By: David Sokolowski
When creating new Jira fields, while technically a simple and straightforward task, it has some of the greatest overall impacts of all the Jira admin activities. Most importantly, it can create additional challenges for administration. But it can also create problems for users, and making sure you’re creating a new field for the right reason is a key responsibility for any Jira admin.
Creating too many fields can create multiple challenges for administrators and users:
- A long list of fields takes time and effort to navigate and manage by the administrator; each additional field adds to the administrative overhead.
- Users can become confused and frustrated by navigating long lists of fields.
- Fields that are named similarly (or even have the same name) are hard to use for both admins and users; querying data can be extra-difficult if trying to look for similar fields across multiple projects.
When in doubt, reuse an existing field – reusing the same fields across multiple projects is the ideal way to optimize JIRA meta-data.
Reasons for Creating New Jira Fields
Creating a new Jira field is one of most critical tasks performed by admins, and is key to properly engaging with users. There are many reasons to create new fields:
- Customer requests new meta-data (field) that is not found anywhere else
- Customer requests specific values (meta-data) to be available without having to navigate other options
- Customer wants the meta-data formatted or organized in a different manner
Because creating new fields has the possibility of overall impact to the instance (see above), it’s important to discuss the reasons for needing a new field with your customers. The following are questions to ask customer before creating a new field:
- Why do you need this field? What is the value of the new data? How will it be used?
- Can you use an already existing field? If not, why?
- Can you use labels or components instead of a new field?
One option is direct the field requestor to use Labels, though those have their own considerations.
Before Creating New Jira Fields
Other admin considerations:
- Need to create screen before you add field, so you can easily add the field to the needed screens
- Which Field Configuration will this be a part of? Will you need to create a new Field Configuration or can you just continue using an existing one?
- (If you need to create a new Field Configuration, will you need to create a new Field Configuration scheme? Ideally not; admins should always be looking to re-use, reduce, recycle)
- Will this field behave the same in all projects?
The following instructions should suffice for all field types.
Note: Best practice is to create any screens that you want to add the fields to first, as you will have the option to add the fields directly to the screens during the creation process.
Process for Creating New Jira Fields
There are multiple types of fields available (single select field, text field, radio buttons, checkboxes, etc.) and the process for each is mostly the same. The following process outlines how to create a a new single select field.
Create Single Select Field
- Jira Administration > Issues
- Fields > Custom Fields
- Select “Add custom field”
- Select “Select List (single choice) Field”
- Fill in Name, Description
- Add every option needed – add first options first
- Optional: Associate field to screens — select screens (plus relevant tabs) to add field to
If you need help with this, or with implementing Atlassian tools for any other purpose, please feel free to view all of our Atlassian services, fill out our contact form or give us a call. As Atlassian Platinum Solution Partners, we have the expertise you need for any Jira Service Desk project.