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Project admin can't change workflow scheme

I understand that editing global workflows requires JIRA admin status, but we recently pared down our jira-admin users group severely, as it was getting out of control.  So, we made specific people administrators of their individual projects, but they can't switch workflow schemes on their projects.  So, they'll click on the project settings button, select workflows, but don't see the button to switch workflows. 

Is that by design, or am I missing something?

5 answers

1 accepted

4 votes
Answer accepted

Because workflows can be shared with different projects, that's the idea.

So, workflows and other shared elements can be administer only by those who have application administration permission, not by who only have project administration permission.

Ok, thanks for the help

1 vote

JIRA has 3 different "levels" of access.

  • Site administration (by default members of site-admin group)
  • Application administration (by default members of administrators group)
  • Project administration (established in Permission Schemes, who ever had Project Administer permission)

Workflows, Screens, Permissions, etc. can only be updated at the second level; you can grant more people not only members of administrators group, but you can´t restrict the access by project (all who can update a workflow, could update every workflow, not just their owns)

0 votes
Russell Zera Community Leader Mar 12, 2020

This is an old ticket, but I believe to the OP's comments on this issue, the question was not "why project admins can't edit workflows" but rather "why project admins can't change which workflow scheme their project is using from available options". This is and issue I am seeing in our Cloud instance now, and feels like it shouldn't be the case, the project-admins should be able to adjust their schemes (part of the point of project admins) even though they can't adjust the workflows IN the scheme.

Anyone else still seeing this issue or have a solution that doesn't include giving application admin access (not an option in our instance).

Hi Russell - I am seeing this issue as well.  And its for sure a pain.  Our project admins need to be able to manage their workflows for the different types of work they are doing.  It would be nice if they would open that up as an option to give/restrict to Project Admins based on what the site owner needs.

My project admins would like to control that aspect of their projects.

I sort of agree, but I'm not sure letting admins change the scheme is a good idea given the way Jira currently handles workflows.

You would need them to understand that it is

  • a one-way migration unless the workflows have identical lists of status
  • you could render your project unusable
  • you could break integrations you know nothing about

There is no solution to this, you either need an admin to do it (and you should not have admins who do not know how not to break things for others) or let the project owners have the more limited but safe options of simplified workflows.

Very similar situation here where we cleaned up and reduced our global admins.  However, as part of this reduction in rights, project admins wanted to be sure they could select the schemes for issue types, field configurations, workflows, etc.  Not CHANGE them, just select the one they want to apply to their project.  As I'm reading this answer, am I to understand that switching schemes is not something project administrators can do?


Atlassian are moving in a slightly different direction to allow project admins more control, but project admins only have control over users, versions and components, and, if you are on 7.3 and your workflow is not shared, some edit rights over that.

Definitely disappointing as it sets us back a bit, but good to know it's heading that way in some fashion.  Appreciate the response.

You can take a look at Wittified's Delegated Project Admin Pro for JIRA which does exactly this:

Disclaimer: I work for Wittified...

Looks interesting, but we're on Atlassian Cloud which doesn't appear to allow your add-on

I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing.  I totally get that you don't want project admins to futz with global workflows, but why can't you simply select an existing workflow for your own project?

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