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Please suggest why a Board Admin can't simplify a workflow, but a Jira Admin can

On a certain project, I (as a Jira Adminstrator) am able to "simplify" a workflow for a Kanban Board by clicking the button (on the Board Configuration Columns page).  This demonstrates that all conditions are met for the existing workflow to be simplified (only one project in the filter, all issuetypes use one workflow in the workflow scheme, no non-native conditions/validators/post-functions, and each status has an outgoing transition).

A certain user who is a Project Administrator for this project and a Board Administrator for this board, 'cannot' simplify the same workflow that I can (the 'Simplify' button is greyed-out for her, which I've confirmed by logging-in as her).  The Extended Project Administration permission is active for both of us, in the project's Permission Scheme.

Why can I simplify this workflow, but she cannot?

4 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted

Changing a workflow to a simplified workflow shouldn't be such a pain in the ass. My teams don't want and don't use ALL issue types. Atlassian really makes this more complicated than it needs to be.

John Funk Community Leader Mar 25, 2021

Your team should use a Next-gen project then - much simpler. 

1 vote

This is because configuring the project to use a simplified workflow is a configuration change that impacts how the workflow can be modified. Only administrators can decide if they want the workflow managed by the board. 

Hi Kian,

Thanks for your reply.  To the comment, 'Only administrators can decide if they want the workflow managed by the board.', (I am an Application admin for the entire instance (dozens of projects) and can thereby configure all boards by default).  My question relates to why a user who is the Board Admin cannot execute the Simplify Workflow button that I can execute.  What's different about our permissions?

You are an admin of the whole instance. That is what gives you the ability to simplify the workflow. 

You are giving permission for the workflow to be managed via the board configurations. Board admins cannot set that permission, it has to be set by a jira admin. Does that make sense?

I understand what you're saying, now.  However, I didn't see on this page what you are asserting.  Can you show me where it's stated by Atlassian, on any of their pages?   Many thanks.


I'm afraid you won't like the answer. 

It looks like Atlassian intends for board admins to be able to simplify the workflow. That is according to this page.However, there is an outstanding bug within Atlassian's Jira detailing what my original answer said. Currently only jira admins can make this change.




Like Hal West likes this

I'm glad you know the truth, Kian. 

I'm astounded that Atalassian allows fundamental functionality to be 'buggy', without at least correcting (or mentioning the bug on) their 'Simplified Workflows' page.  I see the bug was reported in March 2019 - wouldn't this issue have been extant in many previous versions?  What about then?

Thanks for the help; I'll inform the Board Admins that they can't simplify workflows, and I'll have to do it.

Bye for now!

Kian, thanks for the good explanations of the permission levels and functionality.

However, I'm not satisfied that I've seen the answer to this question in the above post:"

I see the bug was reported in March 2019 - wouldn't this issue have been extant in many previous versions?  What about then?"

Please explain why Atlassian in this case did not update their documentation when they resolved the bug.   

1 vote
John Funk Community Leader May 22, 2019

Hi Hal,

Workflows are the underlying backbone of how works through the organization for different issue types (work item types). They can support multiple projects and multiple boards. Therefore a board admin should not be able to change workflow because it might affect many other projects and boards. 

Thanks for your good clarifications, John.

Like John Funk likes this

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