Top ten JIRA tips!

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We were recently asked about our top ten JIRA tips. Rather than talking about keyboard shortcuts, we thought about the ways that you can really get JIRA working for your business.

As a result, many of the points below rely on first answering the question, "What are my processes, and how do I want to reflect these in JIRA?" However, the reward for getting past this means that you and your teams can use JIRA to work in a more collaborative and scalable fashion.

If you've got any thoughts on what the the top ten should be, please let us know at!

1) Use workflows to extend the power of JIRA, and work more scalably

Maybe you've outgrown "To Do", "In Progress" and "Done". Custom workflows can be used to formalize processes and allow teams to work more scalably, and ensure that the right people are doing the right things. Keeping workflows simple is the best approach - too much granularity can mean that you end up with a workflow that does not represent reality, and which is difficult to use.

2) Use custom fields to capture information specific to your business

To prevent performance degradation, use screen schemes to restrict the fields that get shown. Field types can be chosen for specific varieties of information, such as checkboxes or text boxes.

3) Tailor JIRA's permissions to suit your processes

Keep control over your information. Use project roles where possible to avoid performance degradation.

4) Issue types that reflect your business

Custom issue types are a good way of allowing users to record objects that are specific to your business, such as "Blogpost" or "HR Candidate". Used these in conjunction with custom workflows for powerful, business specific solutions.

5) Don't break your live environment

Use a test environment to ensure that changes you make will not impact your live systems.

6) Share the goodness

Share information across your users by using Gadgets to creating custom dashboards, or link issues direct into Confluence pages.

7) Increase JIRA's power with the Marketplace 

Check out the Marketplace for plugins - some of them will radically increase the capability of JIRA, such as Zephyr for test management, Tempo Timesheets for time tracking, or our own DataQA plugin for testing data.

8) High Availability

If this a big issue for you, consider DataCenter. This uses a different licensing scheme to JIRA Server, but enables a clustered approach for the most demanding environments.

9) Custom searches in JIRA

Finding the information you need inside JIRA. Check out JQL - JIRA's own structured query language. Search JIRA like a Boss! 

10) Extend and integrate

You don't have to keep JIRA in it's own silo. Extend its capabilities and reach by using its open REST API to integrate with other systems, or write a custom plugin for full control!

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