Plan for the team

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  1. Plan for the team
  2. Customize the team board
  3. Estimate in story points
  4. Analyze team reports
  5. Optimize future plans

They say the best laid plans always go awry, and sometimes they do, but you still have to make them. At least in Jira Software, the plans you make are highly flexible, customizable, and configurable.

Start with a backlog

All agile projects start with a backlog of issues that represent the work that needs to be done: user stories, tasks, bug fixes, etc. Anything that's been determined is a discrete piece of work.

  • Backlogs are all about priorities and doing the most important things first
  • Use quick filters to just see the issues you want
  • Create new issues and start sprints in the backlog

To get to your backlog, open your board and click Backlog. Control board details shown using the options in the Board menu.

You can add issues quickly by clicking + Create issue below the backlog list.

Sample backlog with a list of issues.

"You're just setting yourself up for failure if you try to plan sprints too far ahead. You'll waste energy making decisions about things that will almost certainly change scope or priority in a few weeks. The backlog is always waiting to be re-prioritized"

~ Atlassian Team Lead

Use epics for context 

Epics are designed to tell the bigger story. They can be used to capture broader work themes, such as 'performance' or 'user interface', or to track larger items of work. There are advantages to using epics.

  • Epics can span multiple projects, which is especially useful if your board is set up to show issues from multiple projects.
  • You can link an epic to a Confluence page to provide more information, such as design specs, business case, requirements, etc.

To create an epic

  1. In your board backlog, click EPICS on the left side of the board, then click Create epic.
  2. Complete the details of the epic in the window that appears and click Create.
  3. Drag and drop backlog issues across to the epic they belong to.

See Working with epics for more information.

Epics panel in the backlog.

"Versions work best for our long term planning because they align to our service-level agreements. Our customers expect weekly releases."

~ Atlassian Release Manager

Versions keep the release in order

Lots of teams release versions of their product as updates or feature sets for customers. Allocating issues to versions can help the team plan sprint work in the lead up to a release.

To create a version

  1. Click VERSIONS on the left side of the board, then click Create version.
  2. Complete the details and click Create.

You can then drag and drop backlog issues across to the version they belong to.

Create version dialog for the Teams in Space project. The version name is Prototype v1.0.

See Configuring versions in a Scrum project for more information.

Rank and prioritize

When your backlog issues are listed in order of priority, it's far easier to create sprints that are based on the work that needs to be done next.

Ranking is easily done by dragging and dropping issues in the backlog.

Ranking issues in the backlog.

"Ranking helps us knock over sprint planning really quickly because we can all see what has to get done next."

~ Atlassian Dev Lead

Rinse and repeat

The best thing about scrum projects is that as you progress through sprints, the more clearly you can see what your team is capable of.

There's a heap of reports and charts that you can consult to help with understanding your team's productivity rates. We'll talk about how some of these can help you get better at planning a bit further along.

tip/resting Created with Sketch.


Create a dummy project and choose Scrum software development as the project type.

  1. Create a backlog of issues. You just need a title to add new ones.
  2. Re-prioritize the backlog rank by dragging and dropping
  3. Create an epic and add a few issues to it
  4. Create a version and add a few issues to it


Last modified on Aug 26, 2021

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