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Order KanBan cards without Drag and Drop

Good Morning, 

We are on Jira Cloud and we have a project with 100s of cards.  The board admin wants to be able to use a field when creating the ticket to then have the cards sort themselves based on that. While I know she can do a lot within the issues view, its not helping her when she has people who are pulling tickets from the to-do field as they are taking the next ticket and that may not be the one that is most needed. 

As I previously mentioned there are 100's of cards so trying to drag things into order is difficult.

Any ideas for a brand new admin? :)


3 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted
Joseph Chung Yin
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 19, 2021

@Michele Bazzani -

Hi Michele:

Welcome to the community.  In a Kanban board, when you mention "users are pulling issues from To Do status" - are you saying that they are assigning the issues to themselves?

If you want to control the issue assignment, then you will need to modify your project's permission scheme to lock down "Assign Issues" permission, so it is restricted to only a set of individuals.  This way, users will not be able to assign themselves to the issues.  

Dragging and Dropping issues within the same Kanban board column is "Ranking", where authorized users can prioritize the issues, if an only if, the users are granted with both "Edit Issues" and "Schedule Issues" permissions.  So, if you want to control the ranking of issues on the board, then you should also modify your project's permission scheme too.

Hope this helps.

Best, Joseph Chung Yin

Jira/JSM Functional Lead, Global Infrastructure Applications Team

Viasat Inc.

Hi Joseph 


Thank you for the response.  They have a column on their KanBan board for items that need to be done and there are many.  They don't have issues with people assigning things to themselves but she wants to be able to have that column self organize rather than her having to drag and drop all of the items into an order.  I have looked at rank but frankly I am new to Jira myself and with rank being an uneditable field and only updates based on where she dragged it to in the column, I'm a bit lost as how to help them with this.

All I could come up with was use the backlog and that was a no, create a swim lane for the top 10 that need to be pulled first, or a custom field they can set a value for and then order by.

I appreciate all the help here since I am really trying to solve her complaint but everything I see tells me its not possible.


Joseph Chung Yin
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Oct 21, 2021

@Michele Bazzani -

I would proceed with a custom field creation and use it to apply the ordering of those issues.  Afterward, change the board filter query to "order by" against the custom field.  Here are drawbacks of this implementation -

1) One will no longer able to use the default RANKING functionality against the board.

2) You, the Jira Admin, will have to maintain the custom field's options (i.e. dropdown list).  It will be a maintenance nightmare for Jira Admins.

3) The custom field will have to be set as mandatory for issues.  Issue manager(s) will need to select the appropriate value for the custom field.

4) User will have to manually update all existing issues with the appropriate value for the custom field.

Essentially, the process will still be manual.  If everything is done, the only thing you will get is that issues are listed in the proper order in the Kanban board.

Please kept in mind that using the existing drag/drop functionality in the board for issue ranking - Initially it may be a lots of work, but the issues count should start to reduce down to a manageable size for your user as issues move on to the next workflow status (i.e. TO DO moves to IN PROGRESS).  Unless there will always be 100s of issues get created every single day for your team who use the board.

You are in a difficult position.  Hope this makes sense.

Best, Joseph 

Hi Joseph,

Thank you for the response and unfortunately this is what I suspected would be the option.  Unfortunately for this group this may be the only way until their workload calms down.

I appreciate your help and understanding!



2 votes
Bill Sheboy
Rising Star
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Oct 19, 2021

Hi @Michele Bazzani -- Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

I believe drag-n-drop ordering only works when the board filter uses ORDER BY Rank.  You could order by another field, but then lose all drag-n-drop ordering.

Are you using a company-managed or a team-managed project?

And, you note 100s of issues apparently on the board.  Is that correct?

If so, has your team instead considered enabling the backlog feature, and then intentionally pulling things into the left-most board column (often called Selected) for the items to do next?  That would leave the majority of issues in the backlog and out of sight of the board until desired. 

For Kanban teams, the conversation to periodically re-load Selected based on team capacity is called "queue replenishment", and so this pause to discuss/pull-new-work could help reduce people pulling any random issues: they would only pull from Selected.

Kind regards,

0 votes
Philipp Barry
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Oct 21, 2021

Hi Michele, 

Maybe it is also worth raising the question: "Why are there 100s of issues on the board and is that helpful for the team to achieve their objectives?

Have a look into the Atlassian material on Kanban if that question resonates with you:

Looking at possible quick wins in the solution, from my limited understanding of your situation two things could help:

  • As outlined by @Bill Sheboy - utilize the backlog function
  • Additionally to drag & drop, issues in the backlog can be pushed to the top or bottom of the backlog - just rightclick on them when in the backlog to show the respective options

I hope this helps.

Best regards


Hi Philipp,


Thank you for your response.  This team is working on an implementation of a new enterprise system so they have tons of cards sitting in the To-Do column. They dont like how the back log works so they aren't using it.  I know its an odd question and this is a difficult group.  



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