Defining a Project

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This page tells you how to add a new project or configure an existing project, if you are a JIRA administrator . You'll need to navigate to the project administration screen for this:

Choose the cog icon  at top right of the screen, then choose Projects.

  • To create a new project, choose the Add Project button and follow the wizard. See Creating a project below for further help.
  • To configure an existing project, choose the project name from the Project list and configure the settings. See Configuring a project below for further help.


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Related pages:

Creating a project

To create a new project in JIRA:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA Administrators global permission.
  2. Choose Projects > Create Project.

  3. Choose the type of project that you want to create.

  4. Enter the project details.

  5. Choose Submit to add the new project.


  • Choosing JIRA Classic or Project Management creates the default JIRA project.
  • The project key will be used as the prefix of this project's issue keys (e.g. 'TEST-100'). Choose one that is descriptive and easy to type.
  • The project lead is a unique project role. Choose the person who manages the project as the project lead. If there is only one user in your JIRA system, the Project Lead will default to that person and this field will not be available.

Simple Issue Tracking project

This project provides you with a quick and easy way to get JIRA up and running for simple issue tracking. For details on working with this project, see Simple Issue Tracking project.

Software Development project

This project provides you with a template to use for software development. For details on working with this project, see Software Development project.

Configuring a project

To configure a project in JIRA:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA Administrators global permission.
  2. Choose the cog icon  at top right of the screen, then choose Projects.
    (tick)Keyboard shortcut g + g and then start typing the name of your project.
    Screenshot: Project administration page (Summary tab)
  3. Use the tabs on the left to navigate between the different project settings. Read the sections below for a description of each setting.

Project details

To edit the project's details:

  1. Click Edit Project at the top of the Project Summary page.
  2. In the resulting Edit Project  dialog box, edit the following fields:
    • Name — type a descriptive name. This can be changed later if you wish.
    • URL — an optional URL associated with this project, e.g. pointing to project documentation.
    • Project Avatar — an image (48x48 pixels) that represents the project. You can either use the default image, i.e.:

      or choose a different image. The process for choosing a project avatar is similar to that for choosing a user avatar. If you prefer not to use an image for your project, simply upload a transparent pixel.
    • Description — an optional description of this particular project. You can include HTML, but make sure all your tags are closed.
      (minus) Warning: Please be aware that this is completely unfiltered HTML and as such, it is susceptible to cross site scripting attacks.

(info) Click the link next to the Category field (located under the project name) to assign the project into project category (a logical category/group). JIRA can search for all the issues in a particular project category, and can display projects sorted by the project category, but a project category is not part of a project hierarchy. JIRA does not support sub-projects or parent projects. In addition a JIRA project can only belong to one category.

If no categories exist, click the Add link on the following No Project Category page to add a new category. New categories can also be created via Administration > Projects > Project Categories.

Issue types

JIRA enables you to keep track of different types of things — bugs, tasks, helpdesk tickets, etc — by using different issue types. You can also configure each issue type to act differently, e.g. to follow a different process flow or track different pieces of information.


Your JIRA issues can follow a process that mirrors your team's practices. A workflow defines the sequence of steps (or statuses) that an issue will follow, e.g. Open, In Progress, Resolved. You can configure how issues will transition between statuses, e.g. who can transition them, under what conditions, and which screen will be displayed for each transition.

  • Workflow Scheme — the project's workflow scheme determines which workflows (issue state transitions) apply to issue types in this project.


JIRA allows you to display particular pieces of issue information at particular times, by defining screens. A screen is simply a collection of fields. You can choose which screen to display when an issue is being created, viewed, edited, or transitioned through a particular step in a workflow.

  • Screen Scheme — the project's screen scheme determines which screens are displayed for different issue operations (view, edit, create);
  • Issue Type Screen Scheme — the project's issue type screen scheme determines which screens are displayed for different issue operations (view, edit, create), for different issue types.


JIRA enables you to define field behaviour: each field can be required/optional, rich text/plain text, hidden/visible. You define this behaviour by using a field configuration.



Different people may play different roles in different projects — the same person may be a leader of one project but an observer of another project. JIRA enables you to allocate particular people to specific roles in your project.

  • Project Lead — user fulfilling the role of project leader. Used as the 'Default Assignee' (see below), and potentially elsewhere in JIRA (e.g. in permission schemes, notification schemes, issue security schemes and workflows).
  • Default Assignee — the user to whom issues in this project are initially assigned when created. Can be either the 'Project Lead' (above), or, if Allow unassigned issues is set to 'On' in JIRA's general configuration, 'Unassigned'. There are also default component assignees.
    (info) By default, new projects also have their 'Default Assignee' set to 'Unassigned.' You can change this here if you want to set it to be a specific role, i.e. 'Project Lead.'
  • Project Roles — members are users/groups who fulfil particular functions for this project. Project roles are used in permission schemes, notification schemes, issue security schemes and workflows.


If you are using JIRA to manage the development of a product, you may want to define different versions to help you track which issues relate to different releases of your product (e.g. 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2.0 beta, 2.0). JIRA can help you manage, release and archive your versions. Versions can also have a Release Date, and will automatically be highlighted as "overdue" if the version is unreleased when this date passes.

  • Versions — versions defined in the project. See the version management page for details.


You may want to define various components to categorise and manage different issues. For a software development project, for example, you might define components called "Database", "Usability", "Documentation" (note that issues can belong to more than one component). You can choose a Default Assignee for each component, which is useful if you have different people leading different sub-teams in your project.

  • Components — logical groups that this project's issues can belong to. See the component management page for details.


JIRA allows you to control who can access your project, and exactly what they can do (e.g. "Work on Issues", "Comment on Issues", "Assign Issues"), by using project permissions. You can also control access to individual issues by using security levels. You can choose to grant access to specific users, or groups, or roles (note that roles are often the easiest to manage).


JIRA can notify the appropriate people when a particular event occurs in your project (e.g. "Issue Created", "Issue Resolved"). You can choose specific people, or groups, or roles to receive email notifications when different events occur. (Note that roles are often the easiest to manage.)

  • Notification Scheme — the project's notification scheme determines who receives email notifications of changes to issues in this project.
  • Email — specifies the 'From' address for emails sent from this project. Only available if an SMTP email server has been configured in JIRA.

(warning) Please note, the Default Notification Scheme (shipped with JIRA) is associated with all new projects by default. This means that if you have an outgoing (SMTP) mail server set up, that email notifications will be sent as soon as there is any activity (e.g. issues created) in the new project.

A note about project administrators

A project administrator in JIRA is someone who has the project-specific Administer Projects project permission, but not necessarily the JIRA Administrator global permission.

Without the JIRA Administrator global permission, however, project administrators can do the following:

  • Edit the project name
  • Edit the project description
  • Edit the project avatar image
  • Edit the project URL
  • Edit the project lead
  • Edit project role membership
  • Define project components
  • Define project versions
  • View, but not select nor edit the project's schemes (notification scheme, permission scheme, etc)


Last modified on Aug 26, 2013

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