How to generate custom Jira workflows for managing computer software development

Graphic: BalanceFormCreative/Adobe Inventory

What is Jira?

Although initially developed as a bug tracker, above the many years Atlassian’s Jira has turn out to be the 900 pound gorilla in the organization for handling software development initiatives.

There are a selection of reasons for that recognition, from its pivotal role in Atlassian’s bigger DevSecOps toolchain, to the substantial quantity of 3rd-social gathering plugins available through Atlassian’s market. A single contributor to that reputation is the versatile way Jira handles workflows, making it possible for groups to adapt the software to the way benefit moves by means of their workstream, compared to modifying the way the team is effective to align with the device.

SEE: Hiring kit: Back again-conclude Developer (TechRepublic High quality)

What’s a workflow?

In application enhancement, a workflow defines the ways and statuses that jobs go as a result of as a component of a team’s course of action. Out of the box, Jira provides a three move easy workflow (Figure A).

Figure A

Picture: Monthly bill Francis/TechRepublic.

You can consider if you were establishing, say, a mobile buying application for a fast service restaurant, and your staff was tasked with adding the skill to accept credit rating card payments, how this perform might flow from still left to right.

Your product or service operator would produce up the specifications, and when it was completely ready, place the job to implement this feature in To Do. A developer would then start out working on this attribute marking it In Development. When she completes that function, the make gets handed to a tester. If every thing will work as anticipated, the tester moves the activity to Finished.

Throughout the process, Jira offers visibility to all the stakeholders who are not in the code, in result allowing a venture supervisor to preserve up with plan and indirectly funds.

How program receives created

In reality, software program development is not a linear system. It has starts and stops and usually has to repeat measures of the approach till the sought after result is attained. Even our easy out of the box workflow does not truly just movement from remaining to proper. Here’s a more practical illustration of how tasks circulation throughout even the simplest of Jira workflows (Figure B):

Figure B

Picture: Monthly bill Francis/TechRepublic.

Key workflow factors

Before we get much too deep into what’s an ideal workflow and how to make it utilizing Jira, it is significant to stage-established on the crucial parts of a workflow as described by the software.


This is the current condition of a discrete function product. In our uncomplicated workflow, a endeavor is possibly To Do, In Development or Completed.


These are the steps taken in the resource to move a activity from one particular condition to the subsequent. In our instance, the act of assigning one thing in the To Do condition to a developer could possibly changeover that item to In Development.


When a task is ultimately finished it requirements some involved resolution. The resolution is the disposition of the closing state of a work item. It’s thought of finalized or no more time open up. In our basic workflow, this is Performed, but in a far more superior workflow, you may possibly have other resolutions doable such as Canceled or Published.


The majority of software groups these days working with Jira for undertaking administration are handling their assignments applying some type of agile improvement. This means – in a team setting – the team usually works from some sort of board, generally kanban or scrum. It should appear as no shock then that workflows in Jira correlate to the columns on your boards.

Encouraged application advancement project administration workflow

There are no ideal or erroneous answers for what your software enhancement project administration workflow ought to be in Jira. Workflow can change, even inside of a workforce, for diverse kinds of jobs.

For instance, the workflow of a software package bug is very likely likely to be different than that of a new aspect. Even with slight naming variants to align with your organization, there are some ideal techniques you can appear to for advice.


A category is one of the most important and usually disregarded, qualities of building a task management workflow in Jira. Within just Jira there are only a few groups, and you have currently found them (Determine A).

In the easiest, out of the box workflow, categories and statuses are the similar. Having said that, as we construct out and personalize our workflow, all new statuses ought to map to just one of these 3 groups. Why? For reporting and automation. Jira has a selection of canned reports, like the burn down, that only purpose if irrespective of how many states you insert to your custom workflow, anything maps back again to one particular of these three preordained categories (Figure C).

Determine C

Picture: Bill Francis/TechRepublic.


This is the rough checklist of all the known work your team has sorted in priority purchase. All responsibilities that enter the workflow start off in the backlog.

To do

Once ample needs are collected and a activity is deemed completely ready, it gets moved into the To Do condition where by it is available for a developer to commence coding.

In development

As the task is becoming concluded by the developer, it is viewed as in progress. When the developer finishes the activity to his gratification, he will transfer it to Test.


As a greatest follow, a developer does not check his personal perform. So goods marked as Test are undergoing evaluation by another crew member, generally a excellent assurance engineer or the products operator, to assure all the acceptance conditions are met.


Tasks that properly pass the exam stage get solved with a status of Accomplished.


If for any rationale from the time a undertaking enters the backlog, up till the time it is marked done, the workforce decides the operate won’t be concluded it gets fixed with a status of Canceled. This guarantees we can track that the process was regarded, and in some circumstances began, versus just deleting it which would supply an incomplete photograph down the highway.


At any position at the time the get the job done commences if a staff member just cannot proceed doing the job on the item, it will get moved to Blocked. The intent right here is to draw focus to an merchandise that was committed to and now not currently being worked on so that the team can swarm all around the concern and get it unstuck.

How to configure Jira

Making the workflows in the Jira software itself is rather straight-forward and can be discovered on the Atlassian web site.

Note that workflows get created differently based on regardless of whether you have a “company-managed” venture or a “team-managed” project. If you aren’t guaranteed which applies to you, glance at the lower-left corner of your venture sidebar. It ought to both say “you’re in a workforce managed project” or “you’re in a organization-managed task.”

Once you are happy with which kind or job you have, observe the suitable one-way links on the Atlassian support page. If you aren’t very positive you want to deal with setting up your personal job administration workflows for software development, think about a plugin from Atlassian’s market to do it for you.

4 tips for developing tailor made Jira workflows

When setting up your workflows, hold in head these strategies.

  • Never overthink it: The simpler the far better.
  • Group categories: It is usually bad exercise not to have all your In Development steps alongside one another as it impacts your means to evaluate cycle time.
  • Consult with all your stakeholders: The notion is to develop workflows that fulfill everyone’s requirements.
  • Lean into your transitions: This will allow you to develop validation actions, automation policies and even management assignees.