Jira Issue Types: More than Just Classification

If you’re only using Jira issue types to classify different types of work, you’re missing out! In addition to their organization and classification value, issue types provide many additional useful features. Here’s a brief summary of each:


Icons serve as visual distinguishers in search results, reports, dashboards, boards, and more.

Tip: Make sure each issue type has a unique icon in each issue type scheme.

In the example scheme, both improvement and story have the same icon. I would change improvement so it has a different image and/or color.

Issue type scheme


Each issue type has a user-facing description. Hover over an issue type’s icon to see it.

Tip: Customize the description field to help users understand the intent of each issue type’s use.


Issue types create the capability of a parent/child hierarchical relationship. Jira comes with two levels but additional levels can be added with apps or by upgrading to Jira Software Cloud Premium or Enterprise.

Different Settings

And the best part: Issue types allow issues to have different workflows, screens (containing different fields), or both.

For example, a story issue type may have different custom fields or workflow steps than a task issue type in the same Jira project. Issue types and schemes make different procedures and information collection possible.

Read More

Check out my Understanding Jira Issue Types, from Basics to Advanced Hierarchies article on Salto’s website that covers issue type uses, relationships, hierarchy capabilities, and the new “parent” field in Jira Software Cloud.

Author: Rachel Wright

Rachel Wright is an entrepreneur, Certified Jira Administrator, and author of the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook. She started using Jira in 2011, became a Jira administrator in 2013, and was certified in 2016. She is the owner and founder of Industry Templates, LLC, which helps companies grow, get organized, and develop their processes.

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