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Make More Work Flow in Your Workflows

Jira, Bitbucket

Guest Contributor: Mary Ramirez

Every Jira Software project is accompanied by a workflow. If it's a new project, then you have the generic out of the box workflow. For seasoned projects, you may have realized that the current workflow isn't very effective. It's important for team members to have a high level view of how and when they'd like their issues transitioned in the workflow. Too often, team members focus on every stage of an epic or a bug, creating an overly complicated workflow. An effective workflow should be simple. Using statuses, screens, transitions, conditions and post-functions upgrades your basic workflow to certified platinum.

Step 1: Statuses as 'life stages'

As you think back on life, you're able to identify different stages like your adolescence or your college ramen noddle diet. Issue types are similar to life stages. There may be many stages we can identify, but it's best practice to only use necessary statuses. If your Jira instance doesn't have a status like "coding review," ask your Jira Administrator to create one. Avoid creating statuses that are repetitive, such as "waiting for customer" and "customer waiting." And when adding statuses to your workflow, avoid adding too many, especially repetitive ones like "To Do" and "Open" or "Done" and "Resolved".

Step 2: Promotion to the next grade

Good grades usually result in promotion from one grade to another with the end goal being completing school. Transitions in your workflow handle issues similarly, automating the workflow with conditions, triggers, post-functions and validators. Global transitions allow issues to move from one status to any other status. If you have strict guidelines in your process, issues can be set to transition from one status to a limited set of other statuses. Transitions can also have conditions set to them. A popular condition used in Jira Service Desk is to block issues from transitioning if there is a pending approval using "Block transition until approval." This is useful for teams that require management approval before major changes are made to infrastructure. Teams using Jira Software and Bitbucket apply triggers to their workflows that initiate a pull request and/or commit once an issue is transitioned to the code review status.

Step 3: Screens are like yearbooks

Yearbooks collect information such as the most popular song, the prom king and queen and everyone's embarrassing picture accompanied by their name. Every yearbook is custom. Workflow transition screens are similar. Adding specific or custom fields to transition screens in your workflow can help you gather more information throughout the workflow. A commonly used transition screen is the resolution screen. The resolution screen displays the resolution field with a drop down displaying different types of resolutions. These resolutions are important when searching for closed issues. The resolution screen  also contains a comment field where assignees can add comments about the issue.

Managing JIRA at Scale White Paper

TAGS: Jira, Bitbucket

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