Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Sign up Log in

Automation concepts – How to ask a community question…or not

Estimated time to read: 10 minutes


TL; DR: Effectively asking a question helps get to better solutions, faster.  Please try to…

  • Understand the problem
  • Search the community for similar questions / solutions / defects
  • Try to solve it yourself
  • Gather information to create a question
  • Post your question in the relevant area
  • Stay engaged on the discussion thread, marking answered questions when completed
  • Share what you learn with your team



Atlassian Automation is a great feature to help teams save time, automate repeatable tasks, reduce manual errors, and fill gaps in Jira features.  Learning how to use automation often leads to questions.  Let’s consider ways to be more effective when seeking answers to those questions. 

What’s in it for you: makes it more likely you will get a better solution, faster.  Better still, there may already be a prepared solution template to use. 

Sounds great!  How do I do that?


Understand the problem

One key to success with automation rules is understanding the problem you are trying to solve.  Specifically, “why do this”?  A quick check of a community posts reveals many questions about “how” to do something, with no explanation about “why” it is needed.  Such threads often become quite long, splitting into diverse side-topics, frustrating the original-asker, and occasionally helping with a symptom but not solving the “root cause” problem.

And…while automation helps with many things, it may not be the only solution.  In some cases, it may not solve the actual need and instead make things worse!

I recommend partnering with another team member (or the entire team) and using a technique like “5 whys” to uncover what is happening, why that is happening, what “better” would look like, and how you would know it is “better”.  This discussion may reveal something to try.  If not, it will clarify what to ask the community.


Search the community for similar questions / solutions / defects

With an understanding of the problem / symptoms in hand, it helps to check if other people had such needs and already found solutions.

When you believe you are observing a defect, start by checking three sources: 


If instead you are solving a business problem, finding an existing rule may help. 

First, please consider: each team and group of people is unique, yet they often encounter the similar challenges using Jira, particularly regarding automation rules.  (For an example, search how many times people have asked “how do I to copy a field from parent to child issues”.)  While the specifics for a team’s Jira site may be different, the scenarios are often the same. 

Let’s take a look at the built-in rule templates, navigating to: manage automations > templates

automation rule templates.png

Image from Jira Cloud, free license, company-managed software project, 12 April 2024


There are a large number of template rules for many scenarios.  Reading through the rule names and looking at the details may provide a good starting-point for you to build upon.  And note at the bottom of the page, there is a link to the automation library with other examples:

When none of these template rules match your need, next check if another community member asked the same question.  As with any internet search, there is both skill and art involved in finding matching criteria.  Try typing in your question first, read through the results, and then make adjustments to your question.  Remember to add additional keywords, such as your Jira version (i.e., Cloud, Server, or Data Center) and project type, as automation rule features vary for each.

If you find an existing rule solution, pause to learn how it works.  Try explaining the rule to another person to confirm your understanding.  Successfully using automation rules requires learning and experimentation.  When a person uses canned solutions from others without understanding them, they may be unable to maintain the rules in the future. 


Try to solve it yourself

Often community questions indicate the original poster did not try to solve the problem, instead stating things like “my requirements are…” or “give me a video to build this rule”.  As a reminder, the community is for people with similar interests who want to learn from one another and share ideas.  It is not a free labor pool to implement requests upon demand.  When your team frequently has more urgent timeframes for such requests, I recommend investing in hiring a fulltime Jira admin who can help.


You now understand the problem and have found no existing solutions.  It is time to try solving this yourself; indeed, you will be the best person to know if the problem is solved by using this approach.

Back to your rule…if you are new to automation, please take the time to learn the basics.  Learning those will save you time in knowing where to look for answers, such as in the documentation sources.  Here are several for Jira Cloud automation: 


Please note the link to advanced searching with JQL.  Many rules benefit from a good understanding of what is possible and how to create well-formed JQL statements.  There are also links to information about automation limits; understanding those may help solve unexplained halts in rule execution, such as maximums for emails or rule looping.

Also note those references are for Jira Cloud.  Automation rule features are different for Jira Cloud, Server, and Data Center.  There are also additional capabilities for Confluence and Jira Service Management.  Confirm you have the correct sources to save time and prevent frustration of trying features that do not apply to your products.


With sources in hand, I recommend pausing to outline your rule, hand written on paper.  This will help to slow you down to consider what is needed, how to do it, and any considerations for error handling, edge cases, and so forth.  Try to implement your rule, ideally in a test project to limit its scope of impact.  Exercise and test it fully, and if it works, well done!  If not, it is time to seek more help. 


Gather information to create a question

You have tried your rule to solve the problem, and it is not working as expected.  Time to create a community question!

We start by forming the question well.  Unlike this very long article :^) less-is-better when asking a question.  Some essential pieces to include are: 

  • Describe the problem you are trying to solve: the “why do this”
  • Describe what is not working as you expected and how you know that
  • Include an image of your complete rule in one image file
  • Include an image of the audit log details showing the rule execution in one image file


Note the one image file idea: seeing the rule all together, at a glance, may immediately reveal what is wrong.  Uploading a rule in several, piecemeal images can be confusing to the community, increasing the delay in diagnosing the problem.  To capture the rule in one image, try using a browser addon for scrolling image capture or a standalone, image capture tool.

For your question, you may also want to include individual images of different rule components: the rule settings, trigger, actions, branches, and conditions.  When helpful, perhaps add diagrams or other images to provide context for your scenario. 

Remember, less-is-better, and community members will ask for more information when it is needed to diagnose and offer suggestions. 


Post your question in the relevant area

Many areas of Jira, Confluence, etc. support automation rules.  As you have already searched for similar needs in the community for your problem, you have found those areas, such as under Products or Groups.  For example, there is a Product area for Automation-related topics and there is a Group for Jira Product Discovery (JPD) ones.  Rule-related questions could be in any of these areas.

I hypothesize that many people in the community watch / read things with which they are familiar or interested in learning more about.  And so, it makes sense that if you post a question in the relevant area, it is likely to be seen sooner, with greater visibility, and more likely to get solved better / faster. 

When you post in a different area than the scope of your question, do not worry; there are plenty of community members who will see your question to offer help.  A community moderator may even move your question to a different area, as needed. 


Stay engaged on the discussion thread, marking answered questions when completed

You asked a question to get help.  Community members suggest answers / ideas to offer help.

Please stay engaged with the topic, responding to community queries for more information.  We are trying to help you, and your participation is key.  If one of the suggestions solves the problem, please mark the question as “answered”.  That will help others in the future with similar needs find solutions faster.  If you have solved the problem yourself, that is great!  Add the solution post, marking that one as “answered”.

Also note well: the Atlassian Community is not the Atlassian Support team.  This is a group of people volunteering to help and trying to learn.  Thus, consider we (the community) are not immediately and urgently responding to each post.  If you have a more urgent need and are on a paid license, contact the Atlassian Support team by submitting a ticket: 


Share what you learn with your team

Your problem is solved, you have a rule to help, and you are actively monitoring to confirm it does what is needed.

But you are not finished yet…

If you are on a team, or share Jira support responsibilities, it is valuable to pause, document, and share what you learned.  Describe the original problem to others, the steps to solve it, the solution that is in place, and what you learned.  Solicit feedback from others.  Perhaps do this in a retrospective format, building ideas to experiment and improve in the future.  This exercise, when done soon after the solution, helps to reinforce and strengthen learning for problem solving, knowledge sharing on rule writing, and benefit your entire team.



If you have read all the way to here, congratulations!  You are investing in yourself to learn about automation and asking questions about it.  I look forward to seeing both great questions and answers as you contribute to the community.  Thank you!



John Funk
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
April 27, 2024

Thanks, Bill! I was thinking of writing the same kind of article.

I would also add To include screenshots whenever possible. And also to clearly state what type of project is - Jira software, Jira work management, Jira service management. And whether it is Company-managed or Team-managed.

Like # people like this
Bill Sheboy
Rising Star
Rising Star
Rising Stars are recognized for providing high-quality answers to other users. Rising Stars receive a certificate of achievement and are on the path to becoming Community Leaders.
April 28, 2024

Thanks for the feedback and ideas, @John Funk 

Good points about the project type, especially noting company-managed versus team-managed, as sometimes the same type of field for the UX are implemented differently behind the scenes.  (e.g., People fields are always multiple-select, even when the single-select option is enabled...which impacts the JSON used for updates.)

Kind regards,

Like # people like this
Tomislav Tobijas
Rising Star
Rising Star
Rising Stars are recognized for providing high-quality answers to other users. Rising Stars receive a certificate of achievement and are on the path to becoming Community Leaders.
April 28, 2024

Insightful article for sure! Cheers! 😄

I recommend partnering with another team member (or the entire team) and using a technique like “5 whys” to uncover what is happening, why that is happening, what “better” would look like, and how you would know it is “better”.  This discussion may reveal something to try.

I often find myself in situations where end users or admins just want to go with 'simplest' solution without questioning the actual demand behind it. I might quote this to my team on our next meeting just to point out the importance of deeper analysis of requested solution. 👀

Like Bill Sheboy likes this


Log in or Sign up to comment
AUG Leaders

Atlassian Community Events