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How to get history for the specific issue field in Jira

Comments, descriptions, statuses, priorities, etc. – any issue field in Jira “lives its life” and is changing. Heraclitus said: “There is nothing permanent except change.” Who would think that this statement is true even in the Jira world? When you look at your projects and issues, what is the first info you check? Were there any status updates, new comments, or due dates added?

Everyone wants to stay informed, track updates, and avoid any risk regarding customers' dissatisfaction with delivering a product/project/feature not on time. So, here we will look at the options you have with Jira natively and Jira add-on to get a history of changes for any field for the list of issues in your projects or other filters.

1. JQL to find changes for the specific issue field

Jira Query Language allows history searches with WAS or CHANGED operators. It also has limitations on fields. You can only view changes for six fields: Assignee, Fix Version, Priority, Reporter, Resolution, and Status. Let’s look at some examples.

Example 1. Find issues that had their fix version changed during the week:

fixVersion CHANGED AFTER -1w

Example 2. Find issues that had their priority changed within a specific time frame:

priority CHANGED DURING ("2023/01/01", "2023/12/31")

Example 3. Find tickets that changed status to CLOSED in the last 24 hours.

Status = “Closed” and status CHANGED DURING (-1d, now())

In fact, JQL doesn’t show the changes themselves, only issues where these fields were updated. So, it’s not like the History like the one you can see under the Activity section of each issue. 

2. Specific field history for all issues

The new option of Issue History for Jira allows you to filter by specific field and see its history. It is called Activity view and captures changes for any standard or custom field and presents them in clear view with colors and highlighting. 

issue fields changes in Jira.png

What you will get:

  • Ability to select issues by projects, sprints, labels, etc. 
  • Ability to choose the person who made the updates
  • Time selection within the last – days 

issue activity filters.jpg

🌟 And the main option is the field selection, where you can choose one, two, or multiple fields where you want to see changes.

issue field changes.jpg

✴️ Get a history of statuses

Choose a project you need or another filter (updater, time) to narrow the selection. 

Select the status field in the field selector.

jira status history.jpg

✴️ Get due date history

Choose a project you need or another filter (updater, time) to narrow the selection. 

Select the due date field in the field selector.

jira due date history.jpg

✴️ Get assignee history

Choose a project you need or another filter (updater, time) to narrow the selection. 

Select the assignee field in the field selector.

assignee history of changes.jpg

✴️ Get a history of comments

Choose a project you need or another filter (updater, time) to narrow the selection. 

Select the comments field in the field selector.

jira comments history.jpg

*Note: History records only when someone add delete comment, not content changes like replacing word. It’s limitation of Jira applicable only to this field.

✴️ Get a history of description changes

Choose a project you need or another filter (updater, time) to narrow the selection. 

Select the description field in the field selector.

description history of changes.jpg

So, you can get history of all fields for issues in your projects, or select the specific field to review its changes.

How to find this option:

  1. Install Issue History for Jira app if you don’t have it. Find the free 30-day trial here.
  2. Open Issue History for Jira in the Apps menu.
  3. Switch to the Activity view.

Takeaway

Effective project management is based on the fundamental practice of reporting issue changes in Jira, not merely as a procedural requirement. It fosters cooperation, transparency, well-informed decision-making, ongoing development, adherence to regulations, and, in the end, customer satisfaction. 

As JQL has limited abilities to show history for specific fields, we showed an alternative solution that is equipped with everything to get a complete journal of all issues’ changes and customize it to your needs. You can explore the reports in the Issue History for Jira app and select the most convenient view.

 

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