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Why my filter for unresolved issues is not working?

Hello guys, 

we have a service desk set up for quite some time and recently I have noticed that the resolution "Unresolved" is not working properly. Or maybe it is working but... I can see the "Unresolved" status via the Issue view, however when I want to filter all issues with unresolved status from this specific service desk all the issues are not visible except for 11 of them. 

Btw the "Unresolved" resolution status is the one in Italic (System) and not part of the Resolutions list in the Administration section.

I am not able to find similar cases and I am thinking about a specific "Unresolved" resolution status to be added into the Resolutions list so Jira would acknowledge the "Unresolved" status for the filters. Unfortunately I cannot validate if this is the best idea. What do you think? Could you please suggest any other suitable solution? :)


1 answer

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Answer accepted

Your question is mixing up status and resolution (this is not uncommon), but you are also suggesting making a terrible terrible mistake as well.

  • Status is a display of where your issue is in the workflow
  • Resolution is a flag that says whether an issue is resolved or not - if is empty, then the issue is open/unresolved, and if there is a value set, an issue is resolved (whatever the value is, the issue is resolved.  The list of options is intended to be a list of general reasons an issue is resolved)

Note that these two have no logical connection, nor one in the code.  You can have issues in status that suggest "done" with an empty resolution, so they're not done, and vice versa. 

In almost all places, Jira considers the resolution to be the thing that determines resolved or not.  Status is only looked at on Scrum and Kanban boards.

A good design is to set the resolution on any transition from a to-do/in-progress status into an end status and clear it if going in the opposite direction.  Some jira project types will do this automatically by default, but if you do mess with a workflow, you should bear it in mind.

The mistake not to make is adding "unresolved" to the list of resolutions.  This would allow you to show issues as having a resolution of unresolved, meaning they are resolved.  This is of course, complete nonsense.  You should never have a resolution that suggests an issue is not resolved, the resolution field being filled with anythig means the issue is resolved.

Jira displays the italicised unresolved when the field is completely empty.  It's putting something in front of us humans so we don't ask why there's nothing there.

So, to fix your problem here, you just need to correct your workflow, making resolution follow status, then re-open and re-close your issues (or script an automated fix for the end-status-but-but-no-resolution status)

Thank you for perfect explanation! The workflows were fixed some time ago so there should be no problems for new tickets, but we need to take care of the re-openening and re-closing of the old ones as you suggested :)

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