Documentation for JIRA 4.0. Documentation for other versions of JIRA is available too.

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Project roles are a flexible way to associate users and/or groups with particular projects. Project roles also allow for delegated administration:

  • Global administrators define JIRA's project roles — that is, all projects have the same project roles available to them.
  • Project administrators* assign members to project roles specifically for their project(s).

Project roles can be used in:

Project roles can also be given access to:

Project roles are somewhat similar to groups, the main difference being that group membership is global whereas project role membership is project-specific. Additionally, group membership can only be altered by JIRA administrators, whereas project role membership can be altered by project administrators*.

* A project administrator is someone who has the project-specific 'Administer Project' permission, but not necessarily the global 'JIRA Administrator' permission. A project administrator can also manage project role membership.

Using project roles

Project roles enable you to associate users with particular functions. For example, if your organisation requires all software development issues to be tested by a Quality Assurance person before being closed, you could do the following:

  1. Create a project role called Quality Assurance.
  2. Create a permission scheme called Software Development, in which you assign the ' Close Issue ' permission to the Quality Assurance project role.
  3. Associate the Software Development permission scheme with all software development projects.
  4. For each software development project, add the appropriate Quality Assurance people to the Quality Assurance project role.

JIRA versions prior to 3.7 did not have project roles. If you previously used JIRA 3.6.x (or earlier), please see Using 'Scheme Tools' to migrate to Project Roles.

JIRA's default project roles

When you install JIRA, three project roles are automatically created:

  • Administrators — typically contains people who administer a given project.
  • Developers — typically contains people who work on issues in a given project.
  • Users — typically contains people who log issues in a given project.

You can create, edit and delete project roles according to your organisation's requirements.

Viewing project roles

To see what project roles exist, and where they are used:

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. Select 'Project Role Browser' from the 'Users Groups & Roles' section of the 'Administration' menu. You will then see the Project Role Browser, which contains a list of all the project roles in your JIRA system. To see where a project role is used, click the 'View Usage' link:
  4. This will display a list of the project role's associated permission schemes, email notification schemes, issue security levels and workflow conditions. To see which users/groups are associated with a project role for a particular project, click the 'View' link:

Adding a project role

To define a new project role, enter its Name and a Description in the 'Add Project Role' form in the Project Role Browser (see 'Viewing Project Roles' above), and click the 'Add Project Role' button. Note that project role names must be unique.

Once a new project role is created, it is available to all projects. Project administrators can then assign members to the project role for their project (see Managing project role membership).

Deleting a project role

To delete a project role, locate the project role in the Project Role Browser (see 'Viewing Project Roles' above), and click the 'Delete' link. The confirmation screen that follows lists any permission schemes, email notification schemes, issue security levels and workflow conditions that use the project role.

Note that deleting a project role will remove any assigned users and groups from that project role, for all projects. Be aware of the impact this may have; for example, if the project role membership was the sole conveyor of a permission for a user, then the user will no longer have that permission.

If a project role has been used to specify who can view a comment, deleting the project role will mean that no-one can see that comment any more.

Editing a project role

To edit the Name and Description of a project role, locate the project role in the Project Role Browser (see 'Viewing Project Roles' above), and click the 'Edit' link. This takes you to a form where you can modify the project role's 'Name' and 'Description'.

Assigning members to a project role

A project role's members are assigned on a project-specific basis. To assign users/groups to a project role for a particular project, please see Managing project role membership.

To see/edit all the project roles to which a particular user belongs, for all projects, click the 'Project Roles' link in the User Browser.

Specifying 'default members' for a project role

The default members for a project role are users and groups that are initially assigned to the project role for all newly created projects. The actual membership for any particular project can then be modified by the project administrator.

The default members consist of the Default Users plus the Default Groups shown in the Project Role Browser (see 'Viewing Project Roles' above).

To add to the Default Users or the Default Groups for a project role, click the corresponding 'Edit' link.

For example, if a user called Susie needs to have administration permissions for all newly created projects, you could add her to the Default Users for the 'Administrator' project role as follows:

  1. Open the Project Role Browser.
  2. Click the 'Edit' link in the Administrators column (next to 'None selected').
  3. In the 'Assign Default Users to Project Role' screen, click the 'User Picker' icon.
  4. Locate Susie in the 'User Picker' popup window, then click the 'Select' button.
  5. In the 'Assign Default Users to Project Role' screen, click the 'Add' button.

Changing a project role's default members does not affect the actual project role members for projects already created.