Is there a way in JIRA to configure it so that if a developer tries to log hours on something that is not "in progress" ie. still sitting in grooming they get a warning message to move the item to "in progress" before they can log hours?
I've done transitions before with popup warnings but not sure if there is a method to accomplish this. We leave our items in "needs grooming" until a developer is ready to work on them, so we don't over-flood the "in progress" state with items that may not be in progress yet.
Not natively, but you could easily do it with a different approach.
If you edit the workflow, and go to a status, you can enter "properties". One of these is something like jira.permission.work . If you add that to a status and set it false, then a user can't log work when the issue is in that status. So they'll be forced to move it to an unprotected status (e.g. when you've got "open -> in progress -> done", I'd stick it on open and done)
You probably want to clobber the worklogedit, and worklogdelete properties too in some cases
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