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Prevent transition of issue to 'in progress' when assignee has already X issues in 'in progress'

Lyn June 22, 2022



i am pretty new to Jira automation an struggling finding a solution for this:


If an issue is transitioned into 'in progress' the automation should check if the user which is Assignee of the issue in transition has already X issues in 'in progress' and if this is a case, the transition should be canceled.

The reason is, that I want to prevent our developers to have too many tickets in progress.

I know that the is the Limit per status but this don't distinguish between users which means if the team size changes to need to adjust the WIP per status.


1 answer

1 vote
Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
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June 22, 2022

So, this is an interesting one, because I can't work out how to do it either.

Generally though, I stick to "Automation is for making change that I don't want to have to bother with - get someone else to do the grunt-work - it needs doing, but I don't have to think about it"

Preventing transisitions definitely meets "I don't want to have to think about it", but it's not actually "doing stuff".

For controlling transitions, the usual route is using conditions or validators to check existing data and then telling people they're doing the wrong thing (validators do exactly that, conditions are a bit different - they look at the data and then hide the option to do the wrong thing)

Your nicest option here is a condition that just stops them even starting to do the wrong thing, but Automations don't do that.  I would be looking at apps that provide conditions (the off-the-shelf ones are pretty weak in my opinion).

However, if you're using a Kanban board, you can also do this with a work-in-progress limit.  It applies to the team, not the assignee, but the point of a board is that it is the team, so it might work for you (without any faffing around with apps)

James Navin
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
June 27, 2022

@Nic Brough -Adaptavist- is correct.

Automation works by responding to events (such as issue transitions) and taking actions. It cannot prevent an issue transition from occurring. The best you would be able to do is reverse the transition, or flag the issue etc. after the transition had taken place.

As suggested, your best option is probably to look at workflow conditions or use the work-in-progress limit.



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