I’m a quasi-Luddite. I get that we need to be adding new features to stay competitive and to be relevant to our users, but I also think there was some wisdom in that old adage about “not fixing what ain’t broke”. So I sympathize with the folks who are struggling to find their most-used fields on the new issue view.
However, I can also see where at Atlassian was coming from. When I first started using Jira, I found the issue screen a bit overwhelming. There were a lot of fields that weren’t relevant to what I was doing, and I didn’t always understand the logic of how fields were placed on the screen. That was then. Now that I know my way around Jira a little better, the new issue view feels like something has been taken away.
Clearly Atlassian is doing their best to accommodate both types of users. If you’re wondering about how much information should be collected and shown on your Jira issues, I’d like to suggest another option - forms.
ProForma allows you to create forms that embed in Jira issues. You can add as many fields to the form as needed, and as many forms to the issue as needed. It’s a great way to store a lot of information on a Jira issue without cluttering up your screen.
Benefits of Using Forms in Jira
There are additional advantages to using forms to collect information on your issue:
- Detailed, organized information
Many processes require multiple sets of data. Adding forms to Jira issues makes it easy to keep that data organized and accessible. You can include multiple forms on a single issue and view which ever form you need with one click.
- Power over data collection is given to the people who use the data
ProForma forms (any number of fields on those forms) will not require complex configuration or negatively impact the performance of your Jira instance. Thus you can safely delegate form creation to a member of the team (with Administer Project permissions) that uses data. These are the people who are best qualified to decide which fields are required, what options to include in choice lists, what business rules should be built into the validation and what questions require hints and examples.
- Fewer custom fields
Fields which are included on a form, do not need to be added to the issue itself. This allows you flexibility in collecting data while simultaneously reducing the need for custom fields. Fewer custom fields means better performance and easier Jira administration.
- Linking to Jira fields
In cases where you will need to query or report on a field value, or use the field to trigger automation, you can easily link a form field to a Jira field. You get the functionality of a Jira field, while keeping the data in a logical grouping (on the form) and ensuring that it is updated whenever the form is updated.
- Publish forms to the JSD portal
If you’re using Jira Service Desk, you can also publish ProForma forms to the customer portal. This is a great way to let service teams collect the specific information they need when a customer places a request. Time is saved on both ends because teams are empowered to deliver one-touch service.
Forms in Jira issues are like a well-organized storage closet. You don't have to choose between being a packrat or a minimalist. Instead, you can enjoy having a place for everything and everything in it's place.