In a nutshell, the process is simple if you need to update Jira custom fields. Just log in as an Administrator and go to Issues → Custom fields → Edit.
Jira admins beware: Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Last year, Valiantys and Atlassian jointly published the guide Performance at Scale: 10 million issues and beyond with Jira Data Center, which examined the root causes that created significant performance issues. We found that one of the major factors of performance issues was increased data complexity, and custom fields can be one area where it is easy for admins to increase the load on Jira.
It’s important you have a solid strategy for managing custom fields so your system remains intuitive and functional. Below we’ve aggregated a few quick tips, but more can be found on the Atlassian documentation page.
Make Jira custom field names generic
The flexibility that custom fields bring in Jira is a double-edged sword. It allows you to customize Jira’s functionalities to your business processes, however too many custom fields could result in performance issues. A good benchmark to keep in mind is the 80% rule. Can 80% of users benefit significantly from the new field? Here you could reasonably consider creating it, if there is a strong need and no other solution. If it falls under that threshold, it might be better to find a more generic field name that benefits more people. Here you may want to edit the custom field to meet 80% of your needs.
Avoid creating several custom fields with the same name
Contextualizing your custom fields is a major best practice to make your JQL search manageable while likewise avoiding too many custom fields. For instance, let’s say you need to use a custom field “Brand” for Marketing and Advertising. You don’t need to specify “Marketing Brand” and “Advertising Brand” but you can use different contexts instead where you will be able to associate different default values and options with particular projects or issue types.
Avoid creating different custom fields for translation purposes
When it comes to managing the custom fields, you might think you need to create a new custom field for each language you use in your instance – but fortunately this is not the case. Atlassian has made it easy for multilingual companies to manage Jira custom fields by using the “Translate” option. Log in as an Administrator and go to Issues → Custom fields → Translate.
Still have questions regarding Jira custom fields? We can help ensure you get your Jira solution right the first time you configure it. Click below to get in touch with a certified Atlassian consultant.