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October 13, 2017

Working better with JIRA Workflows

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Adaptavist 3 minute read

Atlassian Jira has a lot of features to help you and your team work better together. There are several tools that simplify your work and processes including Jira Boards, Saved Filters, and Jira Workflows. Understanding how these features work will help you use them to their fullest.

In this blog, we look at Jira Workflows a bit more closely and show a few ways you can use Workflows to help you work better. And if you want to dive deeper on these features, check out Introducing Jira on Adaptavist Learn.

 

Jira Workflows: A refresher

Remember, Jira Workflows make up the behind-the-scenes process of every Jira Issue. They map out where the Issue has been and where it is going with Statuses and Transitions.

A Workflow Status tells you where an Issue is in its lifecycle. A Workflow Transition is the action you take to move the Issue in its lifecycle. For example, you might Start Progress (transition) to move an Issue to In Progress (Status).

Automating Jira Issues

JIRA Workflows can also handle some automation in your JIRA Issues through the following controls:

  • conditions, which control if a transition can be completed by a user, checking for permissions or group membership;
  • transitions, which validate input before a user can complete a transition, such as certain fields being completed in an Issue before the Issue can be moved to a new status; and,
  • post-functions, which handle actions after a transition has happened, such as adding a comment, updating a field, or assigning the issue to another user.

We’ll take a brief look at Post Functions below, but if you need more information on Jira Workflows, including Conditions and Validators, we dig deeper in our Introducing Jira course.

Automate with Workflows using Post Functions

We mentioned some of the ways you can use Jira Workflows to help you get work done. Let's look specifically at Post Functions, and how you can automate some processes in Jira to make your work a bit more efficient.

How do you use a Workflow post function? Post Functions will complete additional work after a transition is executed. In terms of automation, there are a lot of options here. Some of the actions a Post Function can carry out include updating Jira Issue fields, adding a comment to an Issue, or sending a Jira Notification through email.

How we typically use Post Functions

Your Jira Workflows already contain some Post Functions, as all transitions include some Post Functions to perform basic tasks like setting the Issue Status. Any Post Functions you add would be additional to what the transition already needs to carry out. An example might be that you need to change the assignee of a Jira Issue when the Issue is closed. With a Post Function in your Jira Worfklow, you can assign the issue back to the Lead Developer or another Jira user for review or for reporting purposes–automatically handling this process for you so you can move on to other tasks.

So there you have it! Post Functions in Jira Workflows help you automate some of your tasks, including changing the Issue assignee, adding a Comment to a Jira Issue, and updating an Issue field to a specified value.

Want some help getting to grips with Jira Workflows and what you can do with them? Take a look at Module 5 of Introducing Jira at Adaptavist Learn.