“What’s the difference between Jira issues and JSM requests?” Find out in this episode of Appfire Presents: The Best IT Service Management Show by Appfire.

Atlassian expert Rachel Wright joins Kerry O’Shea Gorgone to explain how Jira issues and JSM requests differ, how they work together, and more.

About the guest

Rachel Wright is an entrepreneur, process engineer, and Atlassian Certified Jira Administrator. She wrote “The Jira Strategy Admin Workbook,” and “The Ultimate Guide to Jira Migrations: How to Migrate from Jira Server to Data Center or Cloud”. She’s also a speaker, an Atlassian Community Leader and author of courses for new and advanced Jira admins and users.

She started using Jira and Confluence in 2011, became an administrator in 2013, and was certified in 2016 (the first year you could actually get certified). She’s the owner and founder of Industry Templates, LLC, which helps companies grow, get organized, and develop their processes.

About the show

The BEST ITSM Show by Appfire brings you expert insights for IT service delivery, so your employees and customers have what they need to succeed. Get the right tech and tips for the right job at hand. Look like you’ve come from the future with all your new ITSM smarts. Every episode is a brisk 10 minutes—less time than it takes to provision a laptop or troubleshoot a tech support issue.


For your convenience, here is the transcript of this episode:

What’s the difference between Jira issues and JSM requests?

Kerry:  Today we’re going to address the question what’s the difference between Jira issues and JSM requests. To help us with that is expert and Atlassian rockstar Rachel Wright. 

She’s an entrepreneur, process engineer, and Atlassian-certified Jira administrator. She wrote the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook and The Ultimate Guide to Jira Migrations. Right now, she’s hard at work on The Ultimate Guide to Powering Up Your Service Desk, which is due out January 2023, so keep an eye out for that. For now, stick around for 10 minutes of ITSM awesome.

Rachel, thanks so much for being here. Tell me, what is the difference between Jira issues and JSM requests?

Rachel:  This confused me a lot in the beginning. I didn’t really understand what I was looking at and how they worked together. 

An issue is just any individual item in Jira. It has a unique ID, like ABC-1 and ABC-2. Then the request is actually the same data, it’s just a different view, so it’s a simplified view in the customer portal. 

Agents, for example, when they log into Jira, they see all of the normal stuff that Jira shows and all the extra features like the SLAs that Jira Service Management brings. Think of that view, if you were to present that to a customer who is not as technical maybe. 

Kerry:  It could be very messy.

Rachel:  Yes. So, it’s a simplified view, but it’s the same data. I didn’t know that for a long time. I was like, “How is that stored,” and I was trying to think of what the implications were. It’s not scary at all. The ID is the same to the customer as the ID is to the service agent. 

Kerry:  So you don’t lose track of things, there’s no duplicate information.

Rachel:  Right. There’s no linking needed, it’s literally the same record in the database, just presented differently.

Kerry:  So, why the confusion, do you think, because it is a very common question? 

Rachel:  Maybe it’s just me. That’s very possible.

Kerry:  It’s not just you. 

Rachel:  It makes sense when you think about it, the more you learn JSM. For me, I was using Jira for so long, so my whole brain is Jira. But if you start with JSM, you probably have different questions and different things, and you’re comparing it to other help applications that you may have used in the past. For me, from looking at it with Jira-brain, I was thinking that’s a record, but this record looks different, it’s the same data. 

Kerry:  Is there anything that you need to do differently when you’re working in JSM than you would do with Jira, to handle that same request, what’s different?

Rachel:  Not for that request specifically, but if your support request spawns the need for a Jira issue. Let’s say, for example, a customer reports a bug on the website. You need to make a bug ticket for the development team, and you want to definitely link those together because they’re related. 

Sometimes humans forget to do that. You could also use automation to do that for you. Once, I built a little manual automation that actually creates that ticket, takes all the data from the support ticket and then dumps it into the bug ticket so nothing is lost. 

The other thing that’s good to know is make sure you know who your audience is when you’re leaving comments. It’s easy to accidentally post an internal comment when you meant to post a customer-facing comment and vice-versa, so just be very careful.

Kerry:  Just be nice all of the time.

Rachel:  That too. If you’re nice all the time and you mess it up, no harm.

Kerry:  The old adage is like only speak well of people and you need never whisper. 

Rachel:  That’s a good thing. I like that.

Kerry:  Would you say that one is easier than the other, or you’re just used to working in Jira? 

Rachel:  Of the two applications, I’m used to Jira, so for me it’s always going to be both my favorite and the easiest one to understand. 

I look at JSM as kind of a layer on top of Jira because it uses all the background. It has the issues, it has the permissions, it has the workflows, all the stuff that comes with what they sometimes call regular Jira, so Jira software. Then it adds additional abilities just for the support audience, like SLAs and customer notification messages that are customizable, which I love, that customer portal that we were talking about in the beginning. It just adds even more coolness to what Jira can do.

Kerry:  This is going to be the easiest ITSM Show episode ever, because the difference between a Jira issue and a JSM request is just how it’s presented and how much you can see on the front end.

Rachel:  Yes, absolutely.

Kerry:  You did it. Rachel, now I’ll have to have you back for a bunch more episodes because I like talking to you way longer than this.

Rachel:  That would be great.

Kerry:  If you’d like to see more episodes of The Best ITSM Show with Rachel Wright, who is featured in many of them, you can find those at Hub.Appfire.com. Keep an eye out for The ITSM Guide coming out from Rachel Wright and Appfire in January 2023.

Thanks. We’ll see you next time.

Last updated: 2023-01-24

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