Creating your backlog

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  1. Setting up your workspace
  2. Customizing your project
  3. Creating your backlog
  4. Grooming your backlog
  5. Planning your sprint
  6. Tracking your progress
  7. Wrapping up your work
  8. Doing more with your agile projects

Your backlog contains tasks for your team to work on in a project. You can add these tasks to a sprint or board so your team can work on them. Since “Teams in Space” is a new project, your backlog will be empty. Let's create some work for your team.

How do I get to my board?

If you navigate away from your board, you can easily return to it by selecting Boards from the top navigation menu, and selecting your board "Teams in Space" from the list of recent boards.

What is a backlog?

Your backlog is usually a list of issues describing what your team is going to do on a project. It’s a convenient place for creating, storing, and managing several kinds of issues:

  • issues that you’re currently working on (you can also see them on the board and in the current sprint if you’re using a Scrum project) 
  • issues which you plan to work on in the near future (for example, in the next sprint) 
  • issues of low priority which you don’t want to forget and want to work on in the future (for example, in a month or two)

The backlogs of Scrum and Kanban projects have different appearances and features. In the following sections, you’ll learn more about the differences between them and how to work with both backlogs.

Any project can have only one backlog.

Scrum vs. Kanban backlogs 

When you create a Scrum project, a backlog for it is created automatically. In the Scrum backlog, you can organize your sprints, fill them with issues of different types, estimate and prioritize these issues.

Sample Scrum backlog with a list of issues and an issue detail view open. Annotations are explained below the image.

  1. Backlog: A list of the current issues in the backlog (we've filled it with some issues here to give you an idea of how it'll look like).
  2. Issue detail view: A detailed view of the currently selected issues. 

A Kanban project doesn’t have a separate backlog by default. When you create a new Kanban project, you’ll see an empty board. The left column on it works as a backlog.

In the following screenshot, see the Kanban board with the Backlog column that contains a newly created issue.

A Kanban board that contains the Backlog column with newly created issue

  1. Backlog: A list of the current issues in the backlog.
  2. Issue detail view: A detailed view of the currently selected issues. 

You can enable a separate Kanban backlog, like in the Scrum project. This is helpful if you have a lot of issues or if you want to keep the backlog separate from the board. See Configuring columns for details.

In the Kanban backlog, you can also add, rank, estimate, and categorize issues. The only functional difference between the Kanban and Scrum backlog is that you won’t see sprints in the Kanban backlog, since they aren’t part of the Kanban project.

How to find a backlog in an existing project? 

You already know that backlogs are created automatically when you create a new Scrum or Kanban project. But what if it’s not you who created the project? How to find its backlog then? 

In a Scrum project

In the project sidebar, select Backlog. If you don't see it, expand the sidebar by clicking the >> icon in the lower left corner of the screen. 

In a Kanban project

If the backlog is enabled, you’ll find it in the same way as in a Scrum project.  

There may be a case where you’ll see neither the Backlog column on the board nor the Backlog option in the left sidebar. This may happen when the Backlog column is removed from the board, but the separate backlog isn’t enabled.

In this case, to find the backlog:

  1. In the peoject sidebar, select Issues. You’ll see the list of all open issues in the project.

  2. In the upper right corner of the screen, select View all issues and filters.
  3. In the Status dropdown, select Backlog. Jira will filter out the issues in your backlog.


Using a backlog 

For a Scrum project, a backlog is created automatically. Learn more about it in Using your Scrum backlog

For a Kanban project, you have the Backlog column on the board by default. All new issues you create will fall into this column. But you can change this by enabling the backlog in the Kanban project. Learn the details of how to do it in: Using your Kanban backlog

Adding issues to your backlog

One issue isn't enough to get your team working! Let's add some test issues so you can create and run a complete sprint.

StoryBuild out a local office on MarsHigh
StoryAdd support for teams larger than 20 peopleHigh
StoryNext Generation version of SeeSpaceEZ travel platformLow
StoryPlans for our Summer Saturn SaleHigh
StoryMake working with our space travel partners easierLow
Story500 Error when requesting a reservationMedium
StoryRequesting available flights is now taking > 5 secondsHighest

To create an issue

By default, any team member can create issues. In this tutorial, however, you will create all of the backlog issues.

  1. On the Teams in Space board, choose Create at the top of the screen. 

    Create issue dialog.

    Fill in the fields using the data shown below. Only the fields with * are mandatory. 

    • Project: Teams in Space
    • Issue Type: Story
    • Summary: Expand travel to destinations outside of The Solar System
    • Priority: High 
    • Leave all other fields blank or at their default values.
  2. Select Create to make a new issue. An issue key (TIS-1) is created for this issue, which comes in handy when searching for issues later.

Learn more about how to create and work with issues in Creating issues and sub-tasks.

Tip! If you select the Create another checkbox, Jira Software will create your issue and automatically pre-populate a new 'Create Issue' dialog box with your previous issue details.

Great! Your backlog's all set! Now, let's plan some work for your developers to do!

Last modified on Apr 13, 2023

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