Questions for Jira Administrator candidates can be based on use case scenarios. These scenarios are phrased as long descriptions of situations and resulting problems for users. The candidate’s task is to analyze the data and come up with the best solution. This article is a continuation of my previous publication with 10 questions to candidates for Jira Administrators. You will find here another portion of slightly more twisted questions phrased as use cases.
Use Case 1: Limiting available resolutions
A test manager is managing the process of bug fixing. He is having problems explaining developers which resolutions to use and which not during the resolving bugs. He wants to ensure that each bug raised is resolved only with one of three resolution types. What can you do to achieve that?
You need to limit the list of available resolutions. We can only assume that during the bug fixing there might be some specific resolutions needed. To add new resolution types, you need to go to Jira Administration/ Resolutions and add them there globally.
The problem that often arises is that over the period of Jira instance life, there are more and more resolutions added. When someone then creates a resolution screen, all these resolutions are visible to a user.
Each resolution added has its unique ID and this number needs to be used as Jira workflow properties. Go to your workflow and modify the resolving transition adding a property:
Put the Jira workflow in Edit mode, select resolving transition and add the property key with IDs of desired resolutions.
Use Case 2: Revert changes in workflows
Based on the requirements you received, you modified a workflow and deleted some post functions and conditions. You test the new version of your workflow and you realize that this was a mistake and you want to go back to the previous version. What functionality can you use in Jira to revert the changes in a workflow?
Once you make a change, this change cannot be reverted. There is no Undo Ctrl+Z in Jira in workflows and anywhere else. It is especially important in Jira Workflows because their configuration can be very complex. If you add role based conditions and some post-functions even in only one transition, once you delete this transition and save the workflow, this configuration is gone for good. That is why a Jira Administrator needs to be careful and have a good documentation available.
Coming back to Jira questions. Some questions may suggest that there is some functionality which does not exist in Jira. For example, a question may suggest that you can create workflow automations in Jira Server. Yes, you can but you need to install an additional app. There is no automation in Jira Server out of the box. However, Jira Cloud has Automation for Jira available without the need to install it.
Use Case 3: Troubleshoot workflow permissions
You are notified that a manager left company. This person was assigned to a few processes in Jira as an Approver. Now there are many issue tickets which cannot be resolved because there is no Resolve button visible on the screen. Due to some configuration mistakes, it is not visible to anyone including project administrator. What could be the reason?
There are so many situations and reasons why a transition may not be visible to a user. Potential reasons for that could help you create 10 or 15 questions just on this very topic. One of the more advanced reasons include using workflow conditions based on permissions. In order to investigate the reason why a resolution is not visible, you will need to edit a workflow and take a look at the configuration.
As you can see in the configuration, the condition is based not on the project role, but rather on a permission. If a user has a specific permission, in this case Resolve issues, this will automatically enable the right to approve an issue. However, it is not best practice and should be avoided. Even worse than that is using the names of specific users in workflow conditions or permission schemes. If you use a single user name then expect problems which are discussed in detail in the demonstration video.
Why should you use roles and not permissions or single user names in workflow conditions?
The reason is the cost of maintenance. You should put project roles directly in conditions, because it will be easier for maintenance.
Do you remember how easy it is to add or remove a user from a role in Jira?
Do you remember that a Project Administrator can do this user maintenance for you as Jira Administrator?
Although it is technically possible to assign workflow conditions to single users or users with specific permissions, it is a best practice to always assign these conditions to project roles. Then any user added to a role in a project will automatically gain permissions in workflows and that will save Jira Administrator’s time.
When you create role-based conditions, also remember to add a role ‘Administrators’. If nobody is assigned to this role, at least someone in a role Administrator will see this transition.
Use Case 4: Notify Jira Users about Jira unavailability
You administer a Jira server and want to inform your internal users about the incoming Jira system unavailability over this weekend. What is the most effective way to publish this message only to logged in users who may work this weekend?
The only logical answer to this requirement is using so called Jira Announcement Banner functionality. In order to set it up you need to go to the System admin menu. Here is the tutorial video which explains what needs to be done
Why a Jira notification banner can be dangerous?
Because with a single click of a mouse you can make the whole server unusable.
If you forget to close all the markup tags, the user and admin pages will not display its content correctly and you will not be able to fix it from the user interface side. You will have to shut Jira down and fix the announcement banner in the database. It is much easier to test the banner in a text file which you can save as an html file. If it works in your browser, it will work in your Jira.
Here is the example code which I used in the demonstration video above:
<div class="aui-message aui-message-info">
<p class="title"><strong>Jira will not be available this weekend</strong></p>
<p>Please make sure to finish your work by 6 pm on Friday</p>
Before you go…
Discussing use cases is a great way to learn more about candidate’s experience and can be used only as the opener to a longer discussion. In this way you will be able to discuss not only what the use case is all about but also if a candidate had similar situations with other clients or companies.