How to avoid the top Jira migration mistakes

As a consultant, I’ve seen a lot of different Jira configurations and helped plan many migrations, merges, and moves. Sometimes the effort is small, like moving a Jira project from one application to another. Other times it’s porting an entire application to a different hosting environment or combining multiple large instances together. Regardless of the scope or effort, organizations often make two big mistakes. They are:

Lack of Preparation

The most common mistake is poor planning. A migration is rarely a quick and easy activity. It requires many hours of discovery, multiple dry runs, and testing.

Organizations often rush to complete the effort without performing enough pre-migration analysis. They don’t take the necessary time for due diligence. When proper analysis isn’t done, impactful setting differences are missed, data is mistakenly omitted, and Jira doesn’t function the way users expect.

Examples

  • When security and permission settings aren’t handled properly, users don’t see data they expect.
  • If email settings aren’t considered, end users may receive more or fewer notifications than expected.
  • If data from third-party apps isn’t migrated, users won’t see information and functionality they are used to.

Remedy

There’s no substitute for a proper upfront analysis and verification before the final event. You need to understand the application configuration intimately, clean up unneeded schemes and settings, archive projects and issues you no longer need, and make sure the application is healthy before migrating any data.

You need to thoroughly test the migration results in a staging application, often multiple times, until everything is perfect.

Lack of Communication

The second most common mistake is poor communication with stakeholders. Before you even start the project, you need to identify the many types of impacted users, how they will be impacted, and what kind of participation is expected from each. The migration effort should never be a surprise to anyone!

Examples

  • The Finance Department wasn’t informed of the migration and had to shuffle money around when license fees increased.
  • Not all data was migrated and the Help Desk team was bombarded with user trouble reports.
  • A Developer logged in to find Jira was not connected to critical build tools.
  • The Compliance Team failed an audit because settings in the new application conflicted with company policy.

Remedy

Just like with any large company strategic initiative, Migration Team members need to a good job communicating and managing expectations. Overcommunicate at each step. At a minimum, users need to verify that their data is as expected in the staging and production environments. Involve users early and often.

To avoid these common mistakes and others, download my free 180 page book, The Ultimate Guide to Jira Migrations: How to migrate from Jira Server to Data Center or Cloud.


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Rachel Wright

Author: Rachel Wright

Rachel Wright is an entrepreneur, Certified JIRA Administrator, and author of the JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook. She started using JIRA in 2011, became a JIRA administrator in 2013, and was certified in 2016. She is the owner and founder of Industry Templates, LLC, which helps companies grow, get organized, and develop their processes.

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