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  • Writer's pictureIan Wells

The key to JIRA projects keys

Updated: Dec 3, 2018

Good design relies on attention to detail.  I recommend JIRA designers  choose their Project Keys carefully.

Each JIRA project has its own Project Key ( for example, ECO-, FE-, BE-, JIRA-). Your design choice of  Project Key is important because every person in your company will be typing this Key over and over, everytime they refer to a  JIRA issue. Over the years, that is a lot of clicks. The project key symbolises this JIRA project to everyone else.

Here are the rules I use to choose the JIRA Project Key: Choose a unique Project Prefix.

  1. To avoid ambiguity and confusion, this prefix should not be one that exists in any other JIRA systems your team uses or accesses.

  2. Because these prefixes will get typed so often, choose a prefix that is easy to type,  "SJ" for example is nice because its can be typed by left and right hand.

  3. Pick a project prefix that is  short but nemonic, again to be evocative and  fast to type.

  4. Because we talk to each other about JIRA issues, select a Project key that is easy and unambiguous  to say, for example, ME- not MN

  5. Needless to say , if you are planning on working with anyone else, don't pick a rude word

  6. If you are picking Project Keys for multiple  JIRA Service Desks,   select a naming scheme that makes it easy to identify these are from Service Desk.  One way to do that is to use a Project Prefix convention, such "SDA", "SDB", "SDC"  , or perhaps "XA", "XB", "XC" because its shorter.

  7. What about picking a prefix and renaming it later? It is possible to rename them later, but the initial names you pick will still exist under the covers as an alias ( and hence cannot be reused). Readers of JIRA, documentation and commit messages  may get confused by renamed project prefixes.

So its best to pay some design attention at the start of your JIRA project and get your best possible JIRA project key.

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