Adding a flag to an issue is a cool way to say it is blocked. Also, you can add a comment as part of the same action from a board. But what if you want to do the same from the issue detail view?
This article will guide you through the usage of flags and will provide a native solution to emulate the feature of adding a flag along with a comment from the issue detail view.
First things first, how can you add a flag to an issue?
Natively, there are two ways of adding a flag to an issue.
For adding a flag from the issue detail view, just click on the ellipsis button [...] > Add flag on the top-right corner:
This will just add a flag with no way of adding a comment as part of the same action, unlike when you add a flag from a board.
For adding a flag from a board, either a Kanban or a Scrum one, right-click a card > Add flag:
Note this time a dialog will pop-up so that you can also add a comment along with the flag, explaining why the issue is blocked:
A flagged issue is highlighted to easily detect it among unflagged issues:
But hey! That's not all! The comment added through the previous dialog is also included to the issue detail view and is also marked with a flag at the begining of the comment:
Flagging an issue is a cool way to say it is blocked:
flagged = Impediment
flagged is EMPTY
Reporting the time an issue was blocked is an easier task if you use the Blocked status instead of a Flag.
Furthermore, the Jira native field Status also supports powerful JQL operators like WAS and CHANGED, which are useful for several use cases.
On the other hand, flagging an issue does not produce its status to change, so you can still quickly see where in the workflow the issue became blocked.
This fact provides the advantage that you can know which of your blocked issues is more likely to be completed with less additional effort.
Besides of that, it also means that you need one less column on your board, reducing the likelihood that you have to use the horizontal scrollbar.
From the Jira Admin perspective, the usage of Flags is better than transitioning to the Blocked status, since the very same workflow will then be valid both for users who want to mark issues as blocked as well as for users who don't.
The Blocked status advantages rely on configuring anything else.
You get the Flag advantages merely by using them, with no need for configuring anything else.
Also, I have noticed quite oftenly than a Blocked column tends to be set aside, so that those blocked issues don't disturb the vision of issues in which users can continue working. I think this is wrong.
Blockers should be highlighted and put upfront, even cause some disturbance!
Blockers shouldn't be something you want to accumulate on a hidden side of your board! Someone should do something, even if that's just a phone call or sending an email instead of coding or whatever. That's also part of the work!
In my opinion, Flags are better than transitioning to the Blocked status unless there's a very specific requirement to think otherwise.
Thanks for reading!
Ignacio PulgarCommunity Leader
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