Blog
22. January 2019 Peter Pešta

Automation in JIRA – Saving Time

Client requested that only certain groups of employees or only users in a certain role could make changes to the status of different tasks.

The JIRA system has now been presented. What is the benefit to companies, the ones that already use JIRA? Replacing manual tasks with some form of automation is certainly among the group of desired goals. Those automations that can be worked on, those that give the desired results, but especially those that are most often requested by our clients are reviewed briefly below.

Automation as error prevention

One reason to automate processes and tasks is error reduction. The main benefit is often not saving time directly, but rather eliminating the human factor as a cause of error. Still, more complicated tasks increase the risk of error. Data has an ever greater value for businesses, and data errors greatly reduce that value. For this reason, automation is very welcomed. Computers and their logic work not only faster than humans, but can surpass humans in total efficiency. Get better dataout of your system.

Automation rule components

At the center of any automation are its rules. Rules are how we specify and configure the behaviors we require, are completely separate and define all the necessary logic. The rules are connected to one another, and form a rule string. These rules are referred to as components in JIRA, and are processed one by one. Components come in four different types: triggers, conditions, validators, and actions. Deconstructing various types of tasks into components allows a completely new image. The data and logical state conditions that need to be met in order for the task to continue are no longer difficult to determine. Predetermined actions (post functions) are triggered as the task passes from one state to another. Automatically fill in the fields, change the person responsible, send a message, and also perform complicated calculations; this is no longer just a wish, but a reality.

How to do it

The core functions are covered by the JIRA system itself with its features, validators, and post functions. What if we require functionality that is not there from the beginning? In this case, we use third-party solutions. Most commonly we install an “add-on app” (application). But which is the right one? Do I need any of them? Or why not all? We certainly don’t need all of them! Everything depends on the specifics of the need. But we will say which ones are most often used from the point of view of administration and which we use as Atlassian partners.

JIRA suite utilities (JSU)

As mentioned, each new JIRA installation has predefined and usable features. JIRA suite utilities offer additional features, validators, and post-functions to use with workflow. One client requested that only certain groups of employees or only users in a certain role could make changes to the status of different tasks. Such a segmented requirement cannot be fulfilled by the standard JIRA system without additional extensions, so we recommended JSU. It was also important to have certain fields mandatory for completeness. Thus, the task could only be closed if the head of the financial control team had all the necessary financial indicators from the members of their team. In other cases, we can talk about simpler automation types, user-based control and its role, data control, etc. Do we also know how to check the accuracy of the data?

JIRA workflow toolbox (JWT)

Azda is the second most widespread add-on; it’s used for workflows. It offers a wide range of features and meets more complex requirements. Mathematical calculations & fields, date fields, and field parsing for data extraction pose no problemsfor JWT. It also helps us to move information from a main task to a sub-task. This functionality is suited for adding information to tasks that are assigned to other members of the group automatically. For example, the client needed to inform the financial controllers of the state of the project. Just as the project manager had a role (JIRA task), the financial controller had his own (sub-task). At the same time that financial data was transferred to the main task, it was also sent to the sub-task. In this way, the company ensured that the financial controllers had the latest data they needed for their work.

Scriptrunner

In this step, we’ll get closer to using the most comprehensive add-on of our three. Scriptrunner enhances and automates workflows, functions, and custom fields using easy to learn Groovy scripts. It allows consultants, admins, and power users to quickly extend JIRA functionality to support your specific business processes and logic, individualized for your data, your working methods, your organization. Tailor-made to fit your company.

By using manually written scripts, we can faithfully transform the steps of a task into a zero-error process. Comprehensive and multi-level data sequences are built in a fraction of the time. With more than 21,000 installations, Scriptrunner is one of the most extensive add-ons in the Atlassian world, a leading set of JIRA automation tools and extensions. An important feature is the ability to read and edit each system array. Copy the entire project, escalation services, or mass job tasks (change the status of hundreds of tasks that can already be archived). Adding this kind of functionality to the JIRA system allows an open door to your ideas about how the system does work and should work.

Many clients have turned to us with additional requirements that could not be met with a clean installation. Depending on the complexity of the requirements, we can tell you which solution is right for you and with which you can best meet most of your needs in the company. Do you think that automation can save you not only time, but also avoid complications with error rate? We are here to answer your questions.

Peter Pešta

Atlassian Consultant

Similar projects

No similar projects