descriptionLearn what a workflow is, how to view, set up, and edit workflows for your request types, how to create custom statuses and transitions, and more.

Are you on the right help page?

The following information only applies to team-managed projects.

To check which type project you need help with, look at the bottom of your project’s left-hand sidebar:

Workflows represent your team’s process. They control how people progress your project’s work, and guide them on how to take a task from start to finish.

You must have the administrator role in your project to do the things described on this page. Learn more about team-managed project roles.

What is a workflow?

Two concepts define a workflow in team-managed projects:

  1. Statuses – the steps in your team’s working process that describe the state of a task.

  2. Transitions – how a piece of work can move between statuses.

What are workflow statuses?

Statuses help people understand the state of a piece of work. They appear in many views across your Jira site, linked Atlassian products, and third-party apps.

In Jira Software, your project comes with three default statuses:

  • To do

  • In progress

  • Done

We recommend these for starting a project. As your team progresses, you may need to add more statuses to control the flow of your team’s work.

Statuses can be shared between issue types. This allows you to search for and report on issues in the same status across any issue type. For example, you can find any issues that are currently “In progress” regardless if they are a story, a bug, or a subtask.

Read more about creating, editing, and deleting statuses in the workflow editor.

What are status categories?

Jira lets you collect many statuses under a to-do, in-progress, or done category. These categories help you sort, filter, and report on your project work. For example, you might have a “Backlog” to-do status and a “Waiting for approval” to-do status. Or, you might have a “Developing” in-progress status and an “In review” in-progress status.

Read more about creating, editing, and deleting statuses in the workflow editor.

What are workflow transitions?

Transitions connect statuses and help define the flow of work in your project.These pathways define how people move pieces of work through your workflow. For example, if you run a pizza shop, you might have different statuses depending on who’s picking up the pizza. Once the pizza is “Ready for pickup”, it can move down the “Send for delivery” transition, putting it in the “On the way” status. Or, it can transition down the “Give to customer” transition, showing that the pizza work is done.

Read more about creating, editing, and deleting transitions in the workflow editor.

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Transitions become pretty powerful when you add rules to them. Rules automate repetitive actions when people move work between statuses. Read more about adding rules workflow rules.

View and edit an issue type’s workflow

To view an issue type’s workflow:

  1. From your project's sidebar, select Project settings > Issue types.

  2. From the sidebar, select the issue type you want to know more about.

  3. Select Edit workflow.

Save changes to an issue type’s workflow

To save an issue type’s workflow:

  1. When you’re done editing the issue type’s workflow, select Update workflow.

  2. From the dropdown, deselect lozenges to confirm which issue type the workflow will apply to.

  3. Select Save.

Changes you make to your workflow aren’t applied until you save and exit the workflow editor.

Resolve conflicts when saving a workflow

Workflow changes might affect project work that’s already in flight. Don’t worry too much about conflicts. Jira warns you about any issues that are in statuses you’re deleting and asks you to change their status to a valid one. Keep in mind, prompted changes like these won’t execute any rules. It just updates the issues' statuses.