Every board can represent one or more projects; however, the Simplified Workflow can only be used if a board represents a single project. Every project uses either a Jira Workflow or the Simplified Workflow to control the transitioning of issues from one status to another. The workflow determines which statuses are available.

Your board will be using the Simplified Workflow if your board was created as part of creating a project, (including via the Jira Software Getting Started page).

On this page:

Before you begin

You must be a Jira administrator or a board administrator for the board to switch it to the Simplified Workflow.

Benefits of using the Simplified Workflow 

The Simplified Workflow offers the following benefits over a JIRA workflow:

Simplified WorkflowJIRA Workflow
  • Has three default steps for Scrum boards: To Do, In Progress, Done.
  • Has four default steps for Kanban boards: Backlog, Selected for Development, In Progress, Done.
  • Has more steps than are typically needed on a board (e.g. see the default Jira workflow)  .
  • Allows issues to be dragged freely between columns.
  • Has workflow "conditions" that prevent issues from being dragged freely between all columns.
  • Displays no screens on any transitions – all transitions will happen instantly.
  • Automatically sets a resolution of 'Done' when issues are transitioned to the 'successful' column, i.e. statuses mapped to the successful column (see Configuring columns).
  • Displays screens for Resolve Issue, Close Issue, and Reopen Issue.
  • Can be edited via the board configuration (see Adding a new status on the Configuring columns page), provided that you are the project administrator for the project that is on the board.
  • Can only be edited via workflow configuration, see Workflows for more information.
For information about workflow  steps , transitions, and conditions, see Workflows for more information.

Switching to Simplified Workflow

How can I tell if my board is using Simplified Workflow?

To check this, view the Columns configuration for your board (described below) — If you are using the Simplified Workflow, you will see the words 'Using Simplified Workflow' (see screenshot). Otherwise, you will see the 'Simplify workflow' button or the words 'Simplified Workflow unavailable'.

If your project is currently using a Jira workflow, you may want to switch to the Simplified Workflow. You will then be able to easily add new statuses from within Jira Software . Note, the default steps for the Simplified Workflow (described in table above) will not be created when you switch from a Jira workflow. Your existing workflow steps will be included in the workflow instead. The default steps are only created if the Simplified Workflow is chosen when the board and project are created in Jira Software.

Project pre-requisites

You will only be able to switch to Simplified Workflow if:

  • There is only one project being viewed by your board (to check this, look at the board's filter)
  • That project uses a Jira workflow scheme, which only has one workflow for all issue types
  • Your workflow only uses Post Functions, Validators, and Conditions, which are provided by Atlassian (not any of which are provided by apps)
  • The existing workflow has at least one outgoing transition for each status

To switch to Simplified Workflow:

  1. Before you begin, back up your Jira data, see Backing up data (Jira Admin documentation). 
    Switching to the Simplified Workflow will migrate all of the project's issues to the new workflow, which may take some time. The project's original workflow and scheme not be changed, so any other projects using these will not be affected.

  2. Go to the desired board, then click Board > Configure.
  3. Click the Columns tab.

  4. Click the Simplify workflow button, as shown in first screenshot below. If this button does not display, check that your project meets the pre-requisites described above.

  5. Your project(s) will switch to use Simplified Workflow, as shown in the second screenshot below. The Add Status button will now be shown.

Screenshot: the 'Board Configuration' screen ('Columns' tab) — this board is not using Simplified Workflow:

Screenshot: the 'Board Configuration' screen ('Columns' tab) — this board is  using  Simplified Workflow:

Next steps

(info) Need help? If you can't find the answer you need in our documentation, we have other resources available to help you. See Getting help.

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