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Add an approval step using Jira Software and Work Management

This workaround is meant to help JSW and JWM projects where it is necessary to have an approval step on the workflow.

At the moment, the "Add Approval Feature" can only be used for Jira Service Management projects and it is not possible to use it with Software or Work Management projects, we have a request feature created for this topic:

  •  JRACLOUD-62053 - As an admin, I would like to have the ability to add approval feature project workflow

Therefore, you can only add an approval step to workflows with an associated issue type that is being used by a request type. Learn more about request types.

Workaround steps:

  1. First, create a Project role called Approvers 
  2. And add the desired members to the role (users who will be the approvers for the tickets)
  3. In the Project's Workflow, create a Status called 'In the approve step'.
  4. Add a Condition on the outgoing transitions from the 'In the approve stepStatus, called "User is in project Role".
    •  Extra tip: You can also add a screen with the field Approves to the transition to 'In the approve step' Status, so the engineer can choose which approver is necessary.
  5. Create two transitions, for example: Approved and Declined - to the 'In the approve stepStatus.
  6. So this Condition allows only the users in the role of Approver to perform the transition from 'In the approve step' Status to the next desired status (Approved or Declined).
    •  Extra tip: You can also create an automation rule to send an email notification to the approver, like this one below:Screen Shot 2022-11-04 at 13.48.21.png

To make sure that the issue is allowed to move forward (to the next status) only after the Issue has been approved, use the 'Previous Status Condition' in the transition.

More on Workflow conditions: Configure advanced issue workflows

For more details, you can refer to community articles where similar workarounds are discussed. 

This workaround will work as in the screen recording below:


Ajay _view26_
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Nov 10, 2022 • edited

Great article .. @Bruno Altenhofen 😀

Like # people like this

Great workaround! 


@Bruno Altenhofen Thanks for this workaround. However, how would I add the Approve/Decline buttons to the email notification?

In our organisation we don't want Managers spending time logging into Jira, or navigating to tickets, we want them to be able to approve or decline directly from the email.

Like Tom Rufo likes this

I'm having the same issue. I can't figure out how to add the Approve/Decline buttons to email notification.

@Bruno Altenhofen this is kind of neat but I don't get a nice traceability like in service management - especially for work management this is kind of strange NOT to port the functionality of approvals from service management over... like the document management template etc. ... so i manually have to check transition history later on to see who approved a policy or other document - this is insane... sorry

as we have service management too I now have to rebuild the document management in service management to get some straight forward handling of the topics

Like # people like this

I realize that most users are looking for a native approval process in Jira, but based on my brief investigation, it doesn't appear that it will happen any time soon. It's worth noting that a new app Approval Path for Jira was recently released for Jira approvals, and it's free if you have less than 10 users. And, no, I am not affiliated with the app.

unfortunately, we are far above 10 users... so this is an expensive solution - and therefore not a solution


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