About Effective Jira Notifications : Good Practices

Are you also overwhelmed with an abundance of JIRA notifications?

As Atlassian Engineers, we are getting on average 200 JIRA messages per day.  The only good thing about JIRA messages is that they can be deleted without risk (the actual information is safe in JIRA).  Still, 200 messages are a chore to process, so we have been wondering if another approach can ensure that we only get the messages that are useful to receive.

This blog post highlights our approach to configuring sparse notifications to avoid overwhelming our users.

What is a useful JIRA message?

Before we can define an effective notification approach, we need to define what a useful message is. In our case, it means that I only want:

  • to receive messages on issues, I’m expecting to react on
  • to keep updating on issues that I select as important


Setting up sparse notifications

To implement effective notifications, we configure JIRA with:

  • No Autowatch functionality
  • A Watcher-only notification scheme


No Autowatch functionality

Autowatch is the feature of JIRA that makes you automatically a watcher if you create, update, or comment on an issue. If you have the Autowatch feature enabled, chances are high that you get notified about all modifications.

Disabling Autowatch can be done on the profile level or on a global level. Check the link for more details on profile level:

The Watcher only notification scheme

The Watcher only notification scheme is a scheme where only the watchers are getting notified whenever something happens on an issue. It is easy to create:

  • Access Notification Schemes
    admin > issues > notification schemes (or use the ‘GG’ shortcut)
  • Create a new notification scheme (call it Sparse Notifications)
  • Add one notification to ‘All watchers’ for all events
  • Associate the notification scheme with all relevant projects

Add yourself as a watcher where relevant.  If you want to notify someone else about the issue, you just mention this person and s/he can then decide if it is worth watching.



You can stop overwhelming your JIRA users with notifications by ensuring that each notification is relevant. To do that, you need to create a Watcher only notification scheme, disable Autowatch, and start mentioning the users who should be notified.


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