Matt DoarThis is a guest post by Matt Doar of CustomWare. He has written two books about JIRA. One of which, Practical JIRA Administration, is up to date with all of the latest JIRA 5 goodness.

As we all know, JIRA is extremely flexible. You have the option of customizing pretty much everything. However, learning how to take advantage of JIRA’s adaptability can be tough for new users. All of the Atlassian tools including JIRA have excellent documentation online, but much of it is very specific to the purpose of each feature. For example, there is a page about defining a version in JIRA, but the documentation doesn’t cover the different ways you could use JIRA versions because there are so many possibilities.

Years of Experience

practical jira administrationI’ve been helping my customers figure out how to make JIRA work for them for the past 5 years. We’ve been able to do some amazing things with JIRA, but some of the same questions kept coming up (keep reading for some examples). I decided that writing a book would be the best way to answer some of these questions.

With the help of O’Reilly, I have recently written and published two books: Practical JIRA Administration and Practical JIRA Plugins. The process behind the new O’Reilly e-books promises to make it easier to update a book’s content so that it doesn’t become out-of-date as fast. This allowed me to make the necessary changes for JIRA 5.0. In addition, all of their books are now Print On Demand.

Schemes in JIRA

One of the questions that I frequently hear is: what do all of JIRA’s schemes do? They do a lot, so it helps to remember JIRA and the Seven Schemes:

  • Notification (Sneezy) – sprays out email.
  • Permissions (Grumpy) – says “you can’t do that!” in a project
  • Issue Security (Bashful) – says “you can’t see me” or the issues it secures
  • Issue Type (Happy) – simply the issue types a project can use
  • Workflow (Dopey, goes with Sleepy) – which workflow is used for each issue type
  • Field Configuration (Sleepy, goes with Dopey) – which fields are valid for each issue type
  • Issue Type Screen Scheme (Doc) – different from the others since it has two levels: which screens should each issue type use to control where fields appear and when do those screens appear (i.e. when creating, editing, or viewing an issue)

If you want to learn more about schemes, check out the Understanding Schemes chapter of Practical JIRA Administration (this is a free preview of the book).

How Can You Learn More?

By far the most common question people ask me is: are we using JIRA the right way? Usually, if it’s improving the efficiency of your employees and projects, the answer is yes, but there is often a better way to go about doing things in JIRA. That’s what the books and I help people discover.

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