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ProForma: Helping You Manage Jira Growth

by Jenny Choban on May 17, 2018
Growth happens. Especially Jira growth. Atlassian recently released an infographic with lessons learnt from some of their largest customers – enterprises with literally thousands of Jira projects, hundreds of thousands of users and millions of issues. Even if you’re not using Jira at that scale, you can apply these lessons to make Jira expansion more manageable. So what were the big take aways?


Plan for Jira Growth

A user recently commented that Jira was “spreading like wildfire” in his organization. It’s understandable. All teams have tasks that need to be tracked, that need to be transparent and that need to progress through a workflow.  Expanding Jira to more teams allows your organization to leverage knowledge it already has and avoid the risks involved in deploying unfamiliar tools.

However, that expansion needs to be planned and managed. If you’re using expanding Jira Service Desk, consider prioritizing teams that handle a high volume of requests – teams like HR, who deal with every employee in your organization. Also, consider how you will manage and possibly expand your Jira support project to deal with an increased number of Jira admin requests.

Keep Customizations in Check

Many of those requests will be for customizations. After all, flexibility is one of Jira’s most important characteristics and is likely fueling Jira growth in your organization. Keeping your instance as simple as possible will help optimize performance and manageability. Custom fields can be especially problematic, as too many will negatively impact Jira’s performance.

Forms are a viable alternative to custom fields. ProForma makes it easy to create forms that embed in Jira issues. This means teams can collect all of the process-specific, field level data they need without requiring Jira custom fields.  All of the form fields are organized and accessible on the Jira issue. You can also set form fields to link to Jira fields for easy querying and reporting.

Have a Process for Managing Change

Managing Jira growth also means having processes in place for handling change. How does someone in your organization go about getting a custom workflow? Who decides if a request for a custom field will be granted? What is the criteria for installing new apps? As your Jira instance grows, you’ll want to have standardized processes for managing those requests.

Fortunately, you can manage Jira using Jira itself. ProForma can help. We’ve created a library of form and process templates (which include a JSD request type, portal form, workflow and any needed secondary forms) for teams across your organization. This includes templates for requesting:

Thus, you can easily collect all the information for deciding if changes are justified, and implementing those that are.

Vet, Use and Combine Jira Apps Strategically

One of the greatest advantage of using Jira is that it gives you access to the Atlassian ecosystem, with a wealth of apps that extend Jira’s functionality. Currently, there are more than 1,600 Jira apps in the Marketplace and Atlassian’s research indicates that there large customers use an average of 23 different apps.

Noting that it is easier to give than to take away, Atlassian recommends having a process for vetting apps. Is there a business case for the app, or does the user making the request want it just because its cool? As you consider the case for installing an app, also consider how it will interact with other apps you’re already using. Sometimes apps’ functionality can compliment each other. Could you collect needed information on a ProForma form, pipe critical data from a form field to a Jira field and use that to trigger automation?

For more advice on managing Jira growth, we recommend Rachel Wright's Jira Strategies Admin Workbook.