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What is a board?

A board displays issues from one or more projects, giving you a flexible way of viewing, managing and reporting on work in progress. There are two types of boards in JIRA Agile:

  Scrum board — for teams that plan their work in sprints. More about Scrum
  Kanban board — for teams that focus on managing and constraining their work-in-progress. More about Kanban

You can use a board that somone else has created, or create your own — you can create as many boards as you like. Creating a new board is simple:

  1. Choose which project(s) the board will display, using JIRA’s Query Language (JQL)
  2. Layout status columns
  3. Set Swimlanes — based on assignees, parent/sub-task issues, or JQL queries of your choice
  4. (optional) Set Quick Filters

Accessing a board

To view a board,

  1. Log in to JIRA.
  2. Click the Agile link's down-arrow in the top navigation bar, then select your preferred board from the resulting dropdown menu.
    (info) If this is your first visit you will be prompted to create a new Board.

  3. Your board will be displayed.
  4. Click Plan, Work or Report, depending on what you need to do.

Plan Mode

Screenshot: a Scrum board in 'Plan' mode (click to enlarge)

In Plan mode you can:

  • Prioritise the Backlog — Create issues for your backlog, rank and estimate them, and drag-and-drop to add them to a sprint.
    (info) Right-click selected issues to add them to a sprint, send them to the top/bottom of the backlog, export them to Excel, view them in the JIRA Issue Navigator, or perform  Bulk Operations.
  • Estimate Stories — You can use the 'J' and 'K' keys to move through issues in the backlog and get details on the right-hand side of the screen. Plug in your estimates or story points as you go.
    (info) Note that, by default, the Story Points field is only available to issues of type 'Story' or 'Epic' — you can change this as described in JIRA Agile - JIRA Configuration.
  • Create Sub-Tasks — To break a story (issue) down into implementable chunks, go to the sub-task section (click the sub-tasks icon) to view and create sub-tasks.
  • Organise via Epics — Group related stories into an epic. Click EPICS to view the Epics panel, where you can create epics, drag-and-drop issues into epics, and filter by epics.
  • Plan Versions — Assign issues to upcoming versions. Click VERSIONS to view the Versions panel, where you can create and edit versions, assign issues to versions via drag-and-drop, and filter by versions.
  • Plan, and Plan Again — When you're happy with the stories for the iteration, start a sprint and the stories will move into Work mode. While a sprint is active in Work mode, you can still plan subsequent iterations in Plan mode (click Add Sprint), but you won't be able to start them until the active iteration is completed. (You can, however, drag and drop an issue in Plan mode onto the active sprint.) Note that you can only start (or complete) a sprint if you have 'Administer Projects' permission for all projects that match the board's filter.

An issue will only be visible in Plan mode if:

  • the issue is not a Sub-Task;
  • the issue's status maps to one of the board's columns (but not the 'Done' column);and
  • there is at least a status being mapped to the right most column. Eg. If you have the columns To Do, In Progress, and Done, ensure that you have a status mapped to In Progress at least. If you map all the statuses to the first column (To Do), you will not be able to see any issues in the Backlog.

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Resize the Issue Detail View

View the issue's details:

  • Summary
  • Story Points (editable)
  • Remaining estimate (if you have Time Tracking set to 'Remaining Estimate and Time Spent')
    (if the issue has sub-tasks, the Remaining estimate for the issue and sub-tasks will be rolled up in the parent issue) 
  • Status, Component, Labels, Affects Version and Fix Version, plus any fields you have added
  • Reporter, Assignee, Date Created, Date Updated
  • Links (plus a button for quickly creating new links)
View the issue's Description field.
View any comments on this issue.
View any files attached to this issue.
View a convenient summary of the issue's sub-tasks (plus a button for quickly creating new sub-tasks).
View any test sessions for this issue (if you are using Bonfire).

View any commits for this issue (if you are using the DVCS Connector).

Work Mode

Screenshot: a Kanban board in 'Work' mode (click to enlarge)

In Work mode you can:

  • Work on Issues — Choose the highest ranked issues in the 'To Do' column and drag them to the 'In Progress' column. (See Transitioning an Issue.) As you complete each issue in the 'In Progress' column, drag it to the 'Done' column.
    (info) Right-click selected issues to add them to a sprint, send them to the top/bottom of the backlog, view them in the JIRA Issue Navigator or perform  Bulk Operations.
  • Release a Version — Click Release to create your new version and mark it as 'released' throughout JIRA and JIRA Agile. (See Releasing a Version (Kanban).)

(info) Note:

  • column constraints apply to the total number of issues in a column, regardless of whether some issues are currently hidden because a Quick Filter is in use.

  • swimlanes can be based on criteria of your choice. Swimlane issue counts are affected by Quick Filters, that is, issues hidden by a Quick Filter will be excluded from the swimlane count.
    (tick) Press "-" to expand/collapse all swimlanes.

  • for Kanban boards, you can specify a Work sub-filter, which refines the issues returned by your board's filter (see Configuring Filters). By default this sub-filter includes issues with no fix version or unreleased fix versions. So when the Release link is used to release a Kanban version, the completed issue will no longer be shown in the Done column.

  • an issue will only be visible in Work mode if:
    • the issue matches the board's Saved Filter (see Configuring Filters); and
    • the issue's status maps to one of the board's columns; and
    • the issue is in an active sprint.
  • the board will be refreshed every 30 seconds, if the browser window does not currently have focus. If you have focus on the window, it will show a message asking you to refresh. Note, this auto-refresh functionality only works in Work mode.

Report Mode

The following reports are available:

(info) Note that the reports are board-specific, that is, they will only include issues which match the board's Filter.

Using the Navigation Area

Gliffy Zoom Zoom

  1. Instant Filter (Plan mode only) — Type an issue key, issue type, or part of the issue summary, and JIRA Agile will instantly start searching for matches and filtering the displayed backlog, letter by letter as you type.
  2. Sprint dropdown (Work mode only) — Select the sprint whose issues you wish to view.
  3. Quick Filter: 'Only My Issues' — Only display issues which are assigned to you.
  4. Quick Filter: 'Recently Updated' — Only display issues which were updated in the last 24 hours.
    (info) Click a Quick Filter to apply it, then click Clear all filters to turn it off.
    (info) If any custom Quick Filters have been configured for this board, they will appear next to 'Only My Issues' and 'Recently Updated'.
  5. Plan Plan and allocate work (see Using Plan Mode).
  6. Work Transition issues from one status to the next (see Using Work Mode).
  7. Report — View a report (see Using Report Mode).
  8. 'Tools' dropdown — Configure, copy or delete your current board, or create a new one. Expand/collapse all swimlanes (Work mode only).
  9. Compress header — Hide the header area to give more room on main area of the screen.


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  1. An issue will only be visible in Plan mode if:

    Also... if the issue is not a sub-task. 

    Took me a while to figure out why the filter I based my board on had more "non-Done" issues in it than was showing in Plan mode. Turns out this is why. There are a couple feature requests on around this, FWIW. 

  2. Hello , I use a scrum board. I want set Flag a custom field (Block). I see classic broad can support the feature. Could you tell me how to do in scrum board?