22. January 2019 Július Presinszky

Jira Service Desk – a complete overview of the requirements

In summary, Jira Service Desk helps your team provide the best service to the customer.

Currently the most progressive product from Atlassian. Jira Service desk allows you to receive, track, manage, and handle requests from your team’s customers. The application is provided with a self-service web portal, where customers fill out the forms and send them in for assistance. You can prioritize customer requirements to make sure you work first on the most important issues.

In summary, Jira Service Desk helps your team provide the best service to the customer.

Differences between Jira Software and Jira Service Desk

Jira Software – is primarily intended for those involved in software development. Jira Software is a powerful platform that enables task aggregation and agile project management in one application. Using Jira Software helps you plan and prioritize the tasks of your software team more efficiently.

Jira Service Desk – is primarily intended for those who are involved in service support for clients or within the organization. Out of the box offers everything most people need for Incident, Change and Problem Management. Jira Service Desk has Cloud and Server versions.

Main advantages of Jira service desk

  • the first setting takes only hours not months as with some systems (eg thanks to the built-in ITIL workflow)
  • a simple intuitive portal shows clients what they need
  • collaboration on requirements / incidents (invite developers to incidents)
  • built-in SLAs
  • the ability to integrate a knowledge base
  • optimized workflow
  • automation
  • reporting
  • the ability to enter requests thru e-mail

Role of Jira Service Desk

Agent – works on requests / incidents from a customer and communicates with the customer. Communication takes place in the form of comments on request. The agent can also add an internal comment that is not displayed to clients. The number of agents is based on the Jira service desk license.

An Agent can:

  • view and edit requests / incidents that have been added
  • add, edit, and delete comments on the task
  • access the customer portal and also the JIRI service desk
  • manage the content of the knowledge base

Co-worker – this is not an official role, but you can invite a user who is not a search agent / incident agent. For example, we can invite a collaborator by using an “@” sign. The co-worker does not need to be an agent, but must have access to the Jira Service Desk project.

The Co-worker can:

  • view requests
  • add attachments and delete custom attachments
  • add an internal comment (hidden from the customer)

Customer – is the user who creates the requirements that the agent works on. The customer has access to the portal but not to the JIRA service desk.

The Customer can:

  • create requirements
  • add public comments on the requirements he has created
  • add attachments to the requirements he has created

Administrator – has access to the administrator functions for the service desk.

The Administrator can:

  • perform all activities of the agent
  • adjust the Custom Portal, the types of requests handled by the Portal, Reports, and SLAs
  • manage users and their roles
  • access all the service desk features

Customer portal

The Customer Portal is an internet-accessible page where customers enter their requests. The portal is characterized by its simplicity; the customer can quickly find what he needs. The design of the portal can be adapted to the needs of the company (colors, logo, types of requirements …)

Types of requests

The types of requests allow you to organize tasks that come to your service support team. In the first image in the “Customer Portal” section you can see three types of requests / requests: “Report a system problem”, “Request a new requirement” and “Other”. If you are browsing from another help desk application, you can directly use your type of request. Request types can be grouped into groups.

After defining the types of requests, you can ask your clients to use the simple fields to enter the information your team needs in order to resolve. The information we ask from the client may vary depending on the type of request (each type of request can have its own set of fields that the customer has to fill in).

When configuring fields for a specific request type, it is possible to set the field on the portal to be displayed under a different name than in JIRA, or even to be hidden.

Knowledge base

A knowledge base is a place where customers can provide solutions to frequently recurring problems (such as a problem with VPN connections). However, the knowledge base is not in Jira but in the external Confluence system, which is easily integrated with Jira service desk.

Agents add articles to the knowledge base describing solutions to frequently recurring problems. Then when the customer starts writing an issue title,  the knowledge base proposes relevant articles to solve the problem based on the keywords. If the proposed articles do not provide a solution to the task, the customer establishes a ticket. If the selected issue type is not yet readable, the entire knowledge base will be retrieved. When the issue type is selected, it is possible to restrict the articles in which the keywords are searched for.

Different views of the request

When using the Jira Service desk, the client has a different view of the requirement than an agent. The agent sees the role as a standard Jira ticket with all the options. The client view is simplified by seeing the sequence of comments (a comment from the agent is visible only if it is public) and the current status of the request.

View of the request by the agent:

View of the request by the customer:


A Queue is a list of requirements that meet certain criteria. Jira service desk comes with a number of predefined queues, an administrator can create multiple custom queues that increase agent efficiency. For example, if multiple clients use one service desk, we can create one queue for each client.

Other examples of queue criteria:

  • by priority
  • according to the time it takes to complete the SLA
  • by request type

How queues work:

  • the administrator can create new queues
  • agents can create their own queues if allowed by admin
  • check queue order by sorting, directly using the filter that is the basis for the queue

SLA (Service Level Agreement)

Jira Service desk comes with built-in SLA management so you can track how well your team meets your clients’ dealings. Each SLA consists of two parts:

  • metric – how the time is measured (when the measurement starts, pause, end of measurement)
  • goal – the time we want to achieve when measuring the SLA (goals may vary depending on criteria of requirements – for example, by priority)

We have the option to use pre-scaled SLA metrics or to define our own. In the SLA measurement, we are able to specify the working hours in which we provide service to the client (for example, 09: 00-17: 00) and we can specify that the SLA does or does not run during weekends and holidays.

An example of an agent seeing an SLA:

When running SLA Jira service desk, colors are used to distinguish levels of urgency in the actual resolution of the SLA requirements.

SLA functionality is not available in Jira Core Software (only after the add-on is installed).


The Jira Service desk comes with a number of automatic rules that often involve repetitive tasks for agents. An example of auto rule may be to close the requirements for which the client does not answer in a certain number of days. If the client does write a comment after a job is closed, the task can be reopened without agent intervention.

Workflow engine

Like Jira Software and Jira service desk, it has built a powerful tool for creating workflows. A workflow is a sequence of states and steps (state transitions) that define the process of solving the request. Creating a simple workflow streamlines the work of agents on customer requests. Even on the portal we can see other status names than the agent sees directly in Jira.

If a Jira service desk decides, it only takes a few minutes for an ITIL-compliant environment (Jira comes with built-in workflows compliant with this framework) for Incident Management, Problem Management and Change Management to be prepared. Of course, these workflows can be customized to meet a customer’s specific requirements.


Some requests must be approved (eg, a new Administrator account), before they start working on them. An example workflow approval:

  1. the user creates a request via e-mail or through the portal
  2. the request enters a status where approval is required, the approver is notified that approval is required
  3. in the client portal, the approver will approve or reject the request
  4. the request goes into the next status and the applicant is notified of the approval / non-acceptance of the request.


Jira service desk has built-in reports to help you see the performance of your team.

Built-in reports that Jira service desk provides::

  • Created vs Resolved
  • Time to resolution
  • SLA met vs breached

In addition to built-in reports, the tasks can be filtered using the JQL (JIRA query language). Such filtered data can be exported to a CSV document. Another way to use the JQL filter is to display its results on a Jira dashboard. Dashboards can be configured in different ways to show us accurate data in real time. Dashboards can be shared with all users or any sub-group of users.


Each Add-on (plugin) is a separately installed component that extends the Jira service desk functionality as the customer needs. There are many extensions on the Marketplace.

The price of Jira service desk

As mentioned above, the Jira service desk price is based on the number of agents. Do not hesitate to contact us for a favorable quote.

if you are interested in Jira service desk, do not hesitate to contact us. We offer consultations with experts who can perform the Jira service desk setup according to your internal processes.

Július Presinszky

Atlassian consultant

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