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How to manage inactive workflows?

We're currently in the phase of cleaning up many of our configuration schemes on Jira. When we arrived to workflows, some questions started rising.

Since a backup of a workflow is easily taken when publishing a draft, it's easy to have a fast growing list of inactive workflows that once served as a backup, but then were never cleaned up. And in the current view of the inactive workflows page, it is rather hard to find the backup your looking for if the list isn't being cleaned up every so often.

So I'm wondering, how do others manage their inactive workflows? How do you decide when to delete a workflow? Do you delete an inactive workflow if it hasn't been updated for x amount of time? Do you then still hold an offline backup?

I'm looking forward to hear how you all handle this!

2 comments

Lenin Raj Atlassian Team Jan 14, 2020

Hi @Jorden Van Bogaert 

It is better to delete them if are sure you won't be needing them. It will help you have a clean list of active workflows. You could optionally have a downloaded backup copy if required.

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Hi @New Yoker 

Thanks for your response! I totally agree. However I have a small problem that I'm cleaning up inactive workflows that have been growing over several years under different Jira admins. So now I have the question, when can I decide that an inactive workflow is no longer needed, when I actually have no idea why the inactive version was stored by the previous admins.

I could potentially hold an offline backup, but I'm talking about hundreds :D

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Lenin Raj Atlassian Team Jan 14, 2020

I think a workflow that hasn't been used for a few months could be deleted. 

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I'm with @New Yoker here - if a workflow is inactive and hasn't been amended for thee months, then either its project is dead or a later version of it is working well enough or better than it was, and you can safely kill it.

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I would suggest that you introduce a naming convention for workflow backups (e.g. prefix with Backup_) so that they can be differentiated from older workflows.  Then review every month or two and delete backups older than that period.  I would assume that if a backup hasn't been needed for a month then it's unlikely to be at all.

I also version my worklfows with a suffix, e.g. v1, v2, v3.

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Hi @Pete Singleton 

Thanks for your response! That's actually a good idea moving forward.

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