Documentation for JIRA 4.0. Documentation for other versions of JIRA is available too.

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How is Workflow 'Activated'?

Once you have created a new workflow or modified an inactive workflow, you will need to activate it. To activate a workflow, you need to:

  1. Create a Workflow Scheme that references your workflow, and (optionally) associate it with the relevant issue type(s).
  2. Associate the Workflow Scheme with the relevant project(s).

Some terminology:

  • "Active" workflows are those that are currently being used.
  • "Inactive" workflows are those that are not associated with any Workflow Schemes, or are associated with Workflow Schemes that are not associated with any projects.

    Please note that if you edit an active workflow, it does not need to be re-activated after your changes. Read more about editing active workflows.

What is a 'Workflow Scheme'?

A Workflow Scheme associates a particular workflow with particular projects and (optionally) particular issue types. Therefore it is possible to use a different workflow for every project/issue type combination, if you wish.

Creating a Workflow Scheme

To create a workflow scheme:

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. In the left-hand navigation panel, under "Schemes", click the "Workflow Schemes" link.
  4. The "Workflow Schemes" page will be displayed, showing a list of all existing workflow schemes in your system. Click the "Add Workflow Scheme" link.
  5. The "Add Workflow Scheme" page will be displayed. Type a Name and (optionally) a short Description for the new workflow scheme, then click the "Add" button. This will create the scheme.
  6. The "Edit Workflows" page will be displayed, showing your newly-created scheme. Click the "Assign a workflow to an issue type" link.
  7. The "Add Workflow To Scheme" page will be displayed.
    • In the "Issue Type" drop-down list, select an issue type that is relevant to your workflow. Note: you can also select "All Unassigned Issue Types" to associate your workflow with all issue types that do not have a specific association in this workflow scheme.
    • In the "Workflow" drop-down list, select the name of your new workflow.
    • Click the "Add" button.
  8. Repeat the previous step until your new workflow has been associated with all the relevant issue types. Note that you can choose different workflows for some issue types if you wish.

Once a Workflow Scheme is fully defined you need to associate it with one or more projects (see below) so that the scheme's workflows are actually used by your JIRA system.

Associating a Workflow Scheme with a Project

To associate a workflow scheme with a project:

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. In the left-hand navigation panel, click the "Projects" link.
  4. A list of projects will be displayed. Click the name of the project in which you are interested.
  5. The "Administer Project" page will be displayed. Click the "Select" link next to the "Workflow Scheme" property of the project.
  6. The "Associate Workflow Scheme to Project" page will be displayed. Select the relevant scheme from the list and click the "Associate" button.
  7. Follow the wizard, which will guide you through migrating all the project's issues to the new scheme's workflows.

    You can associate a workflow scheme with more than one project.

Editing a Workflow Scheme

To edit a workflow scheme, i.e. to change which workflows are associated with which issue types:

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. In the left-hand navigation panel, under "Schemes", click the "Workflow Schemes" link.
  4. The "Workflow Schemes" page will be displayed, showing a list of all existing workflow schemes in your system. Click the "Workflows" link next to the workflow scheme in which you are interested.
  5. The "Edit Workflows" page will be displayed.
    • To associate a workflow with an issue type, click the "Assign a workflow to an issue type" link.
    • To disssociate a workflow from an issue type, click the "Delete" link.

      It is not possible to edit an active workflow scheme, that is, a workflow scheme that is currently associated with one or more projects. Instead: copy it, edit the new copy and then associate all the relevant projects with the new copy.

Disassociating a Workflow Scheme from a Project

To disassociate a workflow scheme from a project:

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. In the left-hand navigation panel, click the "Projects" link.
  4. A list of projects will be displayed. Click the name of the project in which you are interested.
  5. The "Administer Project" page will be displayed. Click the "Select" link next to the "Workflow Scheme" property of the project.
  6. Select "None" from the presented list and click the "Associate" button.
  7. Follow the wizard, which will guide you through migrating all of the project's issues to the default workflow.

    All projects that do not have an associated workflow scheme use JIRA's default workflow.

Additional Resources

  • Workflow scheme overview tutorial video — Watch this short tutorial video to see how to create a new workflow scheme and associate it with a project in JIRA. Please note the JIRA version and JIRA edition of the tutorial video before watching.