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The 1 Little-Known Jira Board That Will Keep A Busy Manager Out Of Trouble

It’s easy to lose track of tasks that are in different projects. 

Busy managers need to keep their eyes on tasks that are assigned to them and their teams. They also work on companywide initiatives and project interdependencies. Let’s not forget about more personal tasks that many of us currently keep in external apps.

If you work in a Jira-heavy organization, you can start using your own board today to keep everything in one place and never miss a task.

A personal board might be what you need. 

Unlike a team or a special-purpose project board, you can freely manage your personal board and keep it private. This freedom makes it quick and easy for you to experiment with the task organization that’s the most logical to you.

You can use the board in addition to the personal dashboard reports that many Jira users already rely on, including me. I’m a director at a company that’s behind JQL Search Extensions - a top selling  Jira Cloud app. Over the years, along with the popularity of the app and a Platinum Partner status, came an endless number of responsibilities and tasks that need to be run in parallel. In some respects, I know Jira quite well. But recently, while going through the community questions, I discovered this hidden feature that allowed me to have another view of the work I oversee.

It's quick to create a personal board but by default it’s hidden in the menus. You need to:

  1. Go to Your work -> Boards -> View all boards and click on Create board -> Kanban
  2. Choose Board from an existing Saved Filter
  3. Give your board a name, choose a starting filter and scroll all the way down and choose a personal board location

That’s it! Once you complete these steps, a new option shows up in the menu under your avatar: Your boards.

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The right filters are a key to an effective board.

Your board filter defines what issues show up in your board. You need to structure your filter in a way that is later easy to organize into separate swim lanes.

For various aspects of your work, you can use separate filters and then join them together into one big filter. An obvious first JQL filter could cover issues assigned to you. Another good one could be for tickets outside of your projects that are related to your tickets – those could be dependencies or blockers. In my board, I also include a filter for the support issues that are linked to unresolved development tickets. This way I can easily see what customers are waiting for.

The resulting filter can look like this: filter="Assigned to me" OR filter="External blockers" OR filter="Support pending dev". You can literally use each subfilter as a swim lane definition. You don’t have to modify the board filter until you want to create an additional stream of work.

With a separate filter for each swim lane, it’s very easy to change what appears in each section of the board.

The idea behind using personal boards effectively is all about:

  • deciding what tickets impact your work
  • organizing the board filter to play nice with the swim lane definitions

2 comments

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John Dunkelberg February 11, 2022

Any concerns on system performance if we encourage every Jira user or every manager to have a personal board (particularly one with multiple custom filter swimlanes) in addition to their team boards?  (Speaking as someone with a circa 5000 user environment)

Daniel Turczanski - __JQL Search Extensions
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
February 15, 2022

@John Dunkelbergas always with complicated systems like Jira, you never know before you try. The large number of filters shouldn't be a problem by itself. I've seen people complaining about slow loading boards in case the filter contains too many projects.

Might be worth starting a discussion about large number of filters in this group.

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