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Jira best practices for admins and teams: 4 tips to improve how you use Jira

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Emma Smith
11 July 2021 Jira
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Are you using Jira in the most productive, efficient way? Make sure you're following these Jira best practices.

Jira is one of the most powerful - and popular - products in the suite of Atlassian tools. Our 2020 State of the Atlassian Ecosystem Report revealed that 88% of respondents used Jira in their workplace, and most users are going beyond the standard out-of-the-box functionality. 

With 87% of respondents customising their Atlassian tools, it’s clear there are plenty of opportunities for admins to enhance the way their organisations are using Jira, whether that’s through add-on apps, training or simple techniques to get more from their products. And with frequent product releases and updates, such as the wind-down of Jira Server licenses, Jira admins must maintain their knowledge and seek out the latest tips and tricks to remain productive and efficient.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a selection of the latest Jira best practices to help admins - and teams - achieve more in 2021 and beyond.

Best practice 1: Keep your Jira instance clean and tidy

Organisation is one of the biggest challenges for Jira admins, especially those who are tasked with keeping large instances under control. Atlassian’s number one tip for admins is to keep Jira clean and simple for users, as outlined in their ‘Be a Jira Hero’ ebook. One best practice to implement is scheduling time in for weekly maintenance. During this time, review all active issues and do the following:

  • Make sure there are no duplicate issues
  • Check for errors or typos
  • Ensure all essential fields are filled out
  • Look at issue summaries and descriptions, check for consistency and update any fields with missing details
  • Add keywords to issue descriptions
  • Remove unnecessary custom fields
  • Update dates 

Clean and consistent issues are the starting point to a more organised Jira instance. By making time for a tidy-up every week, you’ll create a more structured, streamlined instance for your users and hopefully set some good habits in place!

Best practice 2: Use automation tools for Jira to save your team time

Most Jira admins will already be using one or more add-ons to enhance their Jira functionality and make the product more bespoke to their team. For many, automation tools play a major role in this. Our research shows that 78% of Atlassian users want more automation capabilities, with 96% saying this would increase productivity and job satisfaction. This suggests Jira admins would benefit from adding an automation tool to their suite of add-ons.

ScriptRunner for Jira is among Atlassian’s top-selling Jira apps, and for good reason. It allows you to automate, customise, and extend Jira to make the complex simple and save time. You can automate repetitive tasks, reports, calculations, and error-prone processes to keep things running smoothly. ScriptRunner enables you to customise Jira’s workflows, interface, and more to fit your business processes, rather than trying to make your processes fit into Jira’s defaults. You can also keep everything aligned and stitched together by connecting Jira to your Confluence, to your code manager, CRM software, or any essential data source using ScriptRunner.

If you’re frustrated by the limitations of out-of-the-box Jira, ScriptRunner is the perfect tool, providing powerful time-saving functionality.

You can get even more from ScriptRunner if you are familiar with Groovy scripting and JQL, but no-code customisations, built-in scripts, and a huge library of templated scripts make it easy even for beginners to get comfortable with code and unleash their imaginations with ScriptRunner.

Pro tip from the ScriptRunner team: to boost your automation capabilities. It allows you to automatically combine, calculate and consolidate information from multiple sources giving you more hands-off time to focus on work that really matters.

Find out more about ScriptRunner for Jira here.

Best practice 3: Get ready for Jira Cloud - or Data Center

Many organisations are busy preparing for a new platform, or may have already made the switch. Atlassian no longer sells Jira Server licenses and as of February 2024, Server customers will no longer have access to maintenance and support. For many, this has triggered a move from Server to either Data Center or Cloud - but this can be a time-consuming and challenging process. 

Migrating to Jira Cloud or Data Center can raise questions for admins, such as whether add-on tools will be supported on the new platform. We’re seeing a raft of Cloud versions of longstanding apps emerging onto the market, including the newly released Project Configurator for Jira Cloud, which should make the transition easier. However, the decision to migrate should not be taken lightly, and teams would be wise to consider all options before taking the plunge.

Whether you’re about to embark on a migration or are just starting to think about moving on from Server, we recommend doing your research and seeking support to help make this as smooth as possible. Check out our guide to migrating from Atlassian Server here or find out how Project Configurator can help you on your migration journey.

Best practice 4: Make Jira training a priority for yourself and your team

Because Jira is constantly being updated, so too should your knowledge base. Make ongoing education a priority, both for yourself as a Jira admin and for your team of Jira users.

There are some great resources to help you and your team stay up to date with the latest Jira best practices, including the Atlassian Community forum and the Atlassian Ecosystem podcast. For ongoing training, Learn for Jira can be rolled out across your team to allow them to learn Jira in Jira. By equipping your team with the tools to keep their Jira knowledge up to date, you’ll help them become more efficient and save yourself time.

Pro tip from the Learn for Jira team: Make training short, sharp and achievable. Teams respond better to hands-on training that they can access in their own time, and this is even more valuable when working remotely. Seek out virtual education opportunities to help encourage your team to do more in Jira.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jira tips and tricks. For more insights, check out of blog on the benefits of remote Jira training, or watch our recent webinar on Jira time-saving tips to become even more efficient.

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About the authors

Emma Smith

Emma is a Content Marketing Manager specialising in Project Configurator for Jira, Learn for Jira and Content Formatting Macros for Confluence.