jira to business teams is an excellent time to establish a Board.  Here’s why you need one now, even if you didn’t think you needed one before:

  • Expanding Jira to business teams will mean more requests for customizations; more custom fields, more screen schemes, more configurations.  With each request, you will need to decide if it’s worth creating and supporting the new asset or whether an existing field, scheme or configuration can be shared.  You’ll come to better decisions if you include multiple points of view.
  • You’ll also be collecting more sensitive information.  Consider all the personal information HR keeps on employees.  You need a policy to determine what kinds of sensitive information can be stored in Jira. Expanding to business teams also means you’re inheriting all of the privacy and security standards that apply to those teams.  Again, you don’t want to be deciding how to navigate that alone.
  • Finally, teams may be skeptical as to how well a solution developed for IT can address their needs.  That’s understandable.  We’re all experts in our own areas.  Having an Advisory Board that includes non-techies will help people feel more assured that their needs will be considered.

Easily Convert Business Teams to Jira

Expanding Jira to business teams is a great opportunity to bring a tool you already know, love and support to wider use in your organization.  Teams from Finance to HR will love handling their requests in Jira, being able to measure and predict their workload using Jira’s reporting and knowing that their backsides are covered with Jira’s end to end traceability.

Along with making sure business teams’ conversion to Jira is done right (the reason you’re setting up that Advisory Board), it would also be nice to have it done easily.  This is where ProForma Forms & Templates for Jira can help.  ProForma offers a template library and an easy to use form builder that puts teams in control of collecting exactly the information they require, without the need for custom fields, screens and configurations.  You may actually find yourself doing less Jira admin even as you bring more teams into Jira.

You can help your business teams have it all:  a great tool, a well-governed application and an easy conversion.

Initial JIRA Set Up Decisions

You’ve decided to adopt JIRA.  Congratulations!  Use this 35 question planning checklist to help you make initial decisions and consider actions you should take to ensure a successful setup.  Complete these items before, during, and after your install.  Download the entire checklist for FREE from the JIRA Strategy Store.

Planning

1. Create an Internal JIRA Advisory Board
Whether you’ve just started with JIRA or you’ve been using it for years, such a powerful and useful Application should not be directed by a single person.  The people who set the strategy for JIRA use may be different from those who actually perform maintenance and administrative functions. You’ll want a governance or steering committee, who can establish standards and support both the application and the users.

icon-content-link See the “Establish an Advisory Board”, the “Ideal Board Makeup”, and the “Role of the Board” sections in the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

2. Determine Usage
Decide how JIRA will mainly be used.  Will it be for software development only or will other, non-technical groups also utilize it to track tasks?

trans-tip TIP:  JIRA is for business teams too!  Read more: jirastrategy.com/link/business-projects

3. Determine Ownership
Decide who is responsible for the application.  Who will make initial and ongoing configuration changes?  Who will maintain the application?  Who will perform upgrades?  (Server Version Only)  Who will ensure application, server, database, and network stability?  (Server Version Only)

Application Type

4. Choose an Application Type
Decide which hosting environment is appropriate for your business and industry.  Will you utilize a Cloud (hosted by Atlassian or a third party) or a Server (on premises) implementation?

Read Atlassian’s Pros and Cons of Cloud vs. Server at: jirastrategy.com/link/cloud-server

5. Choose an Application Flavor
Based on your usage, decide which JIRA product, or combination of JIRA products to use.  Will you utilize JIRA Software (built for software developers and includes agile features), JIRA Core (built for business-type users), JIRA Service Desk (built for help desk and support-type functions), or a combination?  Do you require the high availability, performance at scale, and disaster recovery features of JIRA Data Center?

See Atlassian’s Evaluator Resources at: jirastrategy.com/link/eval
Read about Data Center at: jirastrategy.com/link/data-center

6. Choose a License Tier
Determine current and future licensing needs.  How many users need to login to JIRA?  Are license costs factored into the initial and ongoing budget?

7. Choose a Version (Server Version Only)
Use the Atlassian release notes to determine which version to use.  Will you install the latest version or the last major version?

Read more: jirastrategy.com/link/release-notes

Technical Specs

Items 8-15:  Download the entire checklist for FREE from the JIRA Strategy Store.

Data

16. Determine Data Import Needs
Decide how to handle pre-JIRA data.  Does existing data from another system need to be imported?  What is the structure of the data and how will it be mapped to JIRA’s issue structure?

icon-content-link See the “Bulk Import” section of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.  Download a sample import file at: jirastrategy.com/link/bulk-import.

17. Determine Data Insertion Methods
Decide which of the many ways new issues will be created.  How will new information be added to JIRA?  (Examples: Via the UI, via UI import, via email, via the API, via an Issue Collector (web form), etc.)

icon-content-link See the “Get Data into JIRA” section of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.  Download the “Worksheet: JIRA Issue Creation via Email Instructions” at:  jirastrategy.com/link/creation-via-email.

Users

18. Create a User Management Strategy
User management is more than just “adding new users” as they join the company.  Your user list needs regular attention to remain accurate.  You have to establish procedures on how to support new users as well as departing users.  How will you handle and receive access requests and removals?  How will you handle permissions related requests?

icon-content-link See the “User Access Strategies” and “User Management” sections of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

19. Determine Access and Credentials
Decide how users will access the application.  What credentials are needed for login?  How does a new user securely receive credentials?  Will access be local to the application or managed by Active Directory, Google Apps, Crowd (an Atlassian application), or another service?  Is 2 Factor Authentication needed?

icon-content-link See the “User Management” and “Single Sign-On” sections of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

trans-tip RECOMMENDATION

When the application grows to over 50 users, it’s time to consider a central user directory.

20. Select an Application Administration Team
Create a strong, 2-5 person, admin team.  Who will be responsible for new project configuration, customization, user access, and daily application management?

icon-content-link See the “Define Admin Users” section of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.  Download the “Worksheet: Application Administrator Responsibilities” at:  jirastrategy.com/link/admin-responsibilities.

trans-tip TIP:  Need to train your team?  Give your administrators their own copy of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.  Get the digital version at: jirastrategy.com/link/digital-workbook or the print version at: amzn.to/2fww6zh.

trans-tip TIP:  Have your admins prepare for and take the JIRA Certification exam.  See the “Get Certified” and “How to Study” sections of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

trans-tip RECOMMENDATION

Give your application admin team read-only access to the JIRA database. Understanding how the data is structured will solve a lot of mysteries and make them better admins. They’ll have the ability to access additional data that’s not available in the admin UI.

NOTE: Granting read only database access gives users access to protected data and may violate your company security policy.

21. Appoint Ambassadors
In addition to your advisory board, you’ll want to enlist the help of other users to disseminate information, answer common questions, and serve as a liaison to your users.  A small team of JIRA Ambassadors is a vital asset when you need to execute changes to your current application or communicate the change request process.

icon-content-link See the “Appoint Ambassadors” section of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

22. Determine an End User Training Strategy
Determine your training needs and timeline.  How will you train end users and encourage adoption?

icon-content-link See the “End User Training” and “Top 15 Things End Users Want to Know” sections of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

Standards & Policies

Items 23-27:  Download the entire checklist for FREE from the JIRA Strategy Store.

Maintenance & Support

Items 28-30:  Download the entire checklist for FREE from the JIRA Strategy Store.

Other

31. Set Up a Test Environment (Server Version Only)
Always test major changes, large imports, upgrades, plugin installations, proof of concepts, and clean-up activities in a test environment first.  Make sure the resources powering your test environment match your production environment as much as possible.  Make sure the software version and configuration are an exact copy of production.

trans-tip TIP:  Disable email in the test environment to avoid notifying end users with duplicate or test data.

32. Establish a Plugin and Add-On Vetting Procedure
There are a plethora of plugins and add-on features available in the Atlassian Marketplace.  But haphazard installs and free trials can leave behind remnants that negatively impact the system after the trial ends.  You should develop specific procedures for handling add-ons and customization requests.  The procedure should include pre-installation vetting, installation and trial testing, and uninstall procedures to ensure system functionality and stability.

icon-content-link See the “Plugins and Add-ons” section in the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

33. Determine Integrations and Connections
Determine what connection points are initially needed and under what conditions new connections will be added.  What other Atlassian or non-Atlassian applications will JIRA connect to?  Will other internal applications be permitted to use the REST API or connect to the database?

icon-content-link See the “REST API and Database Users” section of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

34. Set Up Monitoring (Server Version Only)
Set up additional software to routinely check the health of your application and database.  Monitors and alerts help the admin team proactively maintain your application.  Don’t let end users be the first or only source of trouble reports.

icon-content-link See the “Monitoring” section in the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.

35.  Engage with the JIRA Community
There’s an amazing community of experts, administrators, consultants, end users, and Atlassians publishing new information and providing assistance.  Connect with others through your local Atlassian User Group, participate in the online community (answers.atlassian.com), and attend the annual user conference.

icon-content-link See the “Atlassian User Groups” and “Summit Annual User Conference” sections of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.


This worksheet is a companion to the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook.  Get the book and additional materials at jirastrategy.com.

JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook

FAQ

JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook FAQ

Is this workbook useful for JIRA Admin Certification preparation?
The JIRA Strategy Admin workbook is about what admins should and shouldn’t do in their application.   As part of the strategy recommendations, it covers admin concepts, which is what the JIRA Certification exam is about.  When I started writing the book, there wasn’t a certification, so I definitely didn’t write it for that purpose.  But I do think the book makes a great companion to the existing Atlassian documentation and certification study materials.  There’s more info about the book and its contents here.

Why did you write this book?
I wrote this because I knew I wasn’t the only person to inherit a messy configuration.  I want to keep others out of what I call the “JIRA swamp” or, if you’re already in it, help dig you out.

What was the hardest part about writing the book?
Certainly not writing about JIRA – I love talking about anything JIRA related!   The hardest part was fighting with the Table of Contents and Index features of Microsoft Word.  The initial drafts of the book were written in Confluence and progress was tracked in JIRA!  The entire project (the book, materials, website, and store) took 2 years to complete.

Where can I get the book?
The digital version (a color PDF) is available for immediate download from the jirastrategy.com store.  A print version (a black and white physical book) is available on Amazon.

Where can I learn more about the book?
You can view the Table of Contents, listen to the Introduction, or download Sample Chapters.  Read what others are saying on the Praise page.

Where can I learn more about the author?
Read About Rachel Wright.  Connect with the author on Twitter, LinkedIn, or in the Strategy for JIRA LinkedIn Group.

How do I schedule a speaking engagement, interview, or appearance?
Please see the Press Kit page.

Store FAQ

What payment types are accepted?
We accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) and PayPal.  Payments are securely processed through PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account.  To pay without a PayPal account, click the “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” button on PayPal’s website.  (See screenshot.)

When will my book and files ship?
All purchases from the jirastrategy.com website are in digital format and are available for download immediately.  No items will be shipped to your physical billing address.

How do I access downloadable files?
After purchase, access to downloadable files is available in three places:

  1. On the purchase confirmation page, click the grey order “Details” button.
  2. In an email from info@jirastrategy.com with the subject line “The virtual product that you bought is available for download.”
  3. On the “Order History” page, click the grey order “Details” button.

Image: Order History Details Button

Order History Details

Image: Product Download Link

Product Download Link

Already purchased the book?  Also see: How to Download Book Materials

Training FAQ

See the Training FAQ

How do I get additional help?
Contact Us

How I Fell in Love with JIRA

My introduction to Atlassian products was by chance.  The company I was working for was using an ancient bug tracking application.  By ancient, I mean software that would only load in a browser version which was no longer available. In fact, the manufacturer had stopped supporting it many years prior.  The software was becoming increasingly unstable and a decision was made to switch to JIRA.  We were so excited to ditch the old software that we set up an official funeral for it at the office.  This was around the Halloween holiday, so we hung pictures of tombstones on the wall along with screenshots of our most “ghastly” bugs.  A team member wrote an obituary for the old application. We covered the scene with spider webs and skeletons.  It was a fun way to celebrate that we were changing to JIRA and also say “good riddance” to our old system.

I was immediately amazed by what JIRA offered us.  We were able to track all our work, not just our bugs.  The flexibility to work differently between projects and between issue types was something I hadn’t seen before.  The ease of customization had me dreaming of all the ways we could improve our processes.  I found myself immersed in the user documentation, reviewing the internal materials produced for the transition, and even helping others use this new application.  I moved from being a typical end user, to an application administrator, strategist, and trainer.  JIRA administration became an obsession and was easily the best part of my workday.

Today, I use JIRA and other Atlassian tools at my primary job, as a volunteer with the Atlassian User Group program, to run my side business, and even at home.  At home, JIRA tracks “bucket list” items, personal goals, and my asset list, for insurance purposes.  I use Confluence to collaborate with family members, plan trips, track “to do” items, and capture research details for major purchases.  The JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook was written in Confluence and the book writing progress was tracked in JIRA. These tools have become a vital part of my personal and professional life. It’s safe to say I’m a huge Atlassian fan.

Image: I’m Currently in a Relationship with JIRA

I'm Currently in a Relationship with JIRA

Learn more about the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook