As a Jira administrator, you need to activate workflows before your teams can use them to streamline project work. To activate a workflow, include it in a workflow scheme and associate that workflow scheme with a project. You can also import and export workflows to share them across teams. 

Before you begin. This page contains information for how to set up and configure classic Jira projects. Classic Jira projects have different features and capabilities than next-gen Jira projects.

If you're looking for information on setting up a next-gen project, check out the following documentation:

Activating a workflow

All workflows are inactive until you associate them with a workflow scheme, which can then be associated with a project. To activate a workflow: 

  1. Select > Issues.
  2. Under WORKFLOWS, click Workflow schemes to see a list of active and inactive schemes. 
  3. Create a workflow scheme or edit an active workflow scheme. Tip: click the Active or Inactive headings to expand and collapse the list of workflows.
  4. Add your workflow to the scheme. See Configuring workflow schemes for more information. 

  5. Follow the steps in the Associating a workflow scheme with a project section below.

Associating a workflow scheme with a project

To finish activating your workflow, associate the workflow scheme it's in with a project. If an issue type is not defined in the project's issue type scheme, that specific workflow is not used.

  1. Choose Settings > Projects.
  2. Select the project you want to associate your workflow scheme to.
  3. Go to your project and click Project settings
  4. Click Workflows. You'll see which workflow scheme the project currently uses.
  5. Click Switch Scheme and select the relevant workflow scheme from the Scheme list. 

  6. Click Associate to begin the migration process. Each issue needs to have a valid status, so you may need to assign statuses to a select number of issues after you switch workflow schemes. 

A Jira project must always be associated with a workflow scheme, since all issues must move through a workflow. To disassociate a custom workflow scheme from a project, simply associate that project to the default workflow scheme instead.

Importing a workflow

Other Jira users across the world have crated a breadth of workflows they find useful in their classic Jira projects. You can import these workflows to try them out on your Jira site.

In Jira Cloud, you can't import workflows from anywhere other than the Atlassian Marketplace.

To import a workflow from the Atlassian Marketplace:

  1. Select  > Issues.
  2. Click Workflows Import from Marketplace. You'll see available workflows, ordered by the number of downloads.
  3. Find the workflow you want and click Select.
  4. You can keep using the default workflow name or choose a new name and click Next.
  5. Map the steps of the imported workflow to your existing workflow statuses or create new statuses. When you're finished, click Next.
  6. Review the summary of the import details and click Import.

Exporting a workflow

For security reasons, only site admins can export workflows from Jira. Learn more about exporting workflows.