Documentation for JIRA 4.4. Documentation for other versions of JIRA is available too.

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

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.

(info) 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 defines a set of associations (or 'mappings') between any workflow and any issue type. A workflow scheme is associated with a project, which thereby defines what issue types available in the project use what workflows. Workflow schemes make it possible to use a different workflow for every combination of project and issue type.

On this page:

Creating a Workflow Scheme

To create a workflow scheme:

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission.
  2. Select 'Administration' > 'Issues' > 'Workflows' > 'Workflow Schemes' (tab) to open the 'Workflow Schemes' page, which shows a list of all existing workflow schemes in your system.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: 'g' + 'g' + start typing 'workflow schemes'
  3. Click the 'Add Workflow Scheme' link. The 'Add Workflow Scheme' page is displayed.
  4. Type a Name and (optionally) a short Description for the new workflow scheme.
  5. Click the 'Add' button. The 'Edit Workflows for <name of your workflow scheme>' page is displayed, showing your newly-created scheme.
  6. Click the 'Assign a workflow' link. The 'Add Workflow To Scheme' page is displayed.
    1. In the 'Issue Type' dropdown list, select an issue type that is relevant to your workflow.
      (info) 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.
    2. In the 'Workflow' dropdown list, select the name of your new workflow.
    3. Click the 'Add' button.
  7. Repeat the previous step until your new workflow has been associated with all the relevant issue types.
    (tick) 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. Select 'Administration' > 'Projects' and from the dropdown menu, select the name of the project of interest. The 'Project Summary' page is displayed.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: 'g' + 'g' + start typing 'projects'
  3. On the left of the 'Project Summary' page, click the 'Workflows' tab (or in the 'Workflows' section, click either the name of the current workflow scheme or the 'More' link). The 'Workflows' page is displayed, indicating the current workflow scheme used by the project.
    Screenshot: The Project Workflows page (JIRA 4.4.1 and later)
  4. If using JIRA 4.4.1 or later, click the 'Actions' dropdown menu and choose 'Select a scheme' (or 'Use a different scheme'). The 'Associate Workflow Scheme to Project' page is displayed.
    (info) If using JIRA 4.4.0, click the pencil icon instead.
  5. Select the relevant workflow scheme from the 'Scheme' list and click the 'Associate' button.
  6. Follow the wizard, which will guide you through migrating all the project's issues to the new scheme's workflows.

(info) Please Note:

  • You can associate a single workflow scheme with more than one project.
  • Be aware that the issue type scheme associated with a project defines what issue types are available to that project. Hence, if an issue type (defined in the same project's workflow scheme) is not defined in the project's issue type scheme, then that issue type's workflow will not be used. Of course, this situation will change if that issue type is subsequently added to the project's issue type scheme.

Editing a Workflow Scheme

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

  1. Select 'Administration' > 'Issues' > 'Workflows' > 'Workflow Schemes' (tab) to open the 'Workflow Schemes' page, which shows a list of all existing workflow schemes in your system.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: 'g' + 'g' + start typing 'workflow schemes'
  2. Either click the name of the workflow scheme of interest or under the 'Operations' column, click the 'Workflows' link associated with the workflow scheme of interest. The 'Edit Workflows' page is displayed.
  3. On the 'Edit Workflows' page, you can:
    • Associate a workflow with an issue type by clicking the 'Assign a workflow  to an issue type for this scheme' link.
      • Upon doing so, the 'Add Workflow to Scheme' page is displayed. From this page, select the 'Issue Type' and 'Workflow' that you want to associate together and click the 'Add' button.
    • Dissociate a workflow from an issue type by clicking the 'Delete' link associated with the issue type and its workflow.

(info) It is not possible to edit an active workflow scheme. An active workflow scheme is one that is currently associated with one or more projects. Instead:

  • Copy the active workflow.
  • Edit this (inactive) copy of the workflow.
  • Associate all the relevant projects with the new copy.

Disassociating a Workflow Scheme from a Project

To disassociate a workflow scheme from a project, i.e. associate the project with JIRA's default workflow scheme:

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission.
  2. Select 'Administration' > 'Projects' and from the dropdown menu, select the name of the project of interest. The 'Project Summary' page is displayed.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: 'g' + 'g' + start typing 'projects'
  3. On the left of the 'Project Summary' page, click the 'Workflows' tab (or in the 'Workflows' section, click either the name of the current workflow scheme or the 'More' link). The 'Workflows' page is displayed, indicating the current workflow scheme used by the project.
    Screenshot: The Project Workflows page (JIRA 4.4.1 and later)
  4. If using JIRA 4.4.1 or later, click the 'Actions' dropdown menu and choose 'Use a different scheme'. The 'Associate Workflow Scheme to Project' page is displayed.
    (info) If using JIRA 4.4.0, click the pencil icon instead.
  5. Select the 'Default' workflow scheme from the 'Scheme' list and click the 'Associate' button.
  6. Follow the wizard, which will guide you through migrating all of the project's issues to the default workflow.

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