I'm writing this blog during one of the most memorable times, the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been two months since we started practicing social distancing, and we've officially entered the hottest time in Phoenix. Needless to say, I'm home cleaning and organizing that one kitchen drawer where I throw random things. As a Jira administrator, I've been doing the same...taking a look at my instance and identifying areas to clean up. Atlassian announced that the project archiving feature is coming soon to Jira Cloud. In the meantime, I am cleaning up some unused projects to ensure users are aware of active projects and to prepare for the feature release.
As a Jira administrator, we are constantly creating new custom fields, workflows, and configurations. Often times, we lose track of unused configurations. I recommend taking the time to audit your Jira instance and deprecate unused configurations. Today, I will walk you through archiving unused projects. Please note that archiving is different from deleting. In this blog, we will not be deleting any projects or issues.
Step 1: Identify unused projects in Jira Cloud by going to the Jira settings > Projects. In this view, you will see the last issue update column. This is a great way to see at a high level which projects have and haven't been used. It is important to determine what time period will qualify a project to be archived. For example, a project that was last used 3 years ago should be archived.
Step 2: Once you've established qualifiers, it's time to document the process. It's important for others on the team as well as users to know what this process looks like. A few things to include are: What should Jira administrators do to archive a project? How can users request a project to be archived? What is the process for unarchiving projects?
Step 3: Projects will be archived as soon as the permission scheme is changed. I recommend limiting permissions, such as Browse projects, Create issues, and Edit issues. This will limit actions and visibility from users. It's important to always include the jira-administrator groups in all of the permissions. The permission scheme should be clearly identifiable by its name, for example, Archive Permission Scheme.
Step 4: Projects that will be archived should have the project name changed. For example, if the project is called HR Intake, it should be renamed to Z_HR Intake. This will ensure that Jira administrators know from a high-level view that these projects are archived. The next change should be in the project category. Creating a project category called Z_Inactive will allow Jira admins to query for archived projects and will prevent teams from pulling in metrics for a project that is unused. I then recommend changing the projects issue type scheme, screen scheme, field configuration scheme, and issue security scheme to the default options. This will free up some customized configurations that can be deleted at a later time. The last change is the permission scheme; it should be changed to the Archive Permission Scheme.
Pro Tip: If you have any automation or scripting tools, many of these changes can be automated.