Using JIRA for Change Management

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Introduction

While JIRA was not designed for use as a change management system, it is quite easy to customise JIRA for this use case. JIRA's flexibility allows you create issues as a 'Change Request' and you can easily customise the workflow to your specific business process.

Configuration Guide

To give you a good start below we've outlined the some simple configurations of how we have customised JIRA for Change Management.

Click on each arrow to learn more about each feature.

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Firstly, we created a new issue type called 'Change Request'.

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We created a new workflow for the change request issue type. All other issue types use the default workflow. Here's the new workflow:


We've also placed a condition on the 'Approved by C-Level Manager' transition that states only users in the C-Level Mangers Group can use this transition. This stops any user from approving Change Requests.


Similarly we've put conditions on the 'Deny or Close Request' transition:

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Ok, so let's see how a user will use this system (follow along once you have restored your JIRA instance from the sample file).

Log in as a normal user by clicking on 'Susan [User]' in the announcement banner.


Then click "Create Issue" in the top right corner and select "Change Request" as the issue type.


When you create the Change Request you will notice a few things:
1. The request will be automatically assigned to the Project Lead (Steve [IT Manager]).
2. Susan has only one workflow action available to her 'Deny or Close Request'.
3. Susan has only access to a few operations.

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Now let's login as Steve [IT Manager] by clicking his name in the same announcement banner.
Immediately you can see that he has more workflow actions and issue operations available to him:


Let's say Steve likes this idea and wishes to review it, he does this by selecting the 'Review Request' workflow action. This will pop up a comment box if Steve wishes to add a comment, also other users can come and comment on this issue if they have the right permissions.

Once the Change Request has been reviewed Steve will use the workflow action 'Request Accepted' and a new transition screen will appear asking for some details:


This will bring the issue into the status of 'Under Assessment' and again once the Change Request has been assessed Steve will use the workflow action 'Assessment Complete and send for C-Level Manager approval' and a similar transition screen will appear asking for further details. You will also notice that Steve has no available workflow actions, this is because only users in the 'C-Level Mangers' group can authorise or deny the approval. We will see this in the next section.

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Now let's login as Ian [CEO] by clicking his name in the same announcement banner as the previous users.

Looking at his dashboard ' C-Level Dashboard for Change Requests' there are two portlets. On the right shows all Change Requests assigned to him and waiting on his approval. On the left shows all Change Requests waiting for anyone's approval.

Typically Ian would work from the right portlet 'Change Requests waiting for MY approval' but in this example we will look at Ian using the left portlet 'ALL Change Requests waiting for C-Level Approval'.

So Ian would look at this list and look for any issues that are not assigned to a C-Level manager.

Let's say Ian takes ITS-27 and because he is a member of the 'C-Level Mangers' group he has two workflow actions available to him, Approve or Deny the Change Request.

Once Ian approves it he can add comments and re-assign the issue to the appropriate users.

All other workflow status are similar to the similar to the ones above. You can see this exact issue (ITS-27) in the sample file below.

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* The sample file works with JIRA 4.4.3 or above. You can download the latest version here.
* Please ensure you have backed up your existing JIRA instance as this sample file will delete all your existing data.
* Before you download the sample file please ensure you know how to restore it.
* You can download the sample file here.

All user passwords are the same: password
The main username to login with is: steve, as he has full JIRA admin rights and is also a member of the Change Management Group.

You can also jump to another user quickly by clicking their name in the top bar from the home page.

 

Integration with a Third-Party Change Management tool

JIRA's open architecture makes it possible to integrate JIRA into your other toolsets. You can use the web services interfaces or user the the remote API to integrate JIRA. You may like to post Atlassian Answers for input from our user community on this option.

Last modified on Feb 26, 2016

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