• Why being a Jira Admin is a Tough Job

    28 July 2022
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    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Thank you Jira Admins

    Do you know that July is the Jira Admin Appreciation Month, and 15th of July is the official Jira Admin Appreciation Day?

    As an Atlassian Solution Partner as well as a Marketplace Partner, we work closely with many Jira Admins and witnessed their passion, ingenuity and dedication on countless occasions.

    We would like to take the opportunity to share some wonderful Jira Admins we encountered

    • Kamar who worked with us to troubleshoot a mystery case on the sudden slowdown in Jira’s performance
    • Jun Xiang who set up a new service desk project all by himself, saving the money to buy an additional system
    • Hany who suggested improvements for a Marketplace app so that his team can work more effectively
    • Graeme who organised lunch and learn sessions for colleagues to share his Jira knowledge
    • Coral who stayed up until 5am so that Jira can be operational when her colleagues return to work on Monday
    • and many others who took time after work to attend Atlassian Community Events to beef up their knowledge

    What people think a Jira Admin do?

    How IT people see each other

    Going by the literal meaning, the Jira administrator is the person who administers the Jira web application.

    What a Jira Admin really do?

    However in the real life, the Jira Admins are responsible for everything that is related to Jira.
    This is a norm because many organisations do not have a team to manage Jira. Usually the Jira admin will have to wear multiple hats. More importantly, these roles also require knowledge of Jira.

    Here are some additional roles the Jira Admins are taking up:

    Jira System Engineer

    This role focuses on tasks related with systems. It requires competency in both inner workings of Jira as well as the backend systems. Some examples of the tasks are:

    • Handle Level 2 support by analysing Jira application or access logs
    • Work with Atlassian Support or App Vendors for complex cases
    • Using SQL on the database to generate reports or patch data
    • Perform Application/Server Performance Tuning
    • Perform upgrades and Disaster Recovery (DR) planning
    • Work with Security to conduct Vulnerability Assessment & Penetration Testing (VAPT)

    Jira Solution Engineer

    This role focuses on the business aspect. By providing solutions using Jira to deliver new capabilities, it increases the ROI. Some examples of the tasks are:

    • Create Jira project templates for new use cases
    • Build Jira workflows that help to improve the flow
    • Design Jira dashboards or BI reports to give visibility to the stakeholders
    • Select Marketplace apps to fulfill business requirements or improve productivity
    • Write scripts to automate some tasks
    • Or even coding Jira plugins for customised features

    Jira Coach

    This role focuses on the people aspect by helping fellow Jira users to use Jira more effectively. Some examples of the tasks are:

    • Conduct training
    • Answer questions related on the usage
    • Write KB articles on Confluence
    • Promote the use of Jira within the organisation
    • Analyse statistics to identify trends and area for improvement
    Additional roles taken up by the Jira Admins. In dedication to all the Jira Admins

    How to help your Jira Admins?

    In some scenarios, the Jira admin might even be a part-time responsibility in additional to their official job description.

    The workload will pile up until the company will engage a Solution Partner or an Atlassian Technical Account Manager for additional support.

    We have listed 9 ways to reduce the workload for your beloved Jira Admins

    1. Give up on your Jira admin rights (if you are not trained in Jira)
      • That can reduce unnecessary fire-fighting due to mistakes
      • Otherwise get proper training to be a Jira admins
    2. Look for the Jira project admins instead of the Jira admins for project permission requests
      • It can be death by a thousand paper cuts with 1 request from every user
    3. Standardize your project workflows
      • It can be messy when every project have a different workflow and different set of custom fields
    4. Raise your requests in Jira
      • That will facilitate tracking and fulfilment by the Jira Admins
    5. Use apps
      • They can automate some of the manual tasks taking up the Jira Admin’s time
    6. Use a LTS version to reduce the upgrade cadence
      • Every upgrade consumes time and effort
      • It is easier to patch an LTS version
      • It helps to minimise the turnaround time in event of a security advisory
    7. Upgrade at least once a year 
      • The risk, complexity and technical debt increases over time
    8. Host Jira behind the firewall
      • Use VPN or Zero Trust Network to access if your team are working remotely
      • That will reduce a lot of work on security
    9. Use Jira Cloud if it is suitable for your organisation
      • Atlassian will take over some of the workload

    Hopefully with more time, the Jira admins can make Jira better for everyone.

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  • Best Practices in Jira Administration – API Tokens

    12 November 2021
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    Best practices in Jira Administration with API Tokens

    One of Jira’s strengths is that it allows 3rd party integration via REST API calls. By providing the username, password and Base URL, it is possible to 3rd party apps to query or update Jira automatically.

    In this article, we will share why using API Tokens is a better and safer option than using Password Authentication.

    The Power of Passwords

    Besides entering passwords on the Jira login screen, it is also possible to provide the passwords on 3rd party applications or scripts to execute REST API calls.

    Some of the use cases are like

    • Create issues from Slack
    • Send alerts to Microsoft Teams
    • Update Jira issues with Commits information from GitHub
    • Integrate with your in-house systems

    If the password fails in the wrong hands, it is possible that

    • Wikileaks of your confidential data
    • Your Jira system can slow down drastically due to excessive API calls which affects the usage of other users

    Benefits of using API Tokens over Passwords

    By using API Token, it improves the security of your Jira instance

    • Safer – The API Token has a certain level of password complexity which defends against dictionary attacks
    • Isolation – It distributes the risk by having a different API token for each 3rd party integration. It is possible to revoke/reset the token for that application without any impact to other applications.
    • Differentiation – With a different mechanism, it is possible to apply more stringent checks on the usage of API Tokens (e.g. restriction by IP address range)
    • Control – It restricts ordinary users from using their credentials to do REST API calls 
    • Availability – For sites running on Single Sign On. Users will not know their passwords other than their Windows passwords
    • Validity – It is possible to set the expiry date of the token

    API Token Authentication for Jira

    We like the API Token Authentication Jira because it offers the following features:

    Disable basic authentication with user passwords

    It allows basic authentication with API Tokens. Currently, it is not possible to use the Jira Data Center’s Personal Access Token together with the username on 3rd party websites. 

    Personal Access Tokens cannot be used for Basic authentication that is commonly used by 3rd party websites

    Warning: If you disable Basic Authentication with passwords in the System Wide settings, you also can’t authenticate on non REST endpoints with API Tokens directly. You can still do that by reusing a session you got from authenticating with an API Token.

    Able to limit usage to particular IP ranges

    It is possible to limit the usage of the API token to the IP address of the internal system. You can ensure the REST API calls are coming from your trusted network.

    You can limit by ip range for API token usage

    Block requests with malicious characters in path

    This is a bonus feature which helps to defend against some attack vectors.

    Block malicious characters in path

    Limit usage of API Tokens

    It is a security best practice to grant rights only to users who needs it and has proper training. There are incidents arising from users who entered their Jira passwords on 3rd party sites or executed a buggy script.

    which users can create API tokens

    Tip: We recommend to create a group “jira-api-users” to manage those service account users who can use API Tokens.

    Set a validity of the API Token

    If the token is for testing or for temporary usage, the Jira admin can just set a shorter validity that will expire automatically. Otherwise it relies on the Jira Admins to remember to revoke the access manually.

    Service Accounts typically do not have a password validity. If the service account is from an Active Directory, there could be disruption if there is a 90 day reset password policy.

    By using the Active Directory passwords, it is possible that account is locked out of all applications after multiple wrong password attempts.

    Control over audit logging

    It offers admins a fine level of control over the information to be logged.

    What should be audit logged
    Logging of failed attempts
    audit logging of permission errors

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  • How to make Jira Dashboards faster

    25 March 2021
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    We have identified Jira Dashboards can be a potential bottleneck while helping our customer to tune the performance of their Jira. This article explains why Jira takes longer time and give some tips on how to speed things up. 

    Why my Jira Dashboard takes a long time to load?

    These are some factors that contributes to the slowness of Jira:

    1. Huge number of gadgets within a single dashboard
    2. Gadgets with complex reporting
    3. Filters with a huge number of issues

    Huge number of gadgets

    Whenever a Jira Dashboard page is loaded, the browser will send a number of requests to the server for all the CSS and Javascript required. (For more details, check out JRASERVER-62126). When there are more gadgets, it will fire more requests.

    It will be faster if you focused doing 1 task at a time versus doing 100 tasks concurrently. By the same principle, your dashboard will load faster if Jira has less requests to work on at the same time.

    Jira helps with a default maximum limit of 20 gadgets within a dashboard. However, it is possible to modify the limits on the number of gadgets on a dashboard.

    When there are way too many requests

    We have a couple of support tickets which the end users added a lot of Gauge Gadgets in their dashboard. As a result, some gadgets on the dashboards cannot load.

    This is because the browser will silently throw the error message Failed to load resource: net::ERR_INSUFFICIENT_RESOURCES if it detects that are way too many requests within a short interval.

    To support the users, we introduced Multiple Filters Counter Gadget that can display multiple counter within a single gadget.

    Multiple Filters Counter Gadget loads faster by rendering multiple gadgets within a single gadget

    Complex Reporting Gadgets

    Not all Jira gadgets are the same. There are some gadgets which involves complex processing. For example, our Tissue for Jira app performs the handy task of traversing all the linked issues and extracting the various field values to present a tabular overview.

    Smart Grouping of linked issues

    If you are using such complex reporting gadget, it will be advisable to have lesser gadgets within that dashboard.

    Filters with many matching issues

    It is likely that some dashboards load very fast when they were created initially. However, as the number of issues in the project increases over time, the performance of the dashboard become slower without the original author noticing.

    This is because there are more issues to be processed. A useful tip will be to time-box your Jira filters within a time period using JQL date functions like startOfYear(), startOfMonth()

    Alternatively, you can use our Rolling Window Monthly/Weekly Gadgets which only retrieve the matching issues in the last X weeks/months specified.

    Rolling Window Weekly Gadget loads your report faster by time-boxing the scope of your report automatically

    Other ways to load your Jira Dashboards faster

    Add more computing power

    The simplest way is to pump more computing resources like more CPU and memory. Jira Data Center also scales the performance by distributing the workload across more nodes.

    Split into multiple dashboards

    As mentioned previously in Best Practices in Jira Dashboard Reporting, it is recommended to keep a dashboard to its objectives to allow people to identify the action required.

    But it is troublesome to have many dashboards

    Beside adding the links to various dashboards as project shortcuts in your Jira project, you can also add links to related dashboards using our free Link Menu Gadget to facilitate navigation. You can also add links to the your Confluence spaces and other related project resources too.

    Links Menu Gadget allows users to link to related project artifacts easily from the dashboard

    If that is still not enough and you want to access your dashboards easily from everywhere in Jira. You can organise your Dashboards in cascading Dashboard Folders which can be accessible in the Jira top menu.

    Cascading Dashboard Folders make it faster to load your dashboards from anywhere in Jira

    What is the performance of your Jira Dashboard?

    You may want to do the 23 seconds test on your frequently used dashboards. If it is taking longer than that, you might want to tidy up your dashboards.

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  • Best Practices in Jira Administration – Be a Jira Hero ebook

    27 May 2020
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    Be a Jira Hero ebook

    This is an ebook on a collection of Jira best practices that Atlassian has gathered from Jira experts around the world.

    The title “Be a Jira Hero – A guide for Admins, by Admins” is well deserving. Therefore we recommend all Jira administrators and wannabes to read the 25 pages ebook.

    Jira Best Practices ebook

    The ebook is well-organised into different sections with short but clear snippets of wisdoms:

    1. How to keep Jira clean and simple for your users
    2. How to use issues effectively
    3. Best practices on managing Custom Fields and Screens
    4. Things to consider when building workflows
    5. Tips on managing backlog in Jira
    6. How to get people to work on the issues
    7. Best practices on designing the Jira dashboards for even more effective reporting
    8. Shortcuts & Hacks to work faster with Jira
    9. How to make use of automation to make life easier

    One Common Mistake

    For example, the book has highlighted in Tip #20 to incorporate Resolution into the workflows. We observed that a number of Jira admins who did not have formal training tends do not understand the concept of resolution. Consequently, they overlook this important step while creating new workflows. While the Jira appears to be working, the implications are some built-in reports may be inaccurate and an important piece of information is missing.

    Our Additional Jira Tip

    Dashboards are very useful if they are used correctly. Team members can have visibility on the progress and be reminded on the outstanding tasks. Furthermore, Management can have clear visibility without spending a lot of time preparing routine reports. As a result, users will understand the value of updating their tasks in Jira.

    Horizontal Bar Chart for Jira
    Multiple Filters Statistics Bar Chart Gadget

    Horse Shoe Gauge Gadget for Jira
    Horseshoe Gadget Jira


    To sum up, if you are a Jira administrator, you should download the ebook and review whether you have been applying the Jira best practices.

    There is no need to provide any email address to download the book. To add on, you may also want to check out the following resources:

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  • Best Practices in Jira Administration – Jira Apps Management

    5 May 2020
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    Best Practices in Jira Administration - Plugin Management
    Atlassian Marketplace in 2013
    Screenshot of Atlassian Marketplace in 2013

    This is a “lengthy” guide on the best practices on choosing and managing a Jira app. Coming from our years of experience as an Atlassian Solution Partner, it covers

    1. How to evaluate a Jira app
    2. How to better manage the apps installed in your Jira instance
    3. Things that Jira administrators need to watch out

    Jira Apps from Atlassian Marketplace

    By installing additional Jira apps, you can add new features to your Jira. For example, some of our popular Jira apps

    There are many more useful Jira apps available at the Atlassian Marketplace.

    Evaluating a Jira App

    Being an Atlassian Solution Partner, there are a number of criteria that we consider before recommending a Jira app to a customer. They are:

    Fit to Purpose

    The app should be able to address the requirements fully. It should be easy to use. The additional feature should not cause confusion to the existing users. We will also assess their design is robust and does not conflict other plugins or use cases.

    Atlassian Marketplace Listing

    Best Practices on Multiple Filters Chart Gadgets Marketplace Listing

    It is very important to check out the app listing on Atlassian Marketplace. It contains a lot of useful informations like

    • Rating and Reviews
    • Number of Active Installations
    • Vendor Accreditation
    • Compatibility with the latest version of Jira
    • Support

    Rating and Reviews

    While the rating and reviews do not mean much for a newly listed app, they do give insight of poor services or badly designed apps. Typically, users will flag out any issues that require attention. So, if there are no negative reviews, it is safe. And if there are a number of good reviews, then it is very safe.

    Number of Active Installations

    If an app is popular with a significant number of active installations, that is a good sign that the app is useful and functioning without major issues.

    Vendor Accreditation

    Atlassian has a Top Vendor program who has met the following requirements

    • App traction – Their paid apps must attain at least 500 active installations
    • Timely support – Has a Service Level Agreement (SLAs) and committed to provide at support for their users
    • Support Website – Customers can raise support request easily via a website or email when necessary
    • Vendor reliability – Atlassian conduct checks periodically to ensure they offer great customer experiences

    For those exceptionally good ones, they are further recognised as Gold/Platinum Top Vendor.

    Versions compatibility

    If the app is only compatible with an older version of Jira, that is a big warning. You do not want to be left dangling helplessly for your next Jira upgrade.


    Some apps are explicitly marked as unsupported. Unless you can accept the risks, it is better to avoid them.

    Data Center Approved

    Data Center approved apps are those that have passed Atlassian’s stringent criteria for use in Jira Data Center environments. As it takes considerable effort to become a Data Center Approved App. vendors will usually do that for their established apps. Therefore this is a plus point.

    Thorough Documentation

    Although some users will usually dive in without reading the user guide, it helps when the documentation contains

    • A quick overview of the functionalities
    • Comprehensive writeup and how to use
    • FAQs to facilitate on-boarding and best practices
    • Up-to-date release notes
    • An easy to navigate structure

    Unless the app is really simple or open source, it is a risk to install an app with a one pager documentation.


    Last but not least, the pricing of the app is also an important consideration. The app should have a reasonable pricing so that you will be assured of support for long term. It is also possible that you will upgrade to higher user tier or Data Center as Jira becomes an enterprise application. Hence the pricing for higher tiers should not exceed your budget.

    For free apps, they should be from a credible publisher with significant number of installations. Otherwise, the publisher may withdraw support in near future.

    Before Installing an App

    Downloading the compatible version

    There is a common mistake for Jira administrators who are unable to download the app via the Atlassian Universal Plugin Manager. The default download link on the Marketplace listing is for the latest version of Jira.

    If you are not using the latest version of Jira, the correct steps to install/upgrade the app will be

    1. Click on the Versions tab
    2. Select See all … versions
    3. Hover on the topmost version which matches your Jira version
    4. Click on the Download link
    5. Upload the file via Atlassian Universal Plugin Manager in Jira


    It is a best practice to install the Jira app on a Test environment first. It is not advisable to install an app directly onto the Production environment. This is because some apps may make changes to the database. Some changes are not be reversible when you uninstall the app later.

    Maintaining a Change Log for the Apps

    We usually advise our customers to create a Confluence page to track on the app installations, upgrades and uninstallation. This best practice helps to keep all the related information organised neatly on a single page.

    The change log table can include the following information

    1. Date of Change
    2. Changed By
    3. Name of App
    4. Action Performed (e.g. install/upgrade/uninstall)
    5. From Version
    6. To Version
    7. Jira Issue Key
    8. Additional Notes

    This will be useful especially when there are multiple Jira administrators who can perform changes. Although the audit log has a record of the changes, the default data retention period is only 90 days. It is also not that easier to read.

    By using a Change Log, the administrator can link the change with a Jira issue and add notes. The Jira request helps to identify the user who raised the request to install the app together with the background context.

    When there is an incident, the App Change Log will be useful to identify issues caused by app changes.

    Things to watch out

    It is not the end of the story after installing the app. There are a few useful tips for Jira administrators to watch out.

    Hardware Sizing

    With more apps installed, it is likely that the memory footprint might increase over time. It will a best practice to check on the JVM memory utilisation from the System Information page after people start using the features. Likewise, CPU usage monitoring is also a best practice.

    Expiring Licenses

    There are a handful of apps which will stop working without an active license. So be sure to renew your licenses before they expire to gain access to support and newer releases.

    Being informed

    You can click on the Watch app link on the Marketplace listing. By doing so, Atlassian Marketplace will send you an email whenever there is a new version released.

    Upgrading the Apps

    As a best practice, it is important to upgrade regularly to get newer features, performance improvements and bug fixes. For security vulnerabilities, you should upgrade as soon as possible once you received a security advisory.

    Scheduling Upgrades

    Although there is no need to schedule a maintenance downtime for installing/upgrading Jira apps, it is a best practice to do that during off-peak periods. During an app installation, there is a short interval where the Atlassian Universal Plugin Manager removes the old version and installs the newer version. You do not want any critical operations in between that period.

    Also some apps may execute jobs during the upgrade to do some data crunching to support a new feature. Therefore, please read the release/upgrade notes for the app before you click on the upgrade button in Jira.

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  • Color Matters

    26 December 2017
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    Here is a post to commemorate the release of a new feature: Color Scheme Enhancement for Multiple Filters Chart Gadgets version 2.1.0

    1. “What purpose will this color serve?”
    2. “Will this (color) serve it’s purpose effectively?”

    When color is used effectively, it brings life to the charts and directs users to focus on details required for effective communication.

    Such as to (1) highlight a particular data, (e.g. Tasks that has yet to be completed)

    (2) encode quantitative values, (e.g. Density of importance corresponds to darker shades)

    and, (3) to group items.

    Colors themselves tell a story, and it’s the responsibility of the designer to make sure the palette used does not create confusion within a data visualization.

    Thus, the palettes used are to have enough variation in hue and brightness.

    Try out the different color palettes available in Multiple Filters Chart Gadget and explore the possibilities with colors.

    Fun Fact:

    Image Retrieved From https://thumbnails-visually.netdna-ssl.com/color-emotion-guide_512d42458efc1_w1500.png

    Available on the Atlassian Marketplace

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  • 6 Reasons Why You Should Learn JIRA

    24 March 2016
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    6 reasons why you should learn JIRA


    JIRA has become sort of a standard for keeping track of issues. In fact, over 70% of the Fortune 100 companies are using JIRA.

    I just did a search for JIRA on Indeed.com and found 10,947 positions available. The positions that requires JIRA expertise ranges from JIRA administrators, Scrum Masters, QA Analysts, Software Engineers, Project Managers to Service Desk Specialists, etc.


    Today JIRA has 3 different flavors

    • JIRA Core – for business teams to track tasks, approvals, legal reviews, marketing campaigns, etc
    • JIRA Software – for software teams to track bugs, system enhancements with features to support agile development
    • JIRA Service Desk – for helpdesks to track user problems and requests

    It is possible to mix and match the 3 applications to run on a single server and web address. This provides the flexibility for business teams, software teams and helpdesk teams to collaborate on the same platform. 

    Easy-smallEasy to Use

    The UI is intuitive and Atlassian provides very comprehensive user documentation on their Confluence site. You can extend the features from the big set of add-ons from Atlassian Marketplace.


    By using JIRA to track the issues, all the historical changes and discussions are captured in context to the issue. This provides visibility and traceability that makes audits less painful.

    time-saving-smallTime Saving

    Another side effect of using JIRA is that you can save time compiling reports and sending emails. With the reporting gadgets and automation add-ons, you can focus on getting the real work done.


    The server license for 10 users starts from US$10 with 1 year of annual support. If you wish to save the hassle of setting up your own server, you can also use the Cloud edition which goes for $10 per month for up to 10 users.

    JIRA training 2016

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  • 8 Secrets How Successful People Get Work Done

    16 March 2016
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    8 secrets successful people get their work done

    Have you always feel frustrated at the end of the week that you have accomplished nothing despite being busy for the entire week?

    I was inspired by Barking up the Wrong Tree to write how using an issue tracker can improve the way of getting work done by incorporating behavioural science theories.

    1. Attention is equal to Time 

    First, you need to be aware that your smartphones and inbox are huge time suckers to your productivity.

    Each new email or a notification is likely to distract you from what you are doing. Mobile notifications is the new evil with a constant flood of notifications from your group chats and apps.

    According to research, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task after getting interrupted

    People who do a lot of attention switching, they believe they can focus when they need to, but the reality is they have lost that ability.
    When you give them a task that requires focus, they perform worse than people that don’t spend a lot of time fragmenting their attention.

    Bakadesuyo: How to focus

    Therefore, you might want to check your mails and mobiles after completion of a task. 

    2. Maintaining a list 

    According to research, an average human can only keep track of 7 ± 2 tasks in working memory

    Therefore it is better to use computers to keep track of your tasks. It helps to keep you organised and ensure no tasks get missed.

    3. Setting up a routine 

    Have you ever wondered why people will always remember to log in to check their Facebook or to play their mobile games?
    Well, they all send you notifications periodically to remind you to do so.

    So you can set up a reminder for yourself to check on the tasks that you need to do at the start of the day/week.

    4. Create small wins for yourself 

    The biggest difference between working and studying is there aren’t regular tests to tell you how good you are performing and to let you move to the next level.

    You need to create small wins for yourself to and your team have the feeling of progress.

    People’s inner work lives seemed to lift or drag depending on whether or not their projects moved forward, even by small increments.
    Small wins often had a surprisingly strong positive effect, and small losses a surprisingly strong negative one.

    Bakadesuyo: How to be motivated: 4 new insights from research

    Start having a report to see how many tasks you have accomplished at the end of the week.

    You will not feel nothing is done at the end of every week.

    5. Start to reduce shallow work 

    A mentor once shared with me the concept of “Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts”

    Similarly, small insignificant tasks consume your time and distract you from getting the real work done.

    Shallow work is little stuff like email, meetings, moving information around. Things that are not really using your talents.
    Deep work pushes your current abilities to their limits. It produces high value results and improves your skills.

    Bakadesuyo: How To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Done – 5 Expert Tips

    Instead of spending time to compile reports and filling time sheets, use tools to automate this to free up time to do meaningful work

    6. Learn how to say no 

    Do you know that a common characteristic of successful people is that they know how to say no at the right time.

    By asking your co-workers to log a task in the system for you, it makes them think harder whether it is necessary.

    This either helps you to filter unnecessary tasks or prepare the information for the task upfront.

    It also helps your superior to see your workload and balance the assignment accordingly. 

    7. What gets measured get done 

    Usually most of us work together as a group. Sometimes you need someone to complete a piece of work before you can work on it.

    If the task is passed over to you late, you will have less time to work on it. The worse scenario is that it interrupts you 

    Try to set a due date when assigning out a task and send automated reminders to chase them.

    8. Use the correct tool 

    A major limitation of using the Inbox to keep track of your tasks is that emails are sorted with the latest first.
    It creates a natural tendency to read and react to newer emails than to follow up on the earlier emails.

    Work should be FIFO (First In First Out), not LIFO (Last In First Out).

    If you keep on reacting upon those newer incoming tasks, your older tasks will eventually become urgent and get on top of you.  
    Then you will be pressured to rush finish those late tasks. 

    You might want to use a To-do list tool or issue tracker to manage your tasks.


    You can find more useful tips and related information for the quotes and links referenced in this article below:

    1. http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/01/how-to-be-motivated/
    2. http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2015/12/how-to-focus/
    3. http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2014/08/how-to-stop-being-lazy/
    4. http://lifehacker.com/how-long-it-takes-to-get-back-on-track-after-a-distract-1720708353
    5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magical_Number_Seven,_Plus_or_Minus_Two
    6. http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/4-steps-to-say-no-like-the-super-successful.html

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  • How we migrated from VertygoSLA to Days Elapsed Traffic Light plugin

    16 February 2016
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    Report on the Traffic Light status of issues using 3D Gadgets

    Why we built Days Elapsed Traffic Light plugin

    We have a customer using VertygoSLA plugin to track the SLA for requests in their JIRA, but VertygoSLA was acquired by Atlassian to be embedded with JIRA Service Desk. There were 3 options available:

    1. To switch to JIRA Service Desk
    2. To find other suitable SLA plugins
    3. To build our own SLA plugin

    We decided to build our own Days Elapsed Traffic Light plugin due to the following considerations:

    • Need to calculate the number of working days. As the business requests can take many days to resolve, displaying 9 days elapsed is less mathematically challenging compared to 72 hours passed
    • Ability to flag out issues that is going to exceed the SLA soon. The yellow traffic light is helpful for alerting users
    • To be able to retain the SLA information from the old requests

    Setting up the Traffic Light custom fields

    The setup for the Traffic Light custom fields is pretty simple with a couple of steps

    1. For every VertygoSLA custom field, we added a corresponding Traffic Light custom field with the same name Added Traffic Light custom field
    2. The working calendars have to be added to define the working days and non working days. In order to cater to departments with different calendars, we introduced the concept of country calendars and organisation calendars. This will alleviate the administrators’ tasks of having to update each calendars individually
      Defining the calendar
    3. The mappings have to be defined to specify the thresholds and conditions for the SLA to be applied
    4. Post functions are added into the workflows to start and stop the Traffic Light Timers
      post functions to start the timers

    Migrating the VertygoSLA data

    The patching was the most time-consuming part as it was done incrementally over different JIRA projects. We built a patcher module that can select the issues to patch.

    1. The patching was done during off-peak hours to avoid disruption to the users
    2. The patcher will read the VertygoSLA information and find out the duration of SLA timer
    3. Using the number of days elapsed, the traffic light colour is determined
    4. The information is then populated into the corresponding Traffic Light custom field
    5. We created dashboards with our Multiple Filters Chart Gadget for the users to verify the resultsDifference in SLA Reports
    6. After verification, the VertygoSLA custom fields were deleted

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  • When do you upgrade Jira Server to Jira Data Center

    5 January 2016
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    It is a frequent question – Why should I buy Jira Data Center?

    Due to that, we are sharing our experience with Jira Data Center as an Atlassian Solution Partner in this post. Hopefully, we can help to shed some light on it.

    What is Jira Data Center

    Jira Data Center is a deployment option designed for high availability and performance at scale when hosting Jira Server in your own premise.

    This is possible with a cluster of servers to share the workload from incoming requests through the use of a load balancer. To add on, each node is a complete Jira instance with its own index.

    JIRA Data Center Reference Architecture
    Jira Data Center Architecture

    What are the benefits of using
    Jira DC

    • Performance – Faster performance with it distributes the load across the various nodes
    • Increased users – A 2-node Jira DC cluster can support double the load of concurrent users with the same response time as compared to a single Jira Server 
    • High Availability – With active-active clustering, it guarantees uninterrupted access in event of hardware failure. This is because it will redirect requests to an active node automatically
    • Instant scalability – It is possible to add more nodes without any scheduling any downtime
    • Disaster Recovery – Option to have another set of hardware on standby

    When you should start looking
    at Jira DC

    The Jira Server should be sufficient for most users until you encounter one of the scenarios below:

    • your existing Jira issue count is hitting a million
    • you are growing at 20,000 issues per month
    • there is a need for high availability (HA) or disaster recovery (DR)
    • the CPU usage for your Jira Server is peaking constantly
    • more and more users are complaining of slowness

    Before upgrading to Jira Data Center

    • Can you allocate more resources (e.g. CPU and RAM) to the Jira Server?
    • Have you explored performance tuning?
    • You may want to check whether virus scanning is slowing down the system. Likewise, you can use our Attachment Checker for Jira app to limit virus scanning to file attachments
    • Have you upgraded to the latest version of Java and Jira? Do you know Jira 6.4 is 30% faster than Jira 6.3 on average? Check out 5 Things to Know for Scaling Jira Performance

    What are the considerations

    Licensing Costs

    • Jira Software Data Center is an annual term license. That is to say, you need to renew annually to continue using it
    • The pricing is based on user tiers and does not have any limit on the number of servers or CPUs
    • There is a discount for upgrading from Jira Software Server to Jira Software Data Center
    • If you are only setting up a cold-failover server, you can use a free development license without additional cost


    • The apps must be with Data Center compatible
    • If you are moving from Jira Cloud to Jira DC, this could be tricky

    Cloud Option

    Atlassian is also launching Jira Enterprise Cloud which you can find out more from the differences between Free/Standard/Premium/Enterprise for Jira Cloud.

    Recommended Strategy

    For those who do not need HA setup, we recommend the following strategy

    1. Start with Jira Software Server
    2. Do performance tuning to stretch the limit of Jira Software Server
    3. Conduct benchmarking tests to measure the improvement with Jira Software Data Center
    4. The number of nodes to allocate depends on the number of concurrent users and the usage pattern. The following chart can be a reference on how increasing the nodes increases the number of requests handled without affecting the time taken
    JIRA Data Center Performance Test

    Useful Resources

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