Configuring Columns

In the Active sprints/Kanban board, a board displays vertical columns. By default, each board contains three columns, called 'To Do', 'In Progress' and 'Done'. You can add, delete, rename or move these columns if you wish. You can also choose which JIRA workflow status(es) each column is mapped to, and whether any constraints apply to each column.

(info) Note that only the administrator of a board (or a person with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission) can configure a board's columns.

Editing Columns

To edit a board's columns:

  1. Navigate to the desired board, then click Board > Configure.
  2. Click the Columns tab.

  3. Edit the columns as described in the following table and the screenshot (below).

    To do the following:

    Do this:

    Add a new column

    Click the Add Column button at the right of the page. A new column named 'New Column' is added in the 2nd-last column position.

    (info) If you are using Simplified Workflow, then a new status will automatically be created to match your new column.

    Change the name of a column

    Click in the name area of the column, modify the existing name and press Enter.

    Show the 'Days in column' indicator on cards

    Click the Days in column checkbox. This shows a series of dots on each card (up to the width of the card or a maximum of 32), representing the number of days that the issue has been in the column. This can help you see issues that are stagnating — this is particularly useful when your board is displayed as a wallboard.

    Note that if you move an issue back to one of the columns that you moved it into previously, the indicator reflects a cumulative value of the number of days the issue stayed in that column.

    For example, you move an issue to the 'In Progress' column and it stays there for 2 days. You then move the issue to the 'Code Review' column and it stays there for 1 day. During code review, you receive feedback, which requires more development work for the issue, so you move the issue back to the 'In Progress' column and it stays there for 1 day. In this example, the indicator reflects the cumulative value of 3 days for the issue in the 'In Progress' column.

    Disabling this indicator can improve performance. If you have a large instance (i.e. 300,000+ issues, 100+ projects, 100+ boards, or 100+ open sprints), we recommend that you disable this.

    This indicator is disabled by default for Scrum boards and enabled by default for Kanban boards.

    Delete a column

    Click delete in the "Drag to rearrange or delete" text at the top of the column.
    (info) Any JIRA workflow statuses that had been mapped to the deleted column are moved back to the 'Unmapped' column.

    Move a column

    Hover over the horizontal 'grid' icon, then drag the column left or right to its new position. Wait until other columns have shifted position before dropping the selected column to its new position.

Screenshot: the 'Board Configuration' screen — 'Columns' tab.

Note, each column has a blue, yellow or green colour, as shown in the screenshot above:

  • The single leftmost column will always be blue, representing items in 'new' ('To Do' in screenshot above) state (as per our design guidelines).
  • The single rightmost column will always be green, representing items in a 'successful' ('Done' in screenshot above) state.
  • The middle column (or columns if you add more) are always yellow, representing items in progress ('In Progress' in screenshot above).

These columns are important, particularly the leftmost and rightmost column. A number of reports and gadgets show data related to whether an issue is new, in progress or successful. Consider the examples below:

  • Sprint Health Gadget — The blue, yellow and green sections of the sprint progress bar reflect the statuses that are mapped to the relevant columns in the column configuration.
  • Sprint Report — an issue is considered complete (done) when it is in a status that is mapped to the 'successful' (rightmost) column in the column configuration.

Mapping Columns to JIRA Statuses

Default mappings for new boards

  • If you create a new project, by default, statuses are mapped to columns as follows:

    If your board's project is using the JIRA default workflow:

    Default column Default mapped JIRA statuses
    To Do Open, Reopened
    In Progress In Progress
    Done Resolved, Closed

     ... or ...

    If your board's project is using Simplified Workflow:

    Default column Default mapped JIRA statuses
    To Do To Do
    In Progress In Progress
    Done Done

      

  • If you create a new board for an existing project, by default, the statuses are mapped to columns based on the category for each status. For example, if an status's category is 'Complete' it will be mapped to the green rightmost column ("Done").

Editing the mappings for existing boards

You can change the default status to column mappings, if you wish. For example, if you are using additional, customised JIRA statuses, you will probably want to map them to appropriate columns in your board.

To edit the mapping of JIRA workflow statuses to columns of a board:

  1. Navigate to the desired board, then click Board > Configure.
  2. Click the Columns tab.

  3. Change the mapping statuses as described in the following table and Screenshot 1 (above).

    To do the following:

    Do this:

    Map a status to a column

    Drag a status from the Unmapped column to the appropriate column on the right.

    Unmap a status from a column

    Drag a status from its current column on the right to the Unmapped column on the left.

    Change the column mappings of a status

    Drag a status from its original column to its relevant new column.

    (info) All statuses configured in the JIRA server are available from the board Configuration page. However, some statuses (in particular, custom statuses) may not be available for issues on your board if the JIRA workflow (s) used by these issues do not utilise those statuses.

(tick) See the Tutorial - Adding a Column to a Board for an example of creating a new column and mapping it to a new JIRA status.

Adding a new Status

If your board is using Simplified Workflow:

  1. Navigate to the desired board, then click Board > Configure.
  2. Click the Columns tab.

  3. Click the Add Status button at the right of the page.
    (info) Note that the Add Status button is only available if you have the JIRA 'Project Administrator' permission for this board's project.

If your board is not using Simplified Workflow, please follow the Tutorial - Adding a Column to a Board.

Deleting a Status

If your board is using Simplified Workflow:

  1. Navigate to the desired board, then click Board > Configure.
  2. Click the Columns tab.

  3. Drag the status to the Unmapped Statuses column.

  4. Click the delete icon (trash can) for the status you wish to remove.
    (info) Note: that you can only delete a status if you have the JIRA 'Project Administrator' permission for this board's project.
    (info) You can only delete a status if there are no issues that currently have that status.
    (info) If any other workflows are using this status then the status will be removed from your workflow, but not deleted.

If your board is not using Simplified Workflow, you can only delete a status vis the JIRA administration interface — please see the JIRA documentation on Configuring Workflow.

Setting Column Constraints

Setting constraints on each workflow state is a crucial part of Kanban, so that you can ensure that work is continually flowing through the pipeline. You may also find it handy in Scrum, so that you can see bottlenecks early, and adjust the scope of your sprint.

Constraints trigger a visual indicator when a maximum or minimum number of issues appear in a column. You can specify constraints for all columns, or just some of them. If a column constraint is exceeded, then the column will change color, as follows:

  • Column colored red — Maximum number of issues exceeded
  • Column colored yellow — Minimum number of issues not met

Please note:

  • The values of the column constraints will appear at the top of each column you set them for. These values don't have any impact on the number of issues displayed in the columns.
  • Column constraints apply to the total number of issues in a column, regardless of whether issues are hidden by a Quick Filter.

You can choose to exclude sub-tasks from the count. This is useful if you want to constrain the number of major tasks (stories) your team is working on, rather than the total number of individual tasks. This is likely to be more relevant to Scrum teams than to Kanban teams.

(info) Current bug ticket for this functionality:  JSW-10627 - Improve documentation for column constraints in JIRA Software (and JIRA Agile) Closed

To set 'Maximum' and 'Minimum' constraints for a column of a board:

  1. Navigate to the desired board, then click Board > Configure.
  2. Click the Columns tab.

  3. Edit the constraints as described in the following table and Screenshot 1 (above).

    To do the following:

    Do this:

    Enable column contraints
    In the Column Constraint drop-down, select either Issue Count or, if you don't want to include sub-tasks in the column count, Issue Count, excluding sub-tasks. Setting 'Issue Count' or 'Issue Count, excluding sub-tasks' will show the issue count in each column.
    Set a column's 'Min' constraint

    Click the yellow box at the top of the column, type the new value and press Enter.

    Set a column's 'Max' constraint

    Click the red box at the top of the column, type the new value and press Enter.

    Remove a column's 'Min' constraint

    Click the yellow box at the top of the column, delete the current value and press Enter.

    Remove a column's 'Max' constraint

    Click the red box at the top of the column, delete the current value and press Enter.

    Remove constraints for all columns
    In the Column Constraint drop-down, select None.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Why was this unhelpful?

Have a question about this article?

See questions about this article

Powered by Confluence and Scroll Viewport