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Ask An Atlassian Expert: Advice for Optimizing Your Jira Use

By Elizabeth Clor

Organizations have made dramatic changes to their tech stacks: Last year, the average company reportedly used 110 SaaS apps compared to just 16 in 2019, a near sevenfold increase. To address novel remote-work needs and increasing application sprawl, many organizations are now rethinking their software tools and processes.

Whenever organizational needs change, it’s important to evaluate how your technology needs to change, too. As a highly adaptable tool, Jira’s flexibility in particular makes it easy to develop along with your organization—it’s applicable for many different types of teams and can be configured for any type of project.

As an Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partner, Contegix helps organizations implement, configure, and optimize Jira. To help learn how to get the most out of your Jira instance, Atlassian expert Mike Brown, Senior Vice President of Professional Services at Contegix, answers a few common questions about how this tool can support your organization’s needs today and as they evolve.

Your Questions About Jira, Answered

Q: We’re in the process of switching to Jira. How can I ensure my employees know how to use it effectively and efficiently?

Atlassian’s library of best practices in Jira can be helpful as you get started, but there’s no out-of-the-box Jira configuration that’s right for every organization. For Jira to be effective, it must be shaped to your organization’s specific needs. That means it’s good practice to evaluate your company’s existing procedures, requirements, and goals, and make any necessary changes, such as eliminating redundant workflows, before transitioning to Jira. And because Jira is an agile project management tool built on the foundations of agile methodology, you should also review if your processes are sustainable, dynamic, and efficient.

A Platinum Solution Partner like Contegix can directly support Jira users with process improvements and custom configurations. Contegix also offers personalized professional training courses, led by U.S.-based, Atlassian-certified trainers. Contegix tailors training to make sure your entire team is equipped to get the most out of your Atlassian products, whether someone is a Jira user, admin, or trainer.  

Q: I'm worried about maintaining data quality as we migrate from our previous tool. How can I support data quality during this process?

The Jira Importers plugin safely imports data in two formats, JSON and CSV. But to protect data quality, don’t miss a crucial step before the import: make sure that your data files are formatted to be compatible with Jira.

CSV files have specific formatting requirements for import into Jira that may require manual reformatting. In JSON files, Jira Importers allows you to import files in a basic format. For a more elaborate format, use the Jira REST API instead, which offers customization that can help maintain consistency even with complex data.

An Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner like Contegix can also work with teams to create custom solutions for transferring data from other platforms. This can lower the chances of an incomplete transfer, redundancy, and human error.

Q: How can I ensure my user list and access permissions stay up to date as employees come and go?

Permissions are managed through permission schemes, which link users, groups, and roles to the projects they need to access. On a global scale, it can be helpful to assign permission schemes to groups of users, which lets Jira administrators reassign and revoke permissions efficiently across the entire platform.

For individual projects, Atlassian recommends assigning users to project roles and then granting those project roles their necessary permissions, rather than manually providing access to individuals. That way, when a new team member is onboarded to a project, they’re automatically given Jira permissions based on their title. This strategy minimizes the number of schemes in your site, saving time and hassle as users come and go.

To help save even more time, marketplace apps like Access Management for Jira can automate permissions-related tasks, such as creating users, editing groups and project roles, and regulating access to external tools.

Q: I have unique reporting needs. How can I configure Jira in a way to pull the right information?

Certified Atlassian marketplace apps can also help here. For instance, if your team needs a more efficient way to manage dependencies, Dependency Mapper for Jira can offer additional insight to help prevent bottlenecks before they begin.

Remember, if Jira is supporting your current processes and providing the data you need for reporting, then the Jira implementation is successful. However, because Jira is so customizable, and because new updates and configurations are continually becoming available, there will always be room to evolve your use of the platform. This is where Contegix specialists can offer support. With wide-ranging experience in customizations, Contegix has helped companies such as American Software and Terminix in supporting advanced reporting configurations.

Q: I use Jira on a server instance. How will the upcoming expiration of Jira server licenses affect my use of the product?

Users on Jira server licenses will experience diminishing capability and security once Atlassian retires support for those licenses on February 15, 2024. Atlassian strongly recommends migrating to data center or cloud licenses to benefit from bug fixes and product improvements before support goes away altogether.

If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at Contegix’s Atlassian Cloud Migration guide. We have years of experience from leading migrations to make your transition smoother. Contegix experts can also work directly with your team to find a solution that works specifically for your organization, alleviating stress on your internal resources and freeing time to focus on day-to-day operations.

Q: What other Atlassian products might help optimize my organization’s use of Jira?

In Jira Service Management, Confluence provides the capability to act as a Knowledgebase for Service Management customers looking for solutions to common incidents or requests. Integrating Confluence and Jira allows users to seamlessly access content from each platform so entire teams can stay in sync on every part of their projects.

For software teams, Atlassian Bitbucket is often an essential integration. Bitbucket offers Git repository management and built-in CI/CD using pipelines so that software teams with many users can collaborate on source code from afar. This integration enables teams to sync both code and issues between Bitbucket and Jira, keeping everyone in the loop on code changes and new releases.

From training to performance optimization to migration assistance, Contegix is equipped to optimize any organization’s Jira use at every step of the way. Learn more about how Contegix can support your team to get the most out of your Atlassian products.