Jira Image of the Day: Status Categories


Concept Relates To

Application Type

Jira Work Management, Jira Software, Jira Service Management, Jira Core

Deployment Type

Jira Cloud, Jira Server, Jira Data Center

What is shown?

A workflow with multiple statuses in the green (AKA: Done) status category

Visit: Admin > Issues > Workflows
Visit: Issues > View all issues (Cloud)
Visit: Issues > Search for issues (Server and Data Center)

What can we learn?

In all types of Jira, workflow statuses are classified into one of three categories: To Do, In Progress, or Done. The categories help visually communicate where issues are in their lifecycle. Issues in a “To Do” status category are at the beginning of the workflow, issues in a “In Progress” status category are in the middle, and issues in a “Done” status category are towards the end. The category names and colors are not customizable.

The screenshot shows multiple statuses in the green category. Personally, I don’t like multiple green statuses in a single workflow. I believe there should only be one final status that indicates all work is done. I’ve found that once issues reach a green status, users forget they exist. Will users remember to move issues in the “Approved” status to the “Done” status? Sometimes but not always.


Luckily, if your workflow does have multiple green statuses, you can leverage the statusCategory clause in JQL queries. In the second screenshot, the clause statusCategory = Done will return all issues in a green status. This method is simpler, more inclusive, and less error prone than querying for multiple statuses. e.g. status in (Approved, Done, Rejected, Canceled).

And of course, you can also use statusCategory = “To Do” or statusCategory = “In Progress” to return issues in other status categories.

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1 comment

Bill Sheboy
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March 24, 2024

Thanks, @Rachel Wright 

Yes, and...I find Status Categories (and the statusCategoryChangedDate field) can both confuse and help customers:

Confuse: teams using Scrum boards may not understand that only the Status value(s) mapped to the right-most board column determine "done" in a sprint, and that the Status Category does not matter for that need.  I see community questions about this symptom almost every week.

Help: as you show for JQL filters, rolling up issues by their Status Category can help with reporting and in automation rules...particularly when spanning multiple projects with different workflows.  Partnered with the statusCategoryChangeDate, this can help provide measures such as Age of WIP without marketplace addons.

Kind regards,

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