What is a Project?

A JIRA project is a collection of issues, and is defined according to your own requirements.

Roles within a project:

  • Project Admin – The user responsible for project management, overseeing issues, and the final deliverable
  • Project Member – A participant in the completion of the project.  This user generally creates and or completes issues. The Project Admin must also be a member of the Project Members in order to fully manage the project.
  • End User – A user can browse projects and issues.  They can create new issues and add comments or attachments.

Who can create a Project?

By default pretty much everyone in the system can create projects from one of three templates:

  • Simple (generally used for Service Areas or simple projects)
  • Complex Agile (used for development projects utilizing Agile methodology)
  • Complex Non-Agile (generally used for complex projects)

Who can view a project?

Everyone, by default.  To make a project “private”, simply empty the membership of the “End Users” project role.

What is an Issue?

An Issue in JIRA can be many things.  It is the atomic chunk of work that is being tracked and organized.  An issue can be a Task, Sub Task, Bug, New feature, Improvement, or even some others that are specific to certain types of Projects.

Each issue has priority (in order of severity): Trivial, Minor, Major, Critical, Blocker


A component is a per-project way to organize issues.  For example, there is a project for Database Services and separate components for the MySql and MSSQL services.


Labels are tags that are applied to an issue that are system-wide.  So you can look at all issues in the system labeled “documentation” to see the documentation tasks that need to be done.  Or search for “windows2012” to see all of the tasks relating to server operating system upgrades.


These are points-in-time for a project. In software development, version are usually numbered. Other projects are divided into phases. Versions can be applied to issues using the “Fix by version” field on the issue to better organize your timeline of task completion.


The System Dashboard is the first thing you see when you login.  It has a list of issues assigned to you and an activity stream to the side.  There are a number of gadgets that can be applied to a dashboard. Anyone can create a dashboard for themselves, customize it, and share it.

5 Steps to Build a Killer Dashboard

Agile Boards

Anyone can create an Agile board for themselves and customize it.  Agile boards are based on an issue filter and can be further organized into swim lanes.  A swim lane represents a row on the board and logically groups the issues retrieved by the issue filter.

All Agile boards are viewable to everyone by default, but this means that the search criteria and the settings for the swim lanes are saved and shared.  For example, if you made a board with an issue filter that retrieved all issues in your Personal To-Do list, another user could view this board.  However, that user would only see tasks they have access to see.  Most likely, they would see their own Personal To-Do items organized as you had configured.  To change access to your agile board, you must restrict the sharing of the issue filter that the Agile board is referencing.

Github Integration

Access to read Github repos can be setup for Jira to poll and look for commit messages.  By referencing a Jira Issue number (PROJECTKEY-#) in a commit message, the commit will be added to the Jira Issue.