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Guest Contributor: Michael Sedovic

The old saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely” had to have come from someone who had Admin privileges. I’m not going to lie, the sense of empowerment it provides when someone has to come to you to implement something, even if they know every step to doing it and have “done it a thousand times”, is intoxicating. Even better is taking that power away from someone else. And although it was not named at the time it happened, naming it now and thinking about it puts a smile on my face. 

The Culling took place immediately after The Infrastructure and was the real first step in being able to create the Jira Utopia. We navigated to the user management section, selected group and then pulled up the groups/users with Jira Administrator privileges (mind you this was about a year for Extended Project Administrator permissions was released, so taking this away from someone who had it was tantamount to taking away their identity as Project Admin) and removed anyone who was not on my team, 15 people in all.

Fun side note. We missed a user account that was in the internal directory and was created for an automated process the DEVOPS team had built. We later figured it out because one user somehow kept getting admin privileges back. Turns out they were using that account to add themselves back as an admin.

We had communicated with those individuals the reasons why we were taking these steps... and to at least give them some small sense of empowerment we let them know they could bypass the usual submit a ticket to have a change made and just email the admins directly. This gave them a chance to get their ask reviewed immediately. More importantly, this got the discussion started on what the actual need was and why this change needed to be made to achieve it as opposed to using what was already there.

BTW *SPOLIER ALERT*, none of the email requested changes were ever made. Why? Because they weren’t really needed. Once all changes were funneled though a central clearing house, it quickly became evident that people didn’t even have their own processes figured out. Jira is a great tool, but it is is there to enable your team to implement its process. If your process is non-existent or junk, not even Jira can fix that. 

 So The Culling took place and was successful in what it was intended to do, which was to not make the instance any worse than it currently was. And trust me, the instance was bad. How bad you ask? Have you ever seen a workflow with matching statuses and matching columns with the following progression; Open -> 25% Done -> 50% Done  -> 75% Done -> 100% Done? I have.

And thus began the hard work. Trying to keep a building intact while you dig under and around it to replace the foundation. That required The Plan.

Managing JIRA at Scale White Paper

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