A complex Jira migration

 Type of assignment: Atlassian consultancy
Client: A large supermarket chain in the Netherlands

One central place to collaborate

Our customer, a well-known Dutch supermarket chain, uses Atlassian software to support their agile software development. Specifically, they use Jira for planning, issue tracking, and monitoring project progress. The end goal of this project was for their teams to work in one centralized Jira environment to facilitate reporting across teams and stimulate collaboration.

Before the start of this project, our customers' situation was less than ideal. Some of their teams worked in an Atlassian Cloud environment, while other teams worked in an on-premise environment. On top of that, the environment was also shared with multiple organizations. Our customer asked us to come up with a solution in which the on-premise instance of Jira would be phased out and migrated to the Cloud environment.


Migrating an on-premise Jira instance to a Cloud environment is no easy feat. There are some substantial differences in the underlying infrastructure and in the way Jira is structured. We encountered a number of challenges during this customer's Jira migration, including:

  • Atlassian Cloud does not offer an option to import projects (JRACLOUD-31806)
  • The shared environment uses Jira version 6.3, which is no longer supported by Atlassian (end of life)
  • The shared environment could not be changed as it is also used by other organizations
  • Some user names did not match


The Jira migration

Before the actual migration, we informed our customer about the process. We deemed it important to discuss both the positive aspects and the negative aspects of the upcoming migration:

+ Improved collaboration opportunities with other teams
+ Newer version of Jira with more functionalities
+ Better reporting options
- Downtime during the Jira migration
- The possible learning curve for working with the new environment and its new configuration

After making a Jira migration plan for the customer, we informed all team leads of the scheduled plans through e-mail and Confluence.

Preparation is the key to success

Preparing a migration in detail is crucial. We started off this Jira migration by copying the as-is configuration (on the environment to be phased out) onto the target environment. Performing such an action does not affect users in any way. In order to prevent confusion, we temporarily closed new projects in the new environment. Just imagine the unnecessary chaos that would follow if half of the issues were created in the old environment and the other half in the new environment!

Every migration comes with its own unexpected hurdles. To address these issues beforehand, we performed a test migration. This test did not interfere with users. During this test migration, we encountered several hiccups. We discovered that there was a need for additional configurational changes. We also found that there were users missing in the target environment. The test migration allowed us to create an accurate runbook to minimize the downtime and impact for users during the actual migration.

We made the decision to migrate everything to a new Cloud environment. This was done deliberately as the final import overwrites all old data. If something had gone wrong, we could always revert to the original environment. Better safe than sorry!

Tip: We can extend the evaluation of a Cloud environment from 7 days to 30 days for you!


We broke the Jira migration down into 6 steps. The diagram below outlines all of the required steps before the migration. Step 1 - copying the configuration - was completed in the preparation phase. Thanks to this thorough preparation, we completed steps 2, 3 and 4 in one single day. The final steps and the migration to the new Cloud environment were carried out the following day. Because of our approach, we were able to limit the total downtime to little more than a day.

Jumbo Migration Case


We made arrangements with our customer to stay available in the period after the migration. This meant we could quickly resolve any possible issues.

The final result

  • An up-to-date centralized Jira environment
  • Improved options for reporting
  • An increase in (knowledge) sharing between teams
  • Cost reduction
  • Happy employees
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