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How can I communicate on track / off track project status in Jira?


I'd like to simplify our current roadmap process, which is spread between disparate tools, by centralizing in Jira and using Epics to automatically hydrate a Jira roadmap. We'd like the ability to quickly communicate to our busy stakeholders whether a given project is on track or off track to a given date. Ideally, this would be a text field that can also render color, e.g.: "On track" (green), "At risk" (yellow), "Off track" (red). It is fine for the field to be manually adjusted (i.e., it does not need to automatically change based on a date field).

I would be happy to add custom statuses to a Jira workflow to achieve this, but it looks like the only available status categories are colored grey, blue, or green, which makes it hard to represent "at risk" and "off track" appropriately.

I would also be happy with a custom field, but may need some help configuring one. I see that I can have a multi-select type field populated with values that I determine in the admin panel, but I don't see a way to render colors in this field type. I also see that I can have a free text type field which supports wiki style rendering, but I don't see a way to control the accepted values for this field which risks things getting out of hand.

Any thoughts on the best way to configure this? Thanks.

2 answers

I'm looking for this feature as well. Can you expand on how to set up an automation like the example you gave? From what I can see, automations have to be triggered by some kind of change to the issue. Is there a way to set up the automation to change a status or label to At Risk if nothing in the issue changes but the due date is, for example, less than two weeks out?

Curt Holley Community Leader Mar 31, 2022

Something like this @Leslie Rathbone . The action can be whatever you want (transition or field update).

Screenshot 2022-04-01 081603.png

0 votes
Curt Holley Community Leader Aug 15, 2021

Hi @Chris Elliott 

Welcome to the Atlassian community

If you are happy for it to be done manually (though this could be enhanced with Automation, if you wanted) then you could just use labels "On-track", "Off-track", "At-Risk" and set up the plans view to colour by labels. This would show the colour on the timeline.


label 2.png

Thanks @Curt Holley! Headed in the right direction, although I'm curious if it is possible to do this with a field as opposed to coloring the Gantt timeline? That way it's in view regardless of where a user scrolls horizontally. Also curious how you would enhance with automation! Happy enough with manual, but willing to augment.

Curt Holley Community Leader Aug 16, 2021

No, you can't colour code the fields. Nice thought though!!

We have a custom field with the RAG statuses. but it is just the words


So whether you use labels or a custom field, both can be configured in your plan for colour coding, but the colour only ever shows on the timeline.

Sorry this isn't more helpful.

Curt Holley Community Leader Aug 16, 2021

Re automation: The sky is the limit. But off the top of my head, you could add conditional rules that "auto" set the custom field or label.

i.e. If Due date is less than 2 weeks away and status is in "insert relevant statuses here", then update custom field to Amber.

If less than 3 days away and status is....

then update to Red and email someone or send to Slack channel.


That kind of thing :-)

Ah ok, thanks. That's too bad, I am almost positive we had more flexibility with custom fields on Jira Server, which I used at a previous company. I want to say we had a multi-select list where the values were wiki style, and would render color and even small icons (e.g., "off track" was red with a little cloud or lightning bolt icon, or something, IIRC). Thank you for the help & the automation ideas!

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