Infrastructure Hygiene Best Practices for Jira Cloud

With Jira Cloud, there’s far less cloud administration necessary thanks to Atlassian’s “done for you’’ service model. Things like product updates, upgrades, backups and security patches are all automated for you in Jira Cloud. On top of that, admins also no longer need to manage a separate database server.

While these automated services lighten the load for admins, they don’t relieve you of the burden of upkeep and good hygiene for your infrastructure. To develop a fully functioning, mature cloud instance, it’s best to implement some cloud best practices. We’ll cover those best practices here today.

If you’re still on the fence about Jira Cloud, trying to ascertain if it’s the best option for your organization, and how you can optimize it to serve you best, we invite you to join us for our next webinar, Migrating to Atlassian Cloud – Best Practices For Moving your Jira Enterprise to the Cloud Wednesday, May 20 at 10am PST.

Register Here (Spots are limited so register today!)

Now let’s continue with our Jira Cloud hygiene best practices guide.

Why Cloud Hygiene is Important

Over time, your Jira instance will expand to accommodate the various workflows and projects your team works on. In addition, as users grow more comfortable with Jira, they’ll want to customize items such as workflows, fields and permissions. As your instance grows and customizations are added, clutter is a natural result.

If the clutter is not maintained and cleaned from time to time, your once efficient instance can quickly become a weighed-down nightmare where items become more difficult to find and performance is slowed.

A good hygiene practice will ensure that your configurations remain streamlined and up-to-date which will ensure your future growth and cloud maturity. In the next section, we’ll review some some hygiene best practices that will help you keep your Jira Software environment spick-and-span!

Cloud Hygiene Frequency

Unlike our own, Cloud hygiene isn’t necessary on a daily basis. Jira administrators should reasonably expect to run through a database health checklist periodically, the exact time frame depends on your number of users and projects. Ideally, consider doing it every other week to once a month to be on the safe side.

As a safety precaution, be sure to back up your cloud instance before you begin cleanup, just in case you accidentally delete something and need to restore it.

Your Cloud Hygiene Checklist

The following are best practice suggestions we’ve implemented with clients that we’ve helped migrate to Jira Cloud.

Naming Convention Protocol: We highly recommend establishing standard naming conventions and descriptions for custom objects, workflows, fields, and screens that every team member should follow. This is actually something that should be done immediately after migration as a preventive measure. Setting standard nomenclature will make cleanup later on far more efficient and less time consuming.

This is an important measure that should not be bypassed because as custom fields pile up, context becomes difficult to decipher without a programmatic name and description. It may seem like a pain now, but you’ll save a lot of time and confusion later on.

When it comes to the process of actually cleaning up your cloud instance, here’s what you should include.

Custom Fields: Custom fields tend to multiply the fastest over time, slowing load times and increasing hygiene efforts. This is why we recommend naming conventions implemented at migration. Even with naming conventions, you may still have to consolidate duplicates or delete fields no longer in use.

Issue Types: When you revisit your issue type menu, if you see any that are not associated with a related scheme, it may be a good idea to remove it. However, it is wise to perform a search of the issue and bulk edit any associations if you want to keep them available.

Workflows: Any workflows that are no longer in use should be reviewed. Do you think it will be viable later on, or can it be repurposed? If not, consider it for deletion.
Screens: Check for screens that don’t fall under any schemes or workflows. Click Ctrl+F to search for the term “delete” to see any screens that are inactive and ready for removal.
Schemes: Schemes are the basis of the Jira Project configuration. As such, they can quickly create congestion for admin menus. For this reason, a best practice is to try to share schemes as much as possible between projects in Jira.
Archiving Old Work: Another useful practice for cleaning up your instance and improving performance is archiving old workflows or projects. You can do this in one of two ways:

  • Back up your Jira Instance: This method allows you to just delete work that no longer needs to be referenced and reduces the size of your index. Be warned however, that this method would require restoring an old instance if you change your mind.
  • Archive online through Jira: This method keeps all your work in your existing instance but hides it from view via project permissions. The obvious project is that this measure would not improve indexing but it would improve search functionality. Again, be warned that this is not a “one-click” solution. It requires careful attention to detail to not lose access to critical information.

Implement a Change Management Process: As we mentioned earlier, it can be pretty commonplace to see ad hoc workflows and provisioning of administrative rights to a large number of users so their teams can make changes independently as they become accustomed to using Jira Cloud regularly.

However, we recommend resisting the urge to do this. While these activities can increase speed  in the short term, they can be extremely detrimental to instance performance in the long term because they degrade hygiene and cause unnecessary complications.

Instead, we recommend implementing a change request protocol where user requests can be granted or denied on a case by case basis. Administrators can then create a decision-making framework to organize and prioritize these requests. For more information on what to include in your change request protocol, see Atlassian’s recommendations here.

Help Getting Started in Jira Cloud

As you now know, even though much of the administration is done for you in Jira Cloud, you should still be regularly performing clean up on your instance to maintain good Jira Cloud hygiene. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of your element, we can help you.

We are an Atlassian Platinum Solutions Partner and have a team of veteran IT consultants with experience in working with Cloud and hybrid environments. We can help you ascertain whether Jira Cloud is the best fit for your organization, perform a detailed migration process with you, and optimize your infrastructure for best practices after migration.

Reach out today to see how Coyote Creek can help make your migration process a smooth one.