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Guide: 10 Things every new Jira Software Admin should do

Jira software from Atlassian can quickly become very complex. There are countless plug-ins, adjustments and settings that you can make to individualize Jira. All these functions and possibilities lead to the fact that the software becomes quite complex in handling and administration. But don't worry or "don't panic"! We've put together a little guide that will help you get started as a Jira admin.

User management in Jira
User Management in Jira

1. Admin permissions only for employees who know what they are doing

In Jira, a lot can break pretty quickly if you don't know what you're doing. For example, if you change the shared workflow in one project, there is a high risk that other projects will be affected as well. This problem can always occur when the schemes are shared with other projects. A typical and frequently occurring scenario, which illustrates this problem once again, are changes to "Issue Types". Often these schemes are used as standard templates for several projects. Changes, or even worse the deletion of issue types quickly leads to the bugs described above. 

It is therefore advisable to only give admin permissions to people who know what they are doing. All other users should only be assigned certain functions.

Manage users and groups on a scheduled basis for accelerated authorization & permission management

Jira and Confluence Authorization Management

2. Carefully read the official Jira documentation

'Out of the box', Jira already offers a huge range of standard features that will make your life as a Jira Admin a lot easier. So it's best to start with the Documentation from Atlassian. This already offers a variety of tips and tricks that you can use every day. 

Find out how to establish Jira in your company in the long term here: Guide - Easy implementation of Jira software in your company

3. Define standards for workflows & working methods for all users

Jira is an excellent collaboration tool for standardizing the way teams work. Before unleashing Jira on the teams, it is advisable to look at the working practices of individual teams beforehand. Ideally, if all teams have to adhere to a certain project process it can be easily adapted to Jira. This way, all teams can use the same workflow, which an admin creates in advance as a standard scheme and ensures that this scheme is actually used when creating a new project. The assignment of default schemes can be implemented on all projects in Jira and offers the charming advantage that you do not have to administer a large number of schemes and that fewer schemes also brings an improvement in performance. 

Therefore, consistent standards for workflows, approaches and structures should be created in advance. This brings the big picture back into focus.

→ Digitization and automation of Jira processes - Learn more

4. Archive completed projects

Over time, more and more new projects are created in Jira. As a result, one can quickly lose the overview and get confused when creating a ticket or working with Jira. It is always advisable to archive a project at the end. On the one hand, this makes these projects no longer visible to users and on the other hand, it also improves the performance of the entire Jira instance. How to archive completed projects can be found in the Jira Documentation

Jira Workflow Schemes
Jira Workflow Schemes

5. Keep the number of schemes manageable

If you ask ten different people from ten different departments what their processes look like, you'll get hundreds of different answers. So it feels like every project has a different process and approach. From the perspective of a Jira admin, it makes sense to analyze and understand how the departments work via a workshop, with the goal of defining a uniform project structure ("common denominator") in Jira. Once this is done, projects with the same way of working can use the same schemas and the departments are enabled to work together e.g. via KANBAN or SCRUM board.

6. Make sure that the number of custom fields remains manageable

Similar to workflows, teams love custom fields. But if new custom fields are created all the time, you will lose the overview here as well. Here you should rather make sure that already existing fields are reused and can be used in a new context if required.


Many Jira admins take over existing systems in the new job to "clean them up". When taking over, it turns out that there were 40 different iterations for 'Start Date' and 'End Date'.

The consequences of this were more than visible in daily use. For example, it was no longer possible to display all issues with a start date of 08/01/2020 for projects A, B, C etc. 

Therefore, make sure that existing custom fields are reused. 

Confluence Documentation
Document your projects and approach in Confluence

7. Document your approach

How many times have you thought "How did I configure this project?" Probably countless times. To ensure that the approach to a configuration is not lost, comprehensive documentation is essential. In this case, it is a useful approach to document your approach in Confluence, with the ability to link individual projects to a Space (area in Confluence). This way a comprehensible documentation can be built up. 

The provision of knowledge in the company is essential for employees and leads to more know-how, professionalism and productivity in the long term → The provision of knowledge in the company is essential for employees and leads to more know-how, professionalism and productivity in the long term. Learn more in our article on knowledge management

Jira Board Configuration
Jira Board Configuration

8. Board configuration (KANBAN, SCRUM)

Whenever possible, assign the status of a project exclusively to one column in the board configuration. In addition, it is important to ensure that the name of the column is either the same as the status or that a similar term is chosen. This makes the board easier to use for users, as it is immediately obvious to which column the corresponding status belongs. Otherwise, it is not possible for users to move issues with a simple drag-and-drop if the source and target statuses are both assigned to the same column. 

9. Use the main filter of Kanban or SCRUM boards correctly

Always set the main filter of the board with "...ORDER BY Rank ASC" at the end. Otherwise you lose the ability to order the displayed issues vertically, which is essential for backlog management and a useful thing to have control over the display order of the cards on the board.

10. Use Quick Filter

Set Quick Filters as needed to ensure clarity on the boards. You can set a Quick Filter for any field in Jira via JQL in the board configuration. This way, a crowded board can be reduced to the desired information very quickly. For example, if you want to show tickets on the board that are only assigned to your person, a corresponding Quick Filter could be "Assignee = X", or better "Assignee = currentUser()". You can find more information about Quick Filter here.


As a Jira Admin, you don't just have to make sure the system runs smooth and stable. You have to make sure that the system always remains clear and that well-considered adjustments are made. Customizations in workflows, projects and custom fields help the teams in their daily work, but make it difficult for you to keep the system "clean". 

Do you need help using Jira or does your company want to customize the system to meet its needs? Our Atlassian consultants will be happy to help you. Contact now.

Introduction of Jira

Guide - How to successfully implement Jira in your company and team

There are many project management tools on the market, but none of them is as versatile as Jira. The software integrates perfectly with common project management approaches, including the agile SCRUM methodology. Jira is therefore perfectly suited for software development, but it can also be used for many other business areas. Digitizing existing business processes and centralizing the way we work encourages collaboration on cross-functional topics and creates a shared understanding for common issues and projects. But as with any new tool, each employee first needs an introduction to Jira software as well as to a different approach to work. Find out how to successfully implement Jira in your company here.

Table of Content

  1. Convince your users from Jira
  2. Introduction to agile project management
  3. Understanding the language of Jira - terminology and co.
  4. Organize Jira correctly
  5. Working with Jira

Unleash your Jira potential

Jira Consulting

1. convince your users

Every employee is skeptical at first and has lots of questions. Why do we need a new project management tool? What are the advantages of the software? Where are the differences to the old solution? Why should we want to use Jira at all? What will Jira do for me?

This is where understanding and answering the "why" and "what's in it for me?" is important. It will help you drive adoption of Jira and thus gain internal Jira champions. This way you guarantee early support for the cause. Conviction is thus one of the most important factors. 

Now you're probably asking yourself how you can best accomplish this task. You should focus on communicating to your employees why Jira is used and what added value (e.g. through features or benefits) the software brings. Benefits can be time savings, digitalized and automated processes, or improved productivity. If your company is also active in software development, you can talk about the synergies of Jira with agile methods such as SCRUM.

Kanban and SCRUM in Jira

2. introduction to agile project management

You could almost say Agile is Jira and Jira is Agile. Jira provides everything you need to introduce agile project management into your organization (if you haven't already).

What is "Agile"?

Agile is a process of project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to customers faster and with fewer defects. Agile is an iterative approach that helps teams deliver work in small but actionable units. Requirements, plans, and deliverables are continuously evaluated so teams can easily respond to change.

➞ Learn more about Agile here

In agile project management, this is usually based on two frameworks resorted to. Kanban and SCRUM. Both offer a number of advantages in the handling and execution of tasks.

SCRUM Board and Backlog in Jira


SCRUM is ideally suited for software development. This has the advantage that a project can be completed in a structured manner in a series of time-defined iterations (sprints / work packages). In each Sprint, the tasks defined in the sprint planning are processed and the tickets are discussed in daily stand-ups.The point here is to find out what everyone is working on and to solve all possible problems (Blocker) to identifywhat could prevent a task from being completed within the sprints timeframe. 

Kanban Board in Jira


The Kanban framework is, unlike with SCRUM, based on a continuous delivery of work packages / tasks (tickets) In addition, the status of a ticket can be viewed at any time (e.g. Todo, In Progress, Done). An essential component of Kanban is to manage the "Work in progress (WIP)" to limitThe limitation of work-in-progress allows you to identify and eliminate bottlenecks in the workflow faster. Kanban is perfectly suited for teams that are not involved in software development (e.g. marketing, design, sales, etc.).

An Introduction of Jira also means using agile methods and internalize it. 

The last question to ask is why adopt Agile?

Agile has some benefits that are hard to ignore. One key point is that Agile bridges the gap between development and business


Management has decided that a new intranet should be developed. The new development has an impact on several business units and teams. Besides development, IT infrastructure, marketing & communication and design are involved in the project. In addition, the finance department has an eye on the development costs. 

The stakeholders involved therefore need a tool and framework to handle the project. So in Jira, multiple teams can work on a project with different frameworks. Marketing, design etc. with the help of Kanban boards. Development and infrastructure with SCRUM. 

Understanding the language of Jira - terminology and co.


Jira Terms and Structure

With every new tool, a new terminology is introduced into a company. However, it is not always easy to make sense of it, especially in the beginning. When introducing Jira, you should therefore make sure that every employee is familiar with it. new terms and ticket structure understands and internalized. 

  • Jira Issues: Work packages or tasks of any size are a fundamental element of Jira and come in different types (e.g. Story, Epic, Task or Bug).
  • Boards: A visual illustration of all active issues
  • Projects: These consist of a collection of issues with the same content reference and workflow.

The Terminology in Jira can be a bit overwhelming.

So here's an example:

A new corporate website is to be developed (the project). The project then includes several larger project steps such as content, website environment and design. These are then the so-called Epics. Within the Epics there are further individual Tasks. For the epic content these can be texts and graphics. For the environment, the purchase of a server. Within the tasks it can happen that further subtasks are needed, like texts for home, products or services. 

How you ultimately divide up these tasks is, of course, up to you and will vary depending on the project.


Jira Workflows

As already mentioned, in agile project management, Work steps mapped by workflows. A workflow is, so to speak, a Cycle through the issues. Each step in the workflow represents a specific Status. Initially, the status is declared as "To Do". Only when you start working on the ticket, it slides into "In Progress". When you have finished the task, you move it to "Done". 

4. organize Jira correctly

To properly organize Jira, you first need to understand the terminology. Then you can get started and configure Jira according to your company's (or team's) needs. 

Labels, Components & Versions

With more and more tickets, issues and projects, Jira can also become increasingly confusing. In order not to lose the overview then, Jira offers an additional organizational level. These are Labels, components and versions. This increases the findability of your tickets / issues in Jira and refines the search. 

  • Labels: Think of labels as tags. They can help you categorize and search topics, and also have the advantage of allowing you to use multiple labels per topic.
  • Components: Components are subsections of projects. They merely subdivide a project into smaller parts.
  • Versions: Versions are specific points in time in a project. They mainly help you to define milestones.

Access permissions and user roles

In Jira, you can assign different roles to users (and more). Each of these roles has certain rights & privileges. However, it's important to note that not every user has full access to all of Jira's features. Grant certain rights only to system administrators. Otherwise, at some point everyone does what they want and countless different elements are created. Ultimately, this makes the system unmanageable and confusing. When implementing Jira, you should make sure that every user understands their role.

With the right configuration of user roles you can prevent this. If you want to know more about user roles, access options and rights, our solution for Identity and Access Management helps you equip users with the right roles.

➞ How to automate user permissions: XALT IAM

Working with Jira

5. working with Jira

They say preparation is half the effort, and in the case of Jira, that's true. Creating issues (tickets) is easy to understand. Users just have to make sure that the correct issue type is used and the ticket is created in the applicable project. 

Users should give the issues a clear title and in any case add a short description of what is to be achieved. Additionally, issues can be prioritized in the ticket creation to convey the importance of the task.

Once the ticket is created, you can find it in the Backlog of the respective project and you can set the status to "To Do" if required. 


Another important tool for working with Jira is the commenting feature. Through @mentioning, you can bring a specific issue to the attention of your team members and take many conversations out of isolated areas like email and chat to have the respective communication transparent and contextualized in the related issue. It's just like mentioning someone on Facebook, but this way you can make sure your team members are notified. 


As a project management tool, Jira offers countless functions and personalization options. In order for your team to be able to work with the software right from the start, it is up to you (a Jira Champion) to convince them of this. However, you can only do this if you demonstrate all the advantages of Jira in the best possible way when introducing it and remove any reservations. You should therefore make sure that everyone understands and internalizes the Jira terms. Also, make sure that user roles are different from each other and have certain rights.

Unleash your Jira potential

Jira Consulting