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How to limit number of issues in a status simultaneously?

How do we limit the number of issues in a status at the same time?  I would expect that I could add a property on the status or a condition on the transition to prevent the move if there is another issue already in the destination status.

2 answers

1 vote
Trudy Claspill
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May 12, 2023

Hello @James VanderZouwen 

There is no simple, one-step native solution for this.

Are you working with issues in a Company Managed project or a Team Managed project?

And when you are counting how many issues are in a status, is that for all issue types in a given project, for a subset of issue types, and/or across multiple projects?

With a Company Managed project you can set up Conditions on Workflow Transitions to prevent a transition from being available for selection, or set up Validators to prevent the selected transition from being completed. Natively there is not an option under either of those to check how many issues are already in that status. That would require a third party app that add addition options under Validators and/or Conditions.

If you are using a Kanban board you can set a "maximum" number of issues for a column. That just highlights the column if you go over that number, though. It doesn't actually prevent an issue from being set to a status in that column.

You could potentially create an Automation Rule that would undo the transition - not prevent it, but rather undo it after the fact - if that transition pushed the number of issues over the limit.

Thank you for taking the time, but our use-case is for tracking large centralized repository merges.  We have a status for 'Waiting for Merge' and a status for 'Merge in Progress'.  We were able to prevent this option using a ScriptRunner condition with JQL, but I see that's not an option in cloud for conditions.  We have created the automation rule to undo the transition, but the automation is not the same and will require changes down the line in our system. 

0 votes
Yuri Lapin _Release Management_
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May 12, 2023

Hi @James VanderZouwen

Trust you are well.

I dare say prevention is not a good practice as you will never find out there was an attempt. Probably it's better to highlight and elaborate on the case for fix root cause/systemic issue.

As Trudy suggested above you can configure column constraints in standard Kanban board that are de facto Work-in-progress (WIP) limits.

If you are up to Partner Apps I would also suggest to check out Advanced Kanban Boards where you can have flexible WIP limits configurations per column, per column groups, per swimlanes within column as well as user-based WIPs.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,


Thank you for taking the time, but the WIP limit doesn't work for our use case (see first reply above)

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