"How do I automate Jira workflows if I'm not a coding expert?" Find out in this episode of Appfire Presents: The Best Demo Show by Appfire.
Appfire's own Sergejs Cuhrajs demonstrates how you can use JSU Automation Suite for Jira Workflows' new Universal Rule Builder to automate workflows with no code: just drag and drop! Sergejs gives you a quick explanation of workflow automation and what it can do for you, then dives into JSU to show you how simple it is to get started with workflow automation.
About the guest
Sergejs Cuhrajs is product marketing manager for Appfire’s Workflow and Automation apps JSU and JMWE. Connecting with technical and B2B audiences is where it’s at for Sergejs, and to see them succeed in the ever changing, fast-paced market through automation.
About the show
The BEST Demo Show by Appfire brings in experts who can show you how to overcome common IT challenges using best in class Atlassian apps. Every episode features 15 minutes of valuable advice on how to do your work better and faster.
For your convenience, here is the transcript of this episode:
How do I automate Jira workflows if I'm not a coding expert?
Kerry: Today we’re going to address the question how do I automate Jira workflows if I’m not a coding expert. To help us with that question is Sergejs Cuhrajs, product marketing manager at Appfire. Stick around for 10 minutes of really valuable information.
Thanks so much for joining. Let’s talk about this. Jira workflows, what are they first?
Sergejs: Basically, Jira workflows is a set of statuses and transitions that a Jira issue moves through its lifecycle. You can think about it as it basically represents processes in an organization and how things move around and get done in terms of Jira.
What’s cool about Jira workflows is that you can tweak and customize them, so it works exactly how your team needs it.
Kerry: Okay. How do you actually automate them? Assuming that you don’t want to do everything manually.
Sergejs: Exactly. That’s the whole point of this video. You can automate them natively in Jira, but there are also apps on Atlassian Marketplace, like the JSU that we’ll show you in a minute. Those apps greatly expand the admin capabilities in tweaking and automating workflows.
Kerry: Why would you want to, what are some of the benefits?
Sergejs: The most obvious benefit is to reduce the amount of duplicate redundant work. Nobody likes repetition. It’s a great way to free your team’s time in Jira to focus on something that really matters to drive the business forward. With workflow automation, you streamline your processes in Jira.
Another important reason is that workflow apps help admins automate the most complex scenarios where maybe native automation doesn’t quite cut it. It has a lot of flexible features. Specifically, post functions, conditions validators, and other features. These allow you to create highly nuanced and flexible workflow processes that will adapt to your team’s needs.
Kerry: Do I have to be a coding expert to do this, or can we do it without that?
Sergejs: The resounding answer is, no, you don’t need to be very technical or know how to code. Of course, there are a lot of different workflow automation apps on the marketplace and these solutions offer point and click, no code configurations, so it’s very easy to get started. There are also limits to functionality and then there are more complex solutions that offer excellent extendability, but they’re also very technical and require scripting and coding for those admins who do require that complexity.
Kerry: Let’s assume that I cannot code. Do you want to show me how, are you ready?
Kerry: Let’s automate some things.
Sergejs: Here we are on a Jira project board. I’m going to just show you a quick scenario, the use case we’ll be showing with JSU. A quick thing about JSU is this is our easy quick-to-get-started workflow automation solution, it’s entirely no-code, so this is perfect for the purpose of this video.
Let’s imagine we have a scenario where we have this story issue and then there are a couple of subtasks underneath. Really, it could be anything. Let’s say you are onboarding a person in a company and you have several tasks that you need to get done. For example, set up a contract, get them a laptop, make sure they have the logins and all of the necessary permissions. Each of these tasks would be a subtask.
Imagine you send it to the right person and they basically execute it, they click on done, they’ve done all of these tasks, but the parent issue, which is our story, is not changing to done, which then creates a messy situation. This is what we’re going to automate with JSU right now, and I’ll show you just how to do that.
As you can see, the status of the story has not changed, even though all of the underlying issues have moved to done. Let’s just quickly move it to to-do again.
Kerry: Your project will still sit out there in this incorrect unfinished status.
Sergejs: Exactly. What we want to do now, JSU really focuses on the speed and ease and how to quickly get the work done as fast as possible, so it offers several handy shortcuts through the Jira UI. For example, you can access JSU through the dropdown here, through the regular admin shortcut, but also what’s handy is we can access it right here and start editing your current workflow that you’re in now right here from this button. That’s what we’re going to do.
We have one workflow here to pick from. As I showed before, the use case that we have is if we want to move the parent issue, which is a story, to done. This is about a transition of a Jira issue to done, and that’s why we’re going to select the done transition from this list here. We’ll select the post function, and the reason is because we want something to happen after something has transitioned. All of the issues have moved to done, so we want something to happen afterward, so we select the post function.
Now we’re going to select the add post function here from this list. Today, we’ll be looking at a really cool new feature in JSU. It’s currently in beta, but it’s basically a new workflow rule builder. It’s kind of an easier more visual way to build your workflow automations.
Kerry: That’s exciting.
Sergejs: Yes. Like I said, it’s currently in beta, so it doesn’t offer all of the features and use cases yet, but it’s a great starting point if you want to start building some use cases here.
Kerry: The universal rule builder?
Sergejs: Exactly. The universal rule builder. Let’s pick a name for this automation. I try to be more descriptive with the names because it’s going to tell me exactly what this automation is doing when I review it later. I’m going to paste this in here.
When the final subtask is done, I want my parent issue to automatically move to done. We can break this down into two parts here. When the final subtask is done, the parent automatically moves to done. The subtask is something that we need to add. This rule builder offers in a very logical module what you see is what you get style of configuring workflows. You have these key building elements, when, if, then style.
Now we need to pick an if, because obviously we need to add instructions about what happens with the subtasks. We’re going to pick the related issue status. Basically, what I’m telling it is that when the subtasks are moved to done, I want to make sure to check that all other subtasks are also moved to done, so the siblings are basically other subtasks under this parent issue. I’m going to move them to choose done in this case.
Now we have to quickly think about what happens next. We have the when issues are moved to done, if all of those related siblings are also done, obviously the second part is the parent issue. We want it to automatically move to done, so what we do is we’ll select the trigger link transition from this list, and this basically tells the automation that we want to close the parent task. We pick this one, because we’re talking about automatically closing a parent issue when all of the subtasks are done.
From this dropdown, we’re just going to select a status of what we need to move this parent issue to. We want to move the parent issue to done. That’s it. Basically, we’ve just configured our workflow automation. There was no complicated tech-savvy mandatory fields, there was no script whatsoever, you just click through it. I’m not very technical, so this is perfect for me as well. I understand and I can see from this flow what exactly is happening when, if, then.
Let’s hit the add button. You can quickly have a look, it shows you a preview of your configuration, what you’ve just done. All we need to do now is just publish. There are some handy previews of what you need to do.
Kerry: I want to see it work.
Sergejs: Let’s do it. I’ll do a backup. Let’s head back to our project.
Kerry: I’m so excited about that because I can see if you have different people working on a thing and they each complete a task, they might easily forget or not realize they’re the last one to finish their task, and they might not transition the whole thing.
Sergejs: Yes. Let’s go back to the parent issue, which is a story with all of our subtasks. Now what needs to happen is the parent issue needs to move to done as soon as I finish with all of the other subtasks.
Let’s click this to done. Nothing happens. Let’s click this to done. Again, still nothing happens. Now, the final one, it should update automatically to done. And there we go.
Kerry: It did it. That’s exciting.
Sergejs: There we go. Automation with JSU and the universal rule builder. We’ll just reload the page. You can see it’s all moved to done, it’s all nice and clean.
To recap, what we did is we automated the parent issue moving to done status when all of the underlying subtasks are set to done, and we did it with very few steps, thanks to the universal rule builder in JSU.
Kerry: So, you do not have to be a coding expert. I did not see you code once.
Sergejs: Exactly. I would just say the best thing is to try it and see for yourself. You can install JSU from the marketplace, there’s a free 30-day trial, and also it’s free up to 10 users on Cloud. Just go ahead and install it and see how it works for you.
Sergejs, thank you so much.
Sergejs: It was my pleasure. Thank you, Kerry.
Kerry: See you next time.