JIRA 101

Welcome to the ONC Issue Tracking System! The ONC Issue Tracking System is a collaboration platform that supports the implementation of health information technology by providing a space in which internal and external users can transparently log, prioritize, and discuss issues with appropriate subject matter experts on a host of topics.

Here's how to use ONC JIRA:

  • Create an Account (Optional). You will need an account to create a new issue or to watch an existing issue, but you don't need one to search public issues.
  • Search for an Issue.Have a question? Search by keyword or project, see if others have submitted the same question, and review the responses.
  • Track an Issue. Find an issue that you're interested in? Keep track of changes or comments on a ticket by clicking 'Start watching this issue' on the right-hand side of the issue. You will need to be logged into your JIRA account.
  • Create an Issue. Can't find your issue? Make sure you're logged in – create an issue by clicking the orange "Create Issue" button at the top of the screen.Be sure to select the correct project and issue type from the dropdown menu in the form. Reminder: Do not include any Protected Health Information (PHI).
  • Review your Issue. Once you create an issue, you will be listed as a reporter of that issue. You can make comments, edits, change, add attachments, and communicate with assigned subject matter experts via the comments feature. Additionally, you will receive an email notification when your issue status changes.

Need help?

Request technical support by creating an issue in the "JIRA Issue Tracker" project. The OITS Support Team will reach out to the requester if needed, and the requester is notified when the task is completed.

The OITS Support Team also offers Office Hours which are available Monday-Friday for OITS users to discuss issues. Try to schedule office hours at least one business day in advance.

Overview and Service Agreement

Executive Overview

JIRA is a platform that allows teams to create, capture, and organize issues, develop solutions and follow team activity for multiple projects at a time. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) maintains a JIRA environment as an issue reporting/tracking platform that encourages user communities to collaborate on numerous Health IT projects. The system provides links to the projects, as well as other useful information relative to the topics being discussed. JIRA allows different projects to have different workflows to match current teams' processes and the system is especially adept at capturing, prioritizing, and taking action on issues for each project. The ultimate goal for this project is to build a place where users can look for answers to questions, share suggestions, and provide real-time feedback.

ONC Confluence is operated in conjunction with the current instance of ONC JIRA, and shares the same resources and practices for technical support (see SOPs and SLAs below). ONC Confluence relies on ONC JIRA for user management and troubleshooting support. ONC Confluence Users must have an ONC JIRA account. User groups are set up for each Confluence space within ONC JIRA, and are linked to Confluence through back-end processes.

JIRA System Settings Hierarchy

To keep different project phases and milestones organized for different users in different projects, JIRA has a four-level hierarchy: Projects > Issues > Subtasks.

Project – The project is the highest-level container for issues in JIRA. The project level allows users to get a quick view of a project by reviewing issues and any progress made on addressing each issue. Reports are available on open issues, popular issues, user workloads, etc.

Issues – Projects are set up to track different types of issues. Depending on how the project is being used, an issue could represent a question, feedback, a form submission, a bug, etc.

Subtasks – Subtasks help break down complicated issues into manageable pieces because they are treated as separate issues. They can be defined in numerous different ways, assigned to different users, have time estimates set, etc. They can even have their own workflow that differs from parent tasks.

Roles and Responsibilities


In JIRA, groups and roles are a way to manage collections of users. Instead of assigning a particular permission or notification to an individual user, we can use groups or roles. If a group/role is used, each member of the group/role will be given that permission or get that notification.

By default, ONC JIRA assumes three user roles: administrators, developers, and users. To better associate users and user groups with specific projects, JIRA can be further customized by adding new user roles. Groups and Roles can be used by a project's notification scheme, permissions scheme, issue security scheme, comment visibility, and workflows.

User Role Abilities
Administrators Typically administer a given project
Developers Typically work on issues in a given projects
Users Typically log issues in a given project


ONC Confluence employs global, space, and page-specific access controls. Global permissions are site-wide permissions, and can only be assigned by the ONC JIRA team. Furthermore, each space has an independent set of permissions, which is managed by the individual space administrators. Space permissions can be used to allow specific users or groups of users to view, add, edit, and delete content within that space. Space permissions are also used to set what is visible/editable by anonymous users. By default, pages are open to viewing and editing by all users that have access to the space. However, space administrators can restrict either viewing or editing to certain users or user groups if necessary.

Outage Communication

Level of Severity Description of Severity Initial Response Within:
Level 1 Production application down, or major malfunction high numbers of staff unable to perform their normal functions. 4 working hours
Level 2 Serious degradation of application performance or functionality. 8 working hours
Level 3 Production application issue that has moderate impact 12 working hours

Outage Notice Schedule

In the event of a planned outage for system maintenance, notification emails will be sent out to all JIRA users according to the following schedule:

  • First notice – Sent 3 to 4 days prior
  • Second notice – Sent 1 to 2 days prior
  • Final notice – Sent same day as outage
  • Restore communication – Sent immediately following outage

Access Control Requests

Definition – Provisioning of system users (e.g., user names and passwords, roles and group membership, etc.).
Process for making request – Contact JIRA Administrator per instructions in SOP.
Timeframe for response – Ad-hoc 24 hour initial response for requests received during normal business hours 8am to 5pm ET. Discussed during weekly status updates.
Owner – JIRA Administrator

Space Development Requests

Definition – A Confluence space is the team-collaboration platform that allows users to create and share pages, blogs, and meeting minutes.
Process for making request – Contact Project Manager per instructions in SOP.
Timeframe for response – Ad-hoc 24 hour initial response time for requests received during normal business hours 8am to 5pm ET. Discussed during weekly status updates. Nature of request may require new design process to estimate schedule and level of effort.
Owner – JIRA Administrator

Emergency Change Requests

Definition – High priority issue affecting system functionality, or performance, needing immediate remedy.
Process for making request – Contact JIRA Administrator per instructions in policy and procedure manual.
Timeframe for response – See "Emergency change requests response time table" below. Response times based on requests received during normal business hours 8asm to 5pm ET.
Owner – JIRA Administrator

SOPs for Project Administrators

Request a New JIRA Project or Confluence Space

  • Navigate to the ONC JIRA landing page
  • Click "Request a Project" to open a "project request" form and fill out all required fields.
  • Specify in the 'Project Name' whether the project should be in JIRA or Confluence
  • The ONC Issue Tracking System (OITS) COR approves or denies the request and a JIRA user account for the requester is created upon approval if the requester does not already have one.
  • With OITS COR approval, the OITS Support Team creates a new project with a default workflow unless a custom one was requested.
  • If a customized workflow is required, the OITS Support Team performs a requirement analysis with the requester.
  • The requester is notified upon project creation and customizations completion.

Project Naming Guidelines

  • Check all existing OITS projects to ensure that there are no overlapping names.
  • Check existing OITS project names and descriptions for similar projects, and name accordingly. For example, issue trackers are typically named: "___________ Issue Tracker"
  • Avoid acronyms; use full names for clarity (i.e. Meaningful Use instead of MU)
  • Projects that are part of a chronological series should be named with the time period first, followed by the project subject (i.e. 2014 Measures Under Development)
  • If the project is limited in scope to, or is internal to, a particular organization or agency (i.e. OCERT, OST, etc.), include the agency name within the project title.

Requesting User Access/Permissions Changes

  • Log in to ONC JIRA with your JIRA credentials
  • Depending on what type of project (JIRA or Confluence) you are requesting changes for, navigate to either the 'JIRA Issue Tracker' or 'Confluence Issue Tracker' project.
  • Create a ticket with the issue type 'User Access', and provide the full names (first, last), email addresses, and usernames (if applicable) of all desired users and indicate different permission levels (if necessary).
  • The OITS Support Team will adjust permissions as necessary and create new OITS accounts for those who did not previously have accounts
  • You will be notified upon completion of the request

Requesting Customizations or Technical Assistance

  • Log in to ONC JIRA with your JIRA credentials
  • Depending on what type of project (JIRA or Confluence) you are requesting changes for, navigate to either the 'JIRA Issue Tracker' or 'Confluence Issue Tracker' project
  • Create an issue ticket and provide a detailed description of the issue
  • The OITS Support Team will work to address the issue and comment on the ticket for clarification and feedback when necessary
  • You will be notified when the issue has been resolved for solution review

Import/Export a Project