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Hooray! The Jira Flexibility-Governance Conundrum Solved!

by Jenny Choban on September 4, 2017

The great thing about Jira is its flexibility. Pretty much anyone can use it for anything. The challenging thing about Jira is its flexibility. Pretty much anyone can use it for anything. Contradictory statements can often be true. In this case, they point the way to a greater truth. Jira is a fabulous tool, but using it properly requires good governance.


The tracking and workflow functions that make Jira ideal for software development can also be beneficial for business teams across an organization.  However, each different team will create issues with different properties they need to track.  The marketing team will probably not want to track the hardware or software environment that relates to an issue. They might want to track the buyer persona.  Finance might want to track how much money is in that new petty cash float. How far should you go to accommodate them? Fields, workflows and screens can be easily customized in Jira, but how much customization do you want to have to support? How many custom fields and workflows can you include before it starts to have an impact on Jira’s performance?

In her excellent resource, Jira Strategy Admin Workbook (Industry Templates, LLC, 2016), Rachel Wright recommends forming a Jira Advisory Board to, among other things, set the criteria for the creation of new projects, the installation of add-ons (now apps) and the use of custom fields.  Deciding when to customize, and even deciding who decides when to customize, is an important step in designing/overseeing your Jira implementation.


ProForma Forms for Jira

At the same time that you want to keep your Jira instance from getting out of control, Jira offers a great solution to all sorts of business processes. This is where the ProForma app comes in – it offers a way to extend Jira’s functionality to specialized business teams without the need for custom fields.  Here’s how it works:

ProForma’s form builder allows any team to create and deploy forms from right within Jira. This means that a specialized team can collect any data elements they want without creating new Jira fields.  It gives business teams a solution to having forms with no workflow; a solution to having important data scattered across long email chains; a solution to having multiple pieces of information lumped together in a description field.  Best of all, it accomplishes this without needing heavy Jira administration.

Creating efficient, well-designed, user-friendly forms takes time, time that business teams might not have, especially if they’re in the middle of converting to a new system.  So to help get your business teams up and running, we’ve created a library of customizable forms and process templates (forms and their associated JSD request type). These forms were designed with input for experts in areas like HR, Finance, Procurement and Marketing.  Installation is easy and teams will be able to update their forms whenever needed, without requiring IT assistance.

It’s a simple solution to the Jira flexibility-governance conundrum. Whether you're using Jira Software, Jira Core or Jira Service Desk, ProForma provides the forms. Jira provides the workflow. Teams can manage their business processes in JIRA without making Jira unmanageable.