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Use the simplified workflow

Jira Software projects use either the Jira workflow or the simplified workflow, to control the transition of issues from one status to another. The workflow of the project determines which statuses are available in that project.

A board can be configured to show the issues of one or more projects. However, you can only use the simplified workflow if your board represents a single project.

Also, if your board was created as a result of creating a project, the board will be using the simplified workflow.

Before you begin

To configure the board and any of its settings, you must be either:

  • project administrator for the location of the board

  • board administrator for the board itself

See Permissions overview for more information.

Benefits of using the simplified workflow 

The simplified workflow has the following benefits over the Jira workflow:

Simplified workflow

Jira 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 (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 Configure columns)

Displays screens for Resolve Issue, Close Issue, and Reopen Issue

Can be edited via board settings or directly on the board (provided you’re a project admin for the project used by the board, or a board admin for the board itself)

Can only be edited via workflow configuration, see Workflows for more information

For information about workflow steps, transitions, and conditions, see Workflows.

Switch to the simplified workflow

How can I tell if my board is using the simplified workflow?

  1. Go to your board, then select more () > Configure board.

  2. Select Columns in the left menu.

  3. Check what’s described under Workflow type.

If you’re using the simplified workflow, you’ll see the words: You’re using the simplified workflow.

Otherwise, you’ll see the words: You’re using the Jira workflow.

If your project is currently using the 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 that the default steps for the simplified workflow (described in the table above) will not be created when you switch from the 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 the 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 that are provided by Atlassian — and not any of which provided by add-ons

  • The existing workflow has at least one outgoing transition for each status

To switch to the simplified workflow:

  1. Go to your board, then select more () > Configure board.

  2. Select Columns in the left menu.

  3. Under Workflow type, select the Simplify workflow button. If this button doesn't display, check that your project meets the pre-requisites described above.

  4. In the Simplify workflow modal, select which statuses trigger the resolution to be set to Done, then select Next.

  5. Review the changes to your workflow, then select Confirm. The Add status button will now be shown in the Unmapped statuses section.

You can view workflow statuses and transitions in company-managed projects. When viewing an issue, select the status dropdown, then View workflow.

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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