Advanced Jira Administration: Getting into the Scheme of Things

A practical example for a development project

Let’s say you create specific Jira issue types because you want to collect a different data set for each type, and because want the different issue types to use different workflows. So what do you do next? How do you tell Jira what information to collect for each issue type? Should you create screens or a field configuration scheme first? What’s the difference between an issue type scheme and an issue type screen scheme? How do you associate an issue type with a workflow?

Understanding Jira schemes and how they interact with each other is one of the most important, and most challenging parts of Jira administration. My new Advanced Jira Administration course will help you understand:

  • The nine different Jira schemes and what each one does
  • Where to find the schemes used by a given project
  • The hierarchal relationship between screen schemes and issue type screen schemes
  • The correct order for creating screens, screen schemes and issue type screen schemes
  • How to remove a screen, screen scheme or issue type screen scheme
  • How to share schemes across multiple projects
  • When and how to create custom schemes
  • And much more
The course contains challenges, quizzes, downloadable handouts, and personal stories.

In this course, we’ll discuss real-life Jira scheme examples, areas where it’s easy to go wrong, and best practices for creating and managing schemes. The course includes clear explanations, demonstrations, and challenges (with solutions!) to try in your Jira application.

Once you understand Jira schemes you’ll have the keys to unlock Jira efficiency and scaleability.

Rachel Wright’s Jira and Confluence
Admin and User Courses on LinkedIn

Not a LinkedIn Learning member yet? Access to my courses and others is included with your Premium subscription!

New Course – Jira: Advanced Administration

Jira: Advanced Administration with Rachel Wright
Take “Jira: Advanced Administration” with Rachel Wright

Life is short. Jira is complex. There simply isn’t time to make all of the mistakes and learn everything you need to know by trial and error. I’ve compiled over eight years of lessons learned in my Jira Basic and Advanced Administration courses. The advanced course is available now on LinkedIn! It will help you navigate the complexities of Jira and find the right balance between user support and application functionality. Take this course to correctly configure your application and make sure it stays clean, manageable, and flexible.

Course Structure

The Jira: Advanced Administration course picks up where the Jira: Basic Administration course leaves off. The advanced course is designed to help you understand and internalize Jira concepts by including:

  • Real world examples of what to do, and what not to do taken from my personal experience
  • Explanations of the latest Jira jargon (ie. Company-managed projects vs team-managed projects)
  • Tips and best practices
  • Demonstrations
  • Challenges that you can try in your own Jira application
  • Quizzes to ensure understanding and build your confidence
  • Handouts
  • And more

While the examples used in the course are from Jira Software, the lessons can also be applied to Jira Service Management and Jira Work Management projects. All deployment types (Cloud, Server, and Data Center) are included.

Course Content

The course takes a deep dive into topics such as configuring global permissions, understanding scheme hierarchy, creating custom schemes and custom workflows, managing project settings, working with groups and roles, and controlling access to information.  

Your job as a Jira administrator is to give your teams the functionality they need and ensure the long term health of your Jira application. We’ll discuss when and how to make customizations and how to choose from the thousands of available Jira apps and extensions.

Finally, we’ll also look at advanced Jira features such as creating issues from email and issue collectors, importing data into your Jira instance, and streamlining process with automation.

Knowing the best way to solve a problem and how it will impact your application in the future is the difference between a good Jira administrator and a great one. If you’re a newly minted Administrator, an experienced JA looking for guidance on taming an overgrown Jira instance, or a determined perfectionist who’s trying to set things up right the first time – then this course is for you!

Rachel Wright’s Jira and Confluence
Admin and User Courses on LinkedIn

Not a LinkedIn Learning member yet? Access to my courses and others is included with your Premium subscription!

Coming Soon – Jira: Advanced Administration

My new Jira: Advanced Administration course is now available! Take the course on LinkedIn now.

Access to my courses and others is included with your Premium subscription!

About the Course

Jira is the industry standard for tracking work, tasks, and strategic company initiatives.  The software is infinitely flexible and customizable, which is both a blessing and a curse.  The goal of the Jira administrator should be to configure application settings to support the needs of the organization and ensure the health of the application in the future.  This requires an intimate understanding of Jira’s capabilities, global options, and scheme configuration.

In this advanced Jira administration course, you’ll learn:

  • The most important configuration options like general settings and global permissions
  • How schemes work together to power Jira projects
  • How to create custom projects, issue types, workflows, screens, and custom fields
  • How to manage project-specific settings like components and versions
  • Working with groups and roles for easy user management
  • How to restrict access and share information with permission, issue security, and notification schemes
  • Ways to extend Jira with apps, connections, and integrations
  • Advanced features like importing data, creating issues from email, adding custom events, and automation
  • And more

“Knowing the best way to solve a problem and how it will impact your application in the future is the difference between a good administrator and a great one.”
– Rachel Wright

Rachel Wright’s Jira and Confluence
Admin and User Courses on LinkedIn

How to manage and edit shared Jira scheme settings


We are using a shared screen scheme across multiple projects.  How do we make changes to one project without impacting others?


It’s great that multiple projects share schemes! Sharing schemes is the goal. Whether it’s screens, issue types, workflows, or other settings, Jira maintenance is easiest when schemes are shared. But sometimes, there’s a business need for one project’s settings to differ from the rest. In this situation, the answer is to create new schemes and associate them with a specific project. Now you can customize that project without impacting other projects.

About Schemes

Admin > Issues > Screens administration page

First, let’s discuss schemes in general. A scheme is a configuration or collection of settings. There are schemes for issue types, workflows, screens, fields, priorities, issue security, notifications, and permissions. In this post, we’ll tackle the most confusing Jira configuration area. We’ll explore the screens, screen schemes, and issue type screen schemes pages in the administration area.

Screen Settings

Note: Schemes apply to Jira Server, Jira Data Center, and “Classic” projects in Jira Cloud. “Next-gen” projects in Jira Cloud are schemeless.


Two Jira Screens with Different Fields

Screens define which fields are present and their display order. In the example, one screen has the “Story Points” standard field and the other screen has the “Steps to Reproduce” custom field.

Screen schemes

One Screen for All Actions

Screen schemes associate screens with the three issue actions: create, edit, and view. In the example, there’s one screen for all actions but a screen scheme can have 1, 2, or 3 total screens.

It’s a best practice to limit the number of fields on the create screen and only show fields the reporter can complete. Since an issue’s reporter doesn’t usually schedule work, omit fields like “Fix Version” and “Due Date” on the create screen. Show these fields on the edit and view screens instead. Screen schemes make it possible to show different fields for different actions.

Issue type screen schemes

Simple Example: One Screen Scheme for all Issue Types and one Screen for all Actions

This scheme associates screen schemes with different issue types. In the example, there’s one screen scheme shared by the Story and Bug issue types. A project can have one screen scheme per issue type or fewer schemes. Fewer schemes are always easier to maintain.

Alternatively, you can have different screens for each issue type. For example, the Bug screen scheme may contain a screen with fields like “Steps to Reproduce” and “Expected Result”.

Regardless of the number of screen schemes and screens, a project can only have one issue type screen scheme.

Common Example

Here’s a more complex but common example.

In the example:

  • The issue type screen scheme contains two screen schemes.
  • The first screen scheme at the top is for the Story issue type.
    • It has one screen for all issue actions and contains three fields.
  • The second screen scheme at the bottom is for the Bug issue type.
    • It has two screens.
    • The first screen at the top is for the create action and contains three fields.
    • The second screen at the bottom is for the edit and view actions and contains four fields.

How to Decouple a Project

Here’s the simple scheme relationship example again. There’s one screen scheme for all issue types and one screen for all actions. This means all issues have the same fields.

Let’s imagine, all projects share these settings but we want to add a custom field to only one project. Here are the steps to create the needed schemes and decuple a Jira project.

  1. Create a new screen or copy an existing one
    • Add the custom field to the new screen
  2. Create a new screen scheme or copy an existing one
    • Associate the new screen with the new screen scheme
  3. Create a new issue type screen scheme or copy an existing one
    • Associate the new screen scheme with the issue type screen scheme

At this point, we’ve created new schemes, but they are unused and don’t impact any Jira projects or issues. The last step is to associate a project with the new issue type screen scheme. This change does impact Jira data.

  1. Go to the Jira project to modify and click the “Project Settings” link in the left sidebar
  2. Click the “Screens” link in the left sidebar
  3. At the top right, click the “Actions” button and select “Use a different scheme”
  4. Choose the new issue type screen scheme and click the form submission button

Finally, check your work by verifying the new field displays when creating or editing issues in the updated Jira project.


Still confused? Don’t worry! This was the hardest part of Jira administration for me to understand. It will make more sense after you’ve practiced these types of changes in the application. Use your Jira test environment to experiment with these settings until they make more sense. Once you understand all the screen settings, the other scheme relationships (ex: workflows) will make more sense too.

Need advice for screens and fields? Check out the Better Form Design in Jira series.

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