Hello there. I’m Lianna Kong and I’ve been a Jira administrator for a very long time. Over ten years, I’ve worked in the Atlassian environment with multiple companies. Today, I’ll introduce you to Jira Gore where we’ll go over some of the most interesting, but surprisingly not unique, requests that I have come across.
With most initial project requests, the beginning starts out unassuming and simple. The workflow is tidy and the field counts are low. So I build a standard workflow. OPEN to IN PROGRESS to CLOSED. Sometimes with a BLOCKED state.
This works for 90% of people, until they realize how granular they can get with their statuses.
The next comment is, “Well, let’s add a review step”.
Then it’s “add a QA step”.
And then “What about a step to say that something is ready for review? How about Ready for Development?”
None of these seem daunting to add. Usually it’s not a big deal, not even when you have to click through one status to get to the next status - gates.
So now the workflow looks like this:
With gates, it means that the ticket transitions 6 times to hit that Closed state. It’s like taking the bus... except, it’s not an express bus. It’s that city bus that needs to hit every bus stop. But hey, it makes sense - you don’t want someone to just close tickets without finishing the ticket.
It’s not looking so bad, right? Then comes the following: UNDER INVESTIGATION, DESIGN, DESIGN REVIEW, DEV TESTING, UAT, READY TO DEPLOY, PRODUCTION TESTING.
Our seven status workflow just blew up to 14 STATUSES!
“But we need all of these statuses! They tell us exactly where our ticket is at all times! We have so many teams working on the same ticket, we need to make sure that each of their steps is accounted for in our workflow and we can’t work on the next step until the previous person has completed their step.” Clearly this all makes sense.
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Ok, a lot a bit. This is what it looks like:
Now imagine you’re in DESIGN and you realize that this isn’t something you’ll be able to build and you want to cancel it.
Guess what, you can’t cancel the ticket. You have to click through each transition to close the ticket.
Easy fix, add in all transitions. Downside - you’re still working in a very structured waterfall method. One team is going to have several iterations while they’re working through the process. This still isn’t ideal. Why does everyone have to be working on one ticket? What happened to agile? What just happened? Who’s driving this bus? I think we got transported back into when my dad was doing software development.
Honestly, when I get a request like this I cry a bit inside and then take a deep breath and tell them no one wants to see this. Really, no one.
Separate your work, break it up into more manageable pieces, and use epics, stories, tasks, sub-tasks, and linked issues. They’ll make your life much easier than this click fiesta dumpster fire.