I'm impressed by JIRA. I have a suggestion that stems from the following question: How does one decide which issues to work on first? If one sorts by Prioirty, the highest priority will sort to the top. However, the highest prioirty issue came from a client worth $10,000/year. I have other lower priority issues that came from my largest client, worth $100,000/year. Which issues should I address first? From an internal standpoint I'm going to address the issues that have the most value to me as a company. Also, if I always have outstanding High priority issues, I may never get to the trivial issues. A trivial issue may be a mis-spelling on a screen. Easy to fix, doesn't affect business logic, but very embarassing for the company. Shouldn't it be fixed soon?
The Priority field should be reserved for internal use only and is set by business case. The values JIRA currently uses for Priority should actually be in a Severity field. The Severity never changes over the life of an issue. It is non-negotiable. Priority is negotiable and may change over the life of the issue. Low Severity issues may initially be assigned a low priority. Over time, the priority increases so the issue will eventually be addressed. It still remains a Low Severity issue though. As a manager, one can see a list of all the issues for one's department and adjust priorities so that issues will be resolved in the order that most affects the viability of the department, and thus the company. Developers simply work from the top of the list. It makes it easy for everyone involved to understand what needs fixing first and who's working on what...
I'm sure it would be possible to add this as a user-defined field. However, I feel this needs to be an integral part of the application and treated as a first-class field for sorting, reporting, and display.