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How TETRA is Using ProForma to Reduce Jira Custom Fields

by Jenny Choban on April 8, 2019

We've been collaborating with Jira super-user, Rachel Wright, on a series of blog posts aimed at helping you manage Jira custom field bloat. We haven't talked too much about ProForma in that series, but reducing the need for Jira custom fields is one of the key advantages of using ProForma. Here's a case study.


TETRA Technologies, Inc. is a global oil and gas services company with operations on six continents.  As heavy Jira users, they try to capture all of the information they need while keeping Jira administration as simple as possible. This means they needed to keep the number of custom fields from getting out of hand. 


Fewer Jira Custom Fields

According to Art Mack, Research Manager at TETRA®, they would need literally hundreds of new Jira custom fields to capture all the needed information. That's a lot of work to create, configure and maintain. As their number of custom fields ballooned, they were soon faced with performance degradation. 

They tried work arounds to combat the problem. They created pages in Confluence with templates that had tables linking to the Jira issues. While the teams at TETRA® love Confluence for its ability to help teams create content, this setup is was burdensome on users. They had to create the Jira issue, then create the Confluence page and then link the two.

That’s why in March of 2017, TETRA® decided to install the ProForma add-on to use with Jira Service Desk.  They found the set-up to be very quick. made use of some of the free, pre-made form templates.  After successfully using ProForma for information capture in JSD, they was rolled it out to other projects that structured data on Jira issues.

Art said, "When you added the capability of syncing with Jira fields and creating a Jira issue, we took it to the next level, using it in even more Jira projects and getting internal users to create issues using Issue Forms. It's cleaner and simpler than entering directly into Jira, plus you can capture more information if you need."

Several teams are now using ProForma with Jira. Research and development, operations, purchasing, marketing, sales and manufacturing teams are all getting in on the action.

Some are filling out the forms in JSD to submit internal requests. Nearly all the fields are synced with Jira in this case and it makes it easy to export the Jira issue by simply downloading the form as a PDF.


User-Friendly Forms

Another example is a Management of Change, which they have as a Jira Core project, with a lot of fields that don't need to be Jira fields. It's quite a complicated form thanks to all the information required, but ProForma is a great way to present the form to the user, with help to fill it in and capture the information needed. Several ProForma features – dynamic fields, unlimited instructions and the option to include hints/examples on every field – make it easy for users.

"We also have less custom Jira fields, so my job is easier and I am not worried about people asking to capture more data that would be outside of Jira.”

ProForma has saved Art and his team a lot of work and made Jira a much more flexible and easy to use tool. "The app just keeps on getting better and the advent of creating Jira issues from the forms really started us using it even more.” TETRA® finds ProForma to be a simple way to capture data and get it into Jira while keeping a lid on the volume of custom fields. It's forms done right.


If you're heading to Atlassian Summit in Las Vegas, come see us! We'll be unveiling some exciting new functionality and giving away copies of our book on Battling Custom Field Bloat.