Activating workflow

Workflows need to be activated to use them in JIRA. Activating a workflow is the process of mapping the workflow to a workflow scheme, and then associating the workflow scheme with a project.

A workflow scheme defines a set of associations – or mappings – between a workflow and an issue type. Workflow schemes are associated with a project and make it possible to use a different workflow for every combination of project and issue type.

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.
  • Active workflow schemes are those associated with projects. Inactive workflow schemes are not associated with any projects.

(info) To configure a workflow scheme, see Configuring workflow schemes.

Activating a workflow

To activate a workflow:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA Administrators global permission.
  2. Create a workflow scheme or find an existing workflow scheme. See Configuring workflow schemes for instructions.
  3. Configure the workflow scheme to use your workflow. See Configuring workflow schemes for instructions.
  4. Associate your workflow scheme with a project, as described in the Associating a workflow scheme with a project section below.

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.
    (info) In some cases, JIRA will drop you out of administration mode. To get back, click the Administer Project button on the top right.
  2. Choose > Projects, and click the name of a project. The Project Summary page is displayed.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: g + g + start typing projects


    Projects Summary screen

  3. Click Workflows on the left of the Project Summary page (you can also click the More link in the Workflows section in the middle of the screen). The Workflows page is displayed, indicating the current workflow scheme used by the project.
  4. Click the Switch Scheme link to display the Associate Workflow Scheme to Project page.

  5. Select the relevant workflow scheme from the Scheme list and click the Associate button to begin the migration process.
    Each issue has to be in a valid status. The valid statuses for an issue are defined by its workflow. This means that when changing a workflow, you may need to tell JIRA the status for specific issues after the change.


    Publish Workflows status mapping screen

    A screen displays that indicates the progress of migrating all the project's issues to the updated scheme's workflows.

  6. Click Acknowledge to finish the process. A message displays letting you know that your workflows have been published.

(info) Please Note:

  • You can associate a single workflow scheme with more than one project although, only one workflow scheme can be associated with a given project.
  • The issue type scheme associated with a project defines the issue types that are available to that project. If an issue type is not defined in the project's issue type scheme, its workflow is not used.

Disassociating a workflow scheme from a project

A JIRA project must always be associated with a workflow scheme, since all issues must move through a workflow, even if that workflow only consists of a single Create Issue transition.

All JIRA projects with workflows that haven't been modified (in any way) or that have not yet been associated with a different workflow scheme, use JIRA's system workflow. So, in this sense, disassociating a workflow scheme means reassociating your project's workflow with JIRA's default workflow scheme.

To dissociate a workflow scheme from a project:

  1. Follow the instructions in Associating a workflow scheme with a project above.
  2. When selecting the workflow scheme from the Scheme list, select the Default workflow scheme
  3. Click the Associate button.
  4. Follow the wizard, which guides you through migrating all of the project's issues to the JIRA's system workflow.

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