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A swimlane is a horizontal categorisation of issues in Work mode on a board.

 

You can choose to set up your swimlanes in a variety of ways, as shown in the following table.

 

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

On this page:

Base your swimlanes on...Explanation
Queries

One JQL query per swimlane (see below). By default, two swimlanes will be created:

  • Expedite — this swimlane is based on the following JQL query: priority = Blocker  (You can change this column's Name, JQL and Description if you wish. See the JIRA JQL documentation for help with your JQL query.)
  • Everything Else — this swimlane is always at the bottom of the screen, and cannot be deleted. It acts as a "catch-all" for issues that do not match the JQL of any of the swimlanes above it, hence it has no JQL specified.

You may want to create additional swimlanes which map to other values of your JIRA 'Priority' field, or use a different field to categorise your swimlanes (see examples below).

StoriesOne parent issue per swimlane (i.e. each swimlane contains all of the parent's sub-tasks), with issues that have no sub-tasks appearing below.
Example (click to enlarge):
AssigneesOne assignee per swimlane, with any unassigned issues appearing below.
No Swimlanes 

 

Choosing a different type of swimlane

To choose whether to base your swimlanes on JQL queries, stories or assignees (or to have no swimlanes),

  1. Select Agile > Manage Boards from the top navigation bar, then click the Configure link corresponding to the board of interest.
  2. Click the Swimlanes tab.
  3. In the 'Base Swimlanes on' drop-down, select either Queries, Stories, Assignees or No Swimlanes, as described above.

Screenshot 1: the 'Board Configuration' screen — 'Swimlanes' tab.

Modifying your Query-based swimlanes

If your swimlanes are based on JQL queries (rather than on stories or assignees), you can create/delete/change them as follows:

  1. Select Agile > Manage Boards from the top navigation bar, then click the Configure link corresponding to the board of interest.
  2. Click the Swimlanes tab.

  3. If your swimlanes are based on Queries, you can edit your swimlanes as described in the following table and Screenshot 1 (above).

    To do the following:

    Do this:

    Add a new swimlane

    In the blue area, type the 'Name', 'JQL', and optional a 'Description', then click the 'Add' button. Your new swimlane is added in the top swimlane position.

    Change the name of a swimlane

    Click in the 'Name' area of the swimlane, modify the existing name and click the 'Update' button.

    Change the JQL of a swimlane
    Click in the 'JQL' area of the swimlane, modify the existing JQL and click the 'Update' button. (See the examples below for some suggestions.)
    (info) For syntax, see the JIRA JQL documentation.
    Delete a swimlane

    Click the 'Delete' button at the right of the swimlane.

    Move a swimlane

    Hover over the vertical 'grid'  icon, then drag and drop the swimlane up or down to its new position.

Some example JQL you might wish to use for your swimlanes:

  • Show all issues which belong to a particular component (e.g. 'User Interface'):

    project = "Angry Nerds" AND component = "User Interface"
  • Show all issues which are due in the next 24 hours:

    due <= "24h"
  • Show a separate swimlane for each member of your team, e.g.:

    assignee = "Jane"

    and

    assignee = "Bob"

(info) For more details, see the JQL documentation.