I've search for and seen pages that discuss Jira's ability to have multiple workflows for different issue types. And it seems so obvious from an operational standpoint that a team would have something more like "Backlog=>Selected For Development=>In Development=>Ready For User Acceptance Testing=>Ready For Deployment=>Feature Complete" for new features and enhancements and something more like "Open=>In Progress=>Ready to Deploy=>Fixed" for defects.
I know from those other pages that Jira "can" do this. But are there any caveats or gotchas that occur from doing so? Is there a best practice respecting this?
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Indeed, it is possible to configure different workflows for a single project, each of them relating to different issue types. The whole set of workflows defined to a specific project for different issue types is called a Workflow Scheme, as you can see in the documentation below:
In fact, most Jira Service Desk templates and even some Jira software templates work with multiple workflows. Its indeed a good option when you have different necessities/steps for multiple departments.
The main consequences and relevant points about this approach are:
1 - When you have a single workflow for your project, it is possible to change the issue type of your issues by simply clicking in the field at the issue view. Once your issue types are not configured with a common workflow, you will be requested to move your issues when you click to update its issue type, since they will be migrating from one workflow to another.
This is really not a big deal, just a small difference of three extra steps you'll need to do in order to change the issue type of any issues.
2 - You will not be able to use simplified workflows in your Jira board. This is also not a big deal, just make sure you have properly mapped all the new statuses you created under your board settings > Columns
3 - Jira default workflows are pre-configured with several properties and post functions to make sure they work properly. That being said, I strongly recommend you to make copies of already existing workflows and customize it, instead of creating a new workflow from zero. This will ensure your new workflows will be functional as the one you have today.
Let us know if you have any questions.
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