The workflow editor makes it very clear that it is not intended for the status of a workflow step to be changed if it is already existing.
Despite that, I still have a need to do this. Does anyone have a recommended approach to this?
I know I could export the workflow as XML and change it that way, but then what about all of the issues existing in the system?
No, you don't. You must NEVER make two steps have the same status, it breaks your workflow in some rather interesting ways.
Changing a status to another status that is not used elsewhere in the current workflow is fine and can be done in the editor, no mucking about with XML needed.
It appears my question was not clear. I am not attempting to have the same status in a workflow twice - I can see the obvious reasons this would be bad. I want to change the status assigned to an existing step in a workflow to something else that is not already in use in that workflow.
Ah, sorry, I misunderstood then. Nothing dangerous.
The workflow editor does let you change the status associated with a step. But only on inactive workflows.
You'll need to make a copy of your workflow, edit that, put it in a new workflow scheme and then migrate your projects to use it. (You'd need to do all of that if you edited the XML as well, so you might as well use the editor)
When you move a project to a new workflow, you will find that the status on the issues changes if the old status is not in the new workflow (Jira will ask you to map them, old-to-new).
It will also record the change of workflow on all issues that are affected.
Here're some hints for applying changes like the one you want:
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