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Automation: Set your Advanced Roadmaps Team automatically when creating issues

Context

With the Cloud Premium plan of Jira, you get Advanced Roadmaps included. The tool helps you plan and track your work across multiple teams and projects. Based on the principles of the iron triangle of planning, it helps you answer the most common question related when it comes to running projects: "Are we still on track?".

Although different methodologies apply a different angle to the triangle (as shown in the below image), project planning always involves these 3 dimensions: scope, resources and time:

SMT-2668-Agile-Microsite-Agile-Iron-Triangle-Inline-Images-1-v3.png

In Advanced Roadmaps, those dimensions are represented as follows:

  • Scope: the issues in your plan;
  • Resources: the teams allocated to those issues
  • Time: the releases (fix versions) assigned to those issues

While assigning issues to releases is very often a manual process in the hands of a product or project manager and his/her team, work can very often be assigned to a team automatically.

Unfortunately, setting a default value for the advanced roadmaps Team custom field is not supported out of the box. However, with a little effort and some advanced syntax, you can set the value of your choice. Doing so will quickly turn into a time saver and a big improvement to the data consistency of your plans!

Automating the Team custom field

Before you set up your rule(s)

Look up the ID of the Team custom field

When we will set up the automation rule later on, we will need to refer to the Team custom field by its ID. So it's important that you have that at hand.

Navigate to Settings ‣ Issues ‣ Custom fields. Locate the Team custom field and click through to view field information. The url of the page that shows up will mention the field's ID, as in this example:

yoursite.atlassian.net/secure/admin/ConfigureCustomField!default.jspa?customFieldId=10001

Write down the custom field ID (in this case: 10001) for later use.

Make any team you want to set a shared team

The Team custom field only allows you to set shared teams from advanced roadmaps. Because of that, make sure that any team you want to automate is indeed a shared team.

If you don't know how to set this up, have a look at this article.

Uncover the numeric identifier of your team

A final caveat is the way teams are referenced. Although they are displayed nicely by their name in Jira, in search or automation the associated team ID is used. It is fairly easy to find out what those ID's are;

Navigate to Filters ‣ Advanced issue search. Create a new search for any team you like:

Team[Team] = "Your Team"

If you run the search, you will see how the JQL editor automatically converts the team name to the corresponding ID. Take a note of this as well.

Document which issues can be assigned to your team(s)

It is definitely a good practice to set up a (scrum or kanban) board for your team. This is the planning and tracking hub where your team members can find all their work, in a single place. That work can come from one or multiple projects. But no matter how, your board has a board filter that fetches all the issues for your team. You may very well use that filter as the source for your team's work.

✅ Tip

I often use the project category to mark all projects that belong to the same team. Doing so makes it pretty straightforward and dynamic to locate all projects and related issues for a team.

The automation rule itself

If your team is working across multiple Jira projects, create a global automation rule. If your team is working in a single project, a project automation rule may do the job just as well.

As the idea is to automatically update the Team field when an issue is created, we can set up a pretty simple rule with 3 components:

Screenshot 2021-07-28 at 14.14.42.png

  • The rule trigger is the issue created event. 
  • Next, we limit the selection of issues with an issue matches JQL condition. In the above example, I selected all issues in the Jira project where the Team custom filled has not been filled out yet. The idea here is to use the board filter for your team's scrum or kanban board.
  • Finally, we update the Team custom field with the advanced syntax you can see on the right hand side of the above screenshot.

As this last step is the key to the entire automation, I'll dig in a bit deeper into the logic and decompose the code:

{
"fields": {
"customfield_10001":"6"

}
}

Make sure you don't forget the { { } } in your code here, as they make sure everything is interpreted correctly by the automation engine.

Apart from that, all you need to do is fill out the custom field ID from the Team custom field and the numeric identifier of your team you retrieved earlier.

Just repeat the process for different teams.

While not difficult to set up, this used to be a poorly documented trick that - hopefully - adds a lot of value and more consistent data for your advanced roadmaps!

4 comments

Very helpful @Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_ 

Is it possible to inherit the Team value from parent to a child issue with smartvalue?

Like # people like this

@Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_ Thank you so much for putting together this article!

@Rajat Das I was just trying for a while to implement a more dynamic automation rule, and I thought I would share my solution since it relates to the question you asked.

My goal was to implement an automation rule that when the Team field is updated on an Epic, then the Team field will be copied to all of the Stories/other issues in that Epic as well. 

For some reason, when setting up the automation trigger, the UI would allow me to select the Team field from the "Fields to monitor for changes", but when it came to setting the Action, (the "Then: Edit issue fields" step) it would not allow me to select the Team field, which was frustrating.

It took a bunch of searching around the Jira community forums and lots of trial and error but I finally got something working:

 

Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 7.20.59 PM.png


Hope it helps! 🙂

Like Joanna Nelson likes this

@Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_ , @Steph Massoud : I understand this article was written in the context of Jira Cloud, but should I also expect it to work in Jira Server? I'm attempting to address the same use case @Steph Massoud identified, but, while there are no errors reported in the log, the Team field is not being updated.

Thoughts?

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