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Unable to publish an inactive workflow

Hi All,

Am new being a JIRA admin and I have just created a workflow for defect lifecycle.

This workflow appears in "Inactive" section and when I search around I don't have an option to publish it to make it active and start using in a project.

I have also created a Workflow Scheme and a similar issue exists in that too, unable to publish.

Can someone please assist with this?




Hello @Eranga Perera ,


Welcome to Atlassian Community.

  1. Please go to project Settings.
  2. Go to Workflows
  3. Click on "Add Workflow"
  4. Choose "Existing"
  5. Select The newly created Workflow. Click on "Next"
  6. Associate with "Defect" issue Type.
  7. Click on "Finish"


After that you may need to Re-index issues , If some Defects are linked with old Workflow.




Like John Funk likes this

Hi Anvesh,

Thanks so much for your prompt response.

We do have a workflow that we've created and using a BAU style implementation.

What am trying to achieve here is to introduce a new defect workflow which can be used for little projects that we are going to manage and also looking to integrate with Zephyr.

At the moment what am facing is am unable to assign the new defect workflow that I have created to type "Defect" so that I can use this workflow for upcoming projects and do not want to override the existing workflow they are using for BAU operations.

Am not sure I've explained this well. And am happy to send you screen shots to further explain.

Thanks again,


Hi , 

Sorry , i'm not getting you.

You do not need to make a workflow active directly or "publish" it, the active/inactive display is not a flag, it is simply an indicator of whether the workflow is in use or not.

To use the workflow without affecting existing projects, create a new workflow scheme (or, probably easier and quicker, copy an existing one that is mostly correct), and map the new workflow to "defect" (keep or add other mappings as required).  You can then associate the new scheme with any project that needs the new workflow for defects.

Hi Nic,

Thanks for getting back to me on this. 

I have now created as you have advised above however when am trying to associate the new scheme with the project its asking me to set new field values replacing the old and the statuses I want are not the same I require.

Please see the attached screen print here. My fear is if I go ahead change this current status to match to new workflow would it make changes to all other items which uses that workflow.



Please advise

Thank you very much


The change of status must be done because you are removing the existing status from the workflow and hence the issues need to be changed to use the new workflow.  It would make no sense to have issues in the status "closed" while their workflow is "open -> in progress -> done" - the closed status isn't in there.

When you publish this change, the status will only need to change for the issues that are changing from using the old workflow to the new.  Issues across projects will only be affected if you're changing their workflows too.

Thanks so much for your response and I have got that sorted out now.

Much appreciated @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ @KAGITHALA BABU ANVESH 

Hey @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ 

How's it going? Am having trouble activating the workflow scheme I've created.

What I am aiming to do is to implement a new "Defect Workflow" to a project in our organisation; screen print below

I have created a new workflow called "Defect Workflow" and have stated all the state transitions.



Now that I have created a workflow scheme it sits in the "Inactive" area and do I need to make it active to be able to start using in that project. Here we have multiple issue workflows that we are using; screen print below



Thanking you



As before - 

You do not need to make a workflow active directly or "publish" it, the active/inactive display is not a flag, it is simply an indicator of whether the workflow is in use or not.

Associate it with a project (via a workflow scheme) and the indicator will change to active.

Thank you for your response.

What are the exact steps to  associate this workflow to a project. Is this via Project Settings -> Workflows -> Associate Workflow Scheme to Project?

Why am asking this is I get a list of other workflows to be changed along with this as that's what is not what am after or may be am not explaining this to you well.

All am trying to do is to introduce this new "Defect Workflow" to the project so that we are going to use "Defect" issue type to raise bugs for a failed test.

And this screen print below shows the above path looking to associate asking me to change status of each issue type in this project which is not what I need.

Sorry about the hassle.


Thank you very much again.







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