Do we need the Severity field in JIRA?

Is it absolutely necessary for the severity field in JIRA to be required when reporting an issue? It stops us from creating issues directly from Bamboo failures or Sonar issues as it is a custom field not supported by external clients.

If we make it optional, it will still be displayed on the create issue page with the default value 3, but we will be able to use external clients to report issues.

I actually wonder what is the purpose of that field. It can be set when creating an issue and then I guess it is translated to priority when viewing or editing an existing issue. Is it just to have other wording for priority? Is the inconsistency between creation and view/edit screens desired?

It only shows up for Bugs, right, not New Features? Personally I think it’s mainly useless, in the sense that the bug triage process of a distributed open source project without any reliable service contract with its users isn’t very dependent on how severe the user thinks the bug is.

You have my vote for making it optional (at least) and even removing it (but discussion about that shouldn’t derail your main point here).

  1. Severity is the impact of the bug/problem on the system and/or the user(s).
  2. Priority is the order of importance in which we as a development team resolve/fix things.

Severity influences priority, but it obviously isn’t the only factor in determining priority for us.

Some random example definition page:

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