Should I use the simplified workflow?

We have a project that uses the JIRA default workflow. We want to add ~4 statuses to replace the single Open status. They will represent early lifecycle stages for issues and show up on a new kanban board. An existing scrum board will handle the end of the cycle, the old open/resolved/closed/reponed part.

We want the kanban/PM portion to be very GH friendly where you can swap issues around to other columns at will. But we want to keep the structure and screens we already have for the scrum board. So it seems like the choice is:

A) Switch to simplified, and then add back some of the structure. Maybe by copying the simplified workflow and modifying it.

B) Just add the new statuses and rules ourselves, to a copy of the JIRA default workflow, don't use simplified at all.

It seems like the two questions here are:

1) Which is easier to initially setup? (minor factor really)

2) Is there some ongoing benefit or drawback to one or the other, after setup?

I feel like this page spells out some of the facts without explaining things fully:

It seems to entice you into using the simplified worklow, without really spell out why or what the downsides might be. So my question is, should I use the simplified workflow in my case? Or what in general would lead one to use the simplified workflow or to avoid it?

3 answers

1 accepted

8 votes
Accepted answer
Timothy Chin Community Champion Jun 22, 2013

IMHO, simplified workflow offers no benefits at all. If you want to become a proper admin, then do the workflow properly instead of taking 'shortcuts'. :)

Great! Someone said it! I will wait for other answers of course, but yes that's what I was suspecting. I wish the docs would be upfront and say: "the simplified workflow contains some conveient default settings, it's something we added to get people started, or if it happens to work for you. But there isn't nothing in there that can't be acheived with the standard workflow, if you configure it carefully."

I agree with Timothy Chin. Even worse, JIRA does not allow you to edit the simplified workflow on a project once you've created the project using the Agile 'Getting Started' method. The 'benefits' listed on the page are not really benefits if you value the ability to:

  • Create the workflow that works best for your team
  • Display the workflow statuses that YOU want to see on your Agile board (these are customizable with a custom workflow)
  • Change the Resolution (Fixed, Won't Fix, Duplicate, etc.) and add a comment (perhaps an implementation summary) when you Resolve or Close an issue.

That said, I would recommend using the least number of workflow statuses you need. The default JIRA workflow has 5 status levels. We added 1 level (Verification) but otherwise kept it the same.

2 votes

The Agile Simplified workflow does have one extremely useful function, it offer the ability of Project Administrators without the global administrator permission to make workflow adjustments Via column mappings, this is currently the only method for an non global admin to have control over a project workflows. Alternatively you have to have Global administration across all projects to modify workflows, This comes into play because each simplified workflow is specific to a single project where all other workflows can be shared across projects, allowing the increased functionality to a project administrator, and task delegation.

Timothy Chin Community Champion Mar 18, 2015

I stand corrected :)

Hi Earl - I am new to JIRA admin and I am just curious about this. If an original workflow is shared with other projects and I use the simplify workflow option -- is there no impact on the other projects? I have read this - But it doesn't seem to cover this scenario. thanks for any help

Hi Sharon, This would not effect the original workflow. When you run the Switch to the simplified workflow it creates a new workflow for that project. As an example If projectA and ProjectB both Use the default workflow and you convert A it creates "Agile Simplified Workflow Scheme for Project PROJA" and projectB is unaffected.

Hi Earl, thank you for your very helpful response.

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