JIRA is now available as three separate applications, JIRA Software, JIRA Service Desk, and JIRA Core. For more information on administering these applications, refer to the Administering JIRA Applications documentation.

Managing Project Roles

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

  • JIRA 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).
    A project administrator is someone who has the project-specific 'Administer Project' permission, but not necessarily the global 'JIRA Administrator' permission.

Project roles can be used in:

Project roles can also be given access to:

On this page:

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.

(info) About project leads and component leads — Every project has a project lead and every project component has a component lead. These individual roles can be used in schemes, issues and workflows, just like project roles. You assign project/component leads when Defining a Project or Defining a Component respectively.

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's default project roles

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

Project Role



Typically contains people who administer a given project.


Typically contains people who work on issues in a given project.


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. Choose > System. Select Roles to open the Project Role Browser page.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: 'g' + 'g' + start typing 'roles'
  3. You will then see the Project Role Browser, which contains a list of all the project roles in your JIRA system:
    Screenshot: Project Role Browser
  4. To see where a project role is used, click the View Usage link. This will display a list of the project role's associated permission schemes, email notification schemes, issue security levels and workflow conditions.
  5. Click any of the View links on the 'View Usage for Project Role' screen to see which users/groups are associated with a project role for a particular project.

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.

  1. Click on Manage Default Members in the Operations column for the newly created Project Role.
  2. Click Edit under Default Users to open this dialog:
  3. Select the User Picker icon to the right of the Add user(s) to project role field to open up this dialog:
  4. Click the Select button at the bottom of this dialog when you are finished adding users and then click the Add button. You now see a list of users on the right that are now included in this Project Role.

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. 

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 Manage Default Members link.
  3. Click the Edit link in the Administrators column (next to 'None selected').
  4. In the 'Assign Default Users to Project Role' screen, click the User Picker icon.
  5. Locate Susie in the 'User Picker' popup window, then click the Select button.
  6. 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.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Why was this unhelpful?

8 Archived comments

  1. User avatar

    Manuel Arranz

    I would like to have a private confluence space per project. Is there any way I could share these roles with confluence spaces?



    01 Oct 2012
  2. User avatar


    I have some roles set to have "Unassigned" as the default user, but as of today I am no longer able to do that. Can someone think of a reason? Thanks!

    14 May 2013
  3. User avatar

    My Kro

    Is there a way to change the display order of project roles other than alphabetical?  It would help us as administrators to arrange them in a specific order to make the process of allocating users to roles easier and more methodical, ie. set managers, then developers, then testers, then reporters, etc.

    05 Jul 2013
  4. User avatar

    Antoine Berthelin

    One request on this : "JIRA administrators define JIRA's project roles — that is, all projects have the same project roles available to them"

    I have define 20 rôles for one project, it will be usefull to reduce the visibility on role (ie : one role available only for a project list)

    It's possible to add it in your roadmap ?



    25 Jun 2014
  5. User avatar

    jorge tester

    Under User-Management / user / roles for that user in his projects:

    I would like to request to Atlassian to add "Project Lead" in the list of Roles shown for a given user in a project.  At least in an informative way since project-lead is not a role according to Jira-point-of-view.  Right now only the Roles appear but, the project Lead is also a role (in my view).  In my case, the JIRA adminstrator is the only one able to create projects.  Once they are created they are assign to the chosen employee to become the Project-Lead (hence the administrator by default).  I have given ALL project-permissions to the project lead (always), that way the Jira-administrator can create the project set the project lead and, automatically give him/her the power to administer everything in that project (including adding users to the roles of that project and so on) and not bother the Jira-Administrator again.

    And so, when I want to find out what employee is leading what project (and hence be the administrator for that project) I view his/her roles in projects and instantly I can see in what project he/she is the project-lead (ie the Administrator in my point-of-view).  Otherwise I have to manage projects and search his name under "project-lead" in a long list of projects.  It would be easier to view the "Project-lead" status from the "roles for a user" screen.

    Otherwise the Jira-Administrator would have to create the project, and edit the roles to add the project-lead as the Administrator Role for that project SINCE JIRA does not allow me to add the project-lead to the Administrator Role of a project as a default (you can only add users or groups to the default).  If JIRA allowed me to add by default the Project-Lead to the Administrator-Role of projects ... that would help by taking out a few clicks from the initial create-project-permissions-setup.

    In my company a super-project-administrator role exists, where he/she has all project-permissions to ALL projects by default.  And so this super-project-administrator will have set by default the Administrator-role of every project, but he/she will not be the project lead by default.  He/she will just have all the power to access or modify any project.  I explain this so that you can understand why more than one person may have the project-administrator role permissions.


    15 Oct 2014
  6. User avatar

    Olivier Barthelemy

    Screenshot 2 needs to be updated. Roles is not in Admin/Users anymore, but in Admin/System

    06 Feb 2015
    1. User avatar

      Michael Kornatzki


      changing the menüs without changing the documentation is horrible but usual for Administartion and Development-Docs for JIRA (sad)

      11 Jun 2015
  7. User avatar

    Frank Schophuizen

    How can I add a role for a specific project, without it being added to other projects too?

    I need a role to define Issue Security Levels to identify the users for the security level. So, only the project that is using the Issue Security Level scheme needs that role. But when I define an extra role, it appears in all projects. How can I hide that role in other projects.

    11 Aug 2015
Powered by Confluence and Scroll Viewport