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Best practices for managing queues at scale

For any team in Jira Service Management, queues are critical for the service project as your agents use queues to categorize, prioritize, and take actions on requests. Queues act as filters for requests. They can be set to show specific requests based on their type, status or something else, using a JQL statement.

As teams grow, it is important for you, as a project admin to consider how you set up your queues so the team can manage requests efficiently, which includes managing load times but also mental load for your team.

Prioritize work using queue groups

Queues are grouped into 3 sections: Starred, Team priority, and Other in the project’s sidebar. Queues under Starred and Team priority will refresh and update their issue counts regularly. Queues under Other do not refresh, and are collapsed by default.

Any given queue will only refresh its count up until 999 issues at which point it will display 999+. For the best experience, agents should only see and refresh the queues that are relevant to them.

Limit the number of queues in team priority

It can be tempting to put all your queues into Team priority. Data shows that on average an agent views no more than 3 queues each week. With all the queues under this group, every agent has to take on a lot of additional mental load, extra refreshing and scrolling.

Recommendations:

  1. Start by moving all queues to the Other group.

  2. Encourage team members to Star the queues most relevant to them. Learn more about starring queues.

  3. Consider which queues are critical to the success of your team (e.g. high priority, expiring SLA, and/or high impact). Gradually move these queues into Team priority.

Learn more about arranging queues into groups.

Avoid queues that attempt to return too many issues

These queues have often been there since the beginning of your project. They help small teams visualize and design a structure that helps them grow. But as the number of issues in the project and site grow, these queues become a performance burden, especially when they are included in refreshing sections.

Recommendations:

Reconfigure queues that use complex JQL clauses

All queues utilise Jira Query Language (JQL), which is Atlassian’s proprietary language for querying issues. Similar to other database queries. Often it is better to have multiple simple queues than one complex one. Learn more about optimising JQL.

Recommendations:

  • Avoid queues that analyse across multiple custom fields, complex functions, and/or labels.

  • JQL clauses provided by Marketplace apps installed on your site can sometimes be problematic. Reduce their use if a queue is underperforming.

Update the queues that search text fields for keywords

It is possible to create queues that will perform full-text searches across issues. These queues perform on-the-fly categorization, and might suggest room for improvement in your request structure. For example, you might be trying to extract “summary ~ ‘fault’” or “description ~ ‘component name’” or the worst of all “text ~ ‘thing’”.

Recommendations:

  • Use request types and hidden fields to help customer categorize issues at point of creation, then build queues based on categories.

  • Automation rules to categorize issues (e.g. applying components or labels) then build queues based on categories.

  • Use Filters or Search for finding specific issues.

Build dynamic queues that work for individuals

Queues in the Team priority group are sometimes not for everyone. When faced with all the noise of a busy project it is not uncommon for individuals to create queues for themselves. Although this might boost their productivity, it will slow everyone else down who has to see and load a queue that is irrelevant to them.

Recommendations:

  • Build dynamic queues. Utilize JQL functions like “currentUser()” to personalize queues to the individuals.

  • Move unique or personalized queues to the Other group, and encourage agents to star queues that are relevant to them. Learn more about starring queues.

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