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JIRA Manage Board and Workflows in JIRA

August 12, 2017 Jira Tutorial
Jira manage board, manage board in Jira, Jira workflows, workflow in Jira

When JIRA is used in a company or for a project, it has to be configured i.e. JIRA Manage Board to suit the specific needs of the team members and how the issues would be accessed and viewed. If a project has different modules or sub-projects which have different reporting clients, they must be segregated so that issues from different modules are tracked under different project name. As JIRA is used by developers and testers extensively, they must have the provision to configure the issues they want to see based on their roles. And that is where boards come in handy.

Topics under Complete JIRA Tutorial Series

JIRA which is well-known project management can even be used for setting up a basic process within the team or organization. By configuring the JIRA workflow, you can specify how different transition and statuses of each issue type can be varied. In this post, we would discuss JIRA boards and the different ways to Jira manage board them. We will also take a look at JIRA workflows and how you can set up a basic process for your different JIRA projects.

Creating a JIRA Board

JIRA manage board can be considered as a platform for displaying issues from different projects. You can use a board which has already been created by someone or create a board of your own. But either way, you must have permission to create shared objects. There are basically 2 types of boards.


Figure 1: JIRA SCRUM board

Scrum boards – These boards are for Agile projects who plan their tasks in the form of sprints.

Kanban boards – Kanban boards, on the other hand, are used for planning purposes and for focussing on works in progress. For this very reason, there is no backlog screen available for Kanban boards.


Figure 2: JIRA Kanban board

How to create a New JIRA Manage Board

For creating a Jira manage board, you must log into JIRA with a valid credential. If you are on the “Getting Started” page, you can click on “Create a new board” or “Create a new project and board”, and type in the name of the board. Or, you can follow the following steps to create a new board.

Figure 3: Creating a new board

  • Click on “Agile” and select, “Jira Manage Board” from the top navigation bar. Then click “Create a board”.
  • Now, you have to select the board type, i.e. Scrum or Kanban. Once the board type is selected, you can’t change it at a later stage.
  • Follow the instructions provided in the wizard and your board would be created.

How to copy an Existing JIRA Board

As mentioned earlier, with proper permission, you can also copy an existing board. In order to copy an existing board, you have to follow the following steps.

Figure 4: Copying an existing Jira manage board

  • Click on “Agile” from the top navigation bar and select “Jira Manage Board”. When the manage board screen is displayed select, the “Copy” link corresponding to the board you want to copy.
  • If you want to make a copy of the existing board (the board that you are currently using), simply use the cog (gear) icon on the top right corner of the screen and select “Copy”.
  • To start with the new board right away, click “Use board” at the top of the screen.

NOTE – When a copy of an existing board is made, the copy would have the same JIRA issue filters as the original board. You will have administrative privileges of the new board, but not necessarily of the filter. If you don’t have privileges for the filter, you won’t be able to edit it. But you can always create a new filter for your board.

How to use a Board

Boards depending on their type, Scrum and Kanban would serve different purposes. So, the different actions that you can perform on a board are:

⇒ Viewing a board – To view a board, simply click on the down arrow beside “Agile”, in the top navigation bar and select the board that you want to view.

  • Depending on the type of board, you would see the different components in it.
  • For Scrum boards – You would be able to see
    • Backlog – To build and plan sprint issues.
    • Active Sprint – To manage items of the current sprint.
    • Reports – To create reports about different facets of the project. Ex- Charts, flow diagrams and reports of the sprint items.
  • For Kanban boards – You would be able to see
    • Items in progress
    • Reports and control charts for the ongoing project items

⇒ How to configure a board?

By configuring a board, you would be able to edit the mapping of JIRA workflow statuses to columns of a board, edit the columns, swimlanes, filter and quick filters of a board. Board configurations also allow you to customize the card colors and displayed issue fields. To configure a board, you must have administrative privileges or the board or have global JIRA access. To access a board’s configurations, you must follow the following steps.

Figure 5: Configure JIRA board

  • Click on “Agile” from the top navigation bar and click “Jira Manage Board”. Then select the board that you want to configure and click “Configure”.
  • On the “Board Configuration” page, navigate through the various tabs, like columns, swimlanes, filter, e.t.c. and edit them according to your personal needs.

⇒ Renaming a board – While on the “Board Configuration” page, hover on the “Board Name”. A pencil (edit) icon appears. Click on it, and set the new name for your board.

⇒ Changing board administrator – You can change the board administrator, only if you have administrative privileges. And, the administrative privileges are granted only when you have created a board. So, only a board creator can change a board’s administrator.

  • In order to change the board’s administrator, you have to click on “Administrators” field on the “Board Configuration” page. When the Pencil icon appears, click on it and add or change the administrator of the board.

How to configure JIRA Board Filters

Board filters are JIRA issue filters which specify what issues would be displayed on your board. By configuring the board filter you can specify which issues you want to display on your board. You can choose to display issues from a single project or multiple projects, or from a particular component of a project. Only a board administrator can configure the board filters.

Figure 6: Configure JIRA board filters

  • Choosing different board filter – Once you have landed on a board, click “Board” and then click “Configure”. When the name of the filter is displayed, hover over it and edit the filter, by clicking the edit icon. Then you have to choose the filter that you want to use and hit enter.
  • Editing a board filter – If you want to edit the board filter, you must have administrative privileges. When you are on a board whose filter you want to edit, simply click on “Board” and then click on “Configure”. When the “Board Configuration” page is visible, select the “General” tab and click “Edit FIlter Query”, to edit the board filter.
  • To edit the existing filter, you have to edit the existing JQL (JIRA Query Language) query.

  What are Workflows in JIRA

  • Workflows can be considered are state transition diagrams which depict the state change of an entity, from one form to the other. In JIRA workflows decide how the statuses of the issues should change from one state to the other. In other words, workflows help to shape a basic process for a project.


Figure 7: Sample JIRA workflow

  • JIRA has a number of built-in workflows which you can use but cannot edit. But you can always create new workflows from scratch or import new ones from the Atlassian marketplace. By using the workflow schema, you can associate workflows with projects and sometimes with specific issue types.
  • In order to access and manage workflows, you must log into JIRA as an admin user.
  • An issue’s transition from one state to another can be considered as a one-way link. So for to and fro transition between two statuses, 2 links or transitions need to be created.
  • Depending on the project status, there can are two types of workflows
    • Inactive workflow – When no issues are created in a project, there are no issues that have to undergo transition. The workflow for such projects would be an inactive workflow. You can edit the workflow transition and steps directly for inactive workflow.
    • Active workflow – If there are issues created for a project, the assigned workflow is an active one. When you try to edit an active workflow, JIRA first creates a draft of the workflow and then you can edit it. When you are done, you can publish the draft and can save the original workflow as an inactive backup.

How to Create a workflow in JIRA

To create or edit a workflow you have to use a workflow designer. It is a graphical tool, using which you can view a workflow and edit its steps and transitions. In order to use the workflow designer, you must log in as a JIRA administrator. There are different ways of creating a workflow.

Figure 8: Create JIRA workflow

  • Cloning an existing workflow – After logging in, click on the gear icon and select “Issues”. Then select “Workflows”, to navigate to the workflow page.
    • On the Workflows page, you would be able to see all the workflows present. Click “Copy” link for whichever workflow you want to copy and provide appropriate name and description.
  • Creating a new workflow – For creating a new workflow, you have to click on “Workflows” on the left-hand navigation panel and then click on “Add Workflow”.
    • Then you need to add name and description of the workflow and click “Add”. Once the workflow is created, you can view one status i.e. “Open” and a transition called “Create”.
    • Now you can add and edit status and transitions to create a custom workflow.
  • Editing a project’s workflow – When you create a new project in JIRA, it automatically assigns a default workflow for all the issue types of the project. As neither the default workflow scheme nor JIRA system workflow is editable, JIRA creates an editable copy of the system workflow.
    • To edit the workflow, click on the settings icon (gear icon) and select the project. When on the administration page of the project, click “Workflows”.
    • Click the “Edit” icon and edit the draft workflow. Click on different status and transitions to see different edition options. Once you have completed editing the workflow, click “Publish Draft”.


Jira Manage Board is used to display different issues from all projects or specific projects. Boards are a platform which allows you to look at filtered issues according to your choice.

  • You can create a board of your own, copy an existing board or edit them. Working with boards would require administrative privileges.
  • By configuring board filter, you can also change the issues that you want to display on your board.
  • Workflows, on the other hand, are used to manage the status and status transitions of issues. Workflows can thus be used to set up a basic process for your project.
  • By editing JIRA workflows or by cloning any existing workflow you can configure how the statuses should change for your project.
  • You have to use workflow designer, to edit the transitions and workflow states.

About the author

arindam bandyopadhyay author

Arindam Bandyopadhyay is an automation tester with over 5 years of experience in software testing. While during the day he juggles between Eclipse and spreadsheets, at night he lets his fingers do the talking as he writes about anything and everything his paradoxical mind desires.

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