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How do Jira Agile swim lanes relate to issue status in workflow?

Dave Cavell Aug 04, 2015

With JIRA you have an issue workflow, and in JIRA Agile you have a different workflow (swim lanes)

How do the two workflows relate please?

5 answers

0 votes
Arthur Goncalves Atlassian Team Aug 04, 2015

Hi Dave,

Actually the swimlane is not a workflow, but  a horizontal categorisation of issues in the Active sprints/Kanban board on a board. Please check this page to have a detailed explanation on how Swimlanes work and how do it relate to the JIRA issues.

I hope it helps! smile

-- Arthur Gonçalves

0 votes
Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Aug 04, 2015

I think you've misunderstood swimlanes.  Workflow is a set of steps or status through which an issue progresses.  Agile allows you to map columns on to these (including the ability to have more than one status in a column, and not use the same names).  Swimlanes cut across these columns, grouping your issues together by something other than status.  Assignee, story, priority are obviously useful examples, but you can do almost anything with JQL.  (Including status/workflow, which would look a bit silly as all your issues would cluster into single row/column items)

0 votes
Dave Cavell Aug 05, 2015

Sorry for the delay, I am restricted in the number replies I can make in 24 hours.

Thanks for the reply Arthur and Nic. I still think I am confused. Would I be right in thinking that any swim lane change is not persisted with issue in any way, and that swim lanes just manage the life of the issue through the sprint?

I guess what is confusing me is that by default, there is a "Done" swim lane, and by default there is a "closed" status for an issue in Jira. These two seem like they are the same thing even though it appears they are unrelated.

0 votes
Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Aug 05, 2015

No, there isn't (unless you've done something really convoluted), you're still not looking at swimlanes. A swimlane goes across the board - they are *rows*, and they do NOT represent status (unless you've used JQL to make them do so, which is convoluted and pointless) A *column* is a column on the board. These represent the position of the issue in its lifecycle. In the back-end, JIRA workflow is a set of status that you move between. A board shows a set of issues grouped into columns by their current status. A column does not have to be named the same as the status it contains, and it can contain multiple status. So, you have a "closed" *status*, which appears on your board in the "Done" *column* (not swimlane, it's a column). They are not quite the same thing, as you could also have other status like "done", "ended", "rejected" etc in that column too. When you move issues between columns, it changes the issue status in plain JIRA.

0 votes
Tom McCarthy Sep 15, 2017

We would like to measure movement between swim lanes if possible,  An example would be a story moved from to-do to development, then to UAT or SIT.  When UAT rejects it with a found bug, it moves back to Dev for repair.  We want to know how many times a given story moves back and forth between a testing state and a development state.  Has anyone seen a script or add-on that does this?

Tom McCarthy Sep 15, 2017

Sorry, didn't mean to post that here.

Helen O'Donnell Feb 22, 2019

Hi Tom,

Would you be able to send a link to your new post please?

Or if you know of a way of doing this that would be great.



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