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Custom fields or labels - what are pros/cons?


Here's the scenario: In a Jira, there is a need to mark up the issues for different purposes, for instance "review needed" and "review done", as well as "testing needed", and "testing not needed". 

The implementation can either be done by adding custom fields, one for each value, for instance as checkboxes (or yes/no), or by adding them as labels to the existing label field. 

From what I'm thinking, my initial thought is that the label field can easily become messy, and everyone using it needs to remember what the labels are and pay attention to spell correctly and with upper/lower case, as well as remembering to add them all in. Thus I'm leaning towards custom fields, on the other hand Jira itself can become cluttered with many fields. 

Are there any pros/cons to one vs the other?

I would appreciate any input to this topic. 

Best Regards, Maria Heij


Hi Maria - Since reporting accuracy is usually very important, custom fields is a better idea. Labels can be mistyped, compromising data integrity. On the other hand, if reporting accuracy isn't so important in this case, use whatever is more convenient. You're right about proliferating custom fields, but for our use, we recommend them to our customers. 

John Wilson

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Thank you for your reply. I do have a love-hate relationship with the label field as it is very versatile but when used for many things, it can be a monster. I agree that for this case the values are set, and not prone to change => custom fields. 

Thank you for taking the time to help out!

Like Dharmesh Barot likes this

@Maria Heij _Refined_ You could also consider using workflow statuses for "review needed" and "review done", as well as "testing needed".

Agree with @John Wilson custom fields would be better than labels.

Thanks! Workflows was actually the first considered option, but then they would be in a waterfall style where one has to happen before the other which we decided is not good as they can happen in parallell. 

Kind of. You can have them in a circular transition and simplified as shown here

Do what suits your team and its workflow :)


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