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Scrum and Kanban Boards with Backlog in One Project


How do you take advantage of the Kanban backlog for a Kanban board in the same project with Scrum boards?

We have two dev teams, each running scrum with dedicated scrum boards in one project. In that same project, we have a Kanban board for our production support team. (We had this Kanban board in a separate project, but needed to consolidate into one project for various reasons).

I had to adjust the project workflow to include a Backlog status (assigned upon creation of an issue) in order to take advantage of the Kanban backlog, but bizarrely this somehow conflicts with our Scrum backlogs. Any issues with status = Backlog do not, in fact, show up in the Scrum backlogs. It's important for our Kanban board to have both a `Backlog` status as well as a `To Do` status, as backlog is where we prioritize, and To Do is the queue for work that's ready for dev.

Is there something I am missing? Have I configured this wrong? 

Thanks in advance!

1 answer

0 votes
Andy Heinzer
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Mar 28, 2019

Hi LoriAnne,

These two board types work differently in Jira as you have already noticed in regards to backlogs.   Kanban boards have a relatively new feature called kanplan, this allows you to choose issues in a specific status (usually called backlog) to appear on that kind of board.  But Scrum boards will have a completely separate page for managing backlog and determine what issues go into the planned sprints.  

What are the specific board filters that each board is using here?  I want to see the JQL syntax for each board to better understand what issues are getting pulled into each board.  I suspect that your scrum board might be setup to look for issues in a specific status, in which case it might require you to change one or more filters to make this work.

However I have to question the motives behind trying to use both boards in the same project.  I know it can be done, but I'm interested to learn more about the use case here.  Are you wanting to see the exact same issues in both board are all time?

These two boards have very different means of removing issues from them when completed.  For example, when a sprint is finished, those issues completed in the sprint will no longer appear in that board.   Kanban does this differently by using a subfilter on the board. Only when issues no longer meet the subfilter criteria (which defaults to unreleased issues or issues without a fixversion value) will those issues be removed from the board.  

So I can see potential scenarios where it could be really difficult to try to use both board types in the same project to manage the same issues.  It might not be feasible to synchronize the content of both board types to show issues in all expected states.   What happens when an issues is completed in a sprint, but fails to get into a specific version number release?  The issue can disappear from the scrum board, but remain in the kanban.  

In short, it could be really complicated to try to use both competing agile boards/methodologies on the same body of work, this approach is not something I would openly recommend to everyone.   If the board filters are significantly different and meant to separate different bodies of work in the same project, then perhaps this could work out here. 

Sorry to write a book in response.  I am interested to learn more about your environment to see how we can help here.


Thank you Andy for the response and help. I should have followed up yesterday with the update that I figured out what I had done wrong, and it was a very obvious miss on my part. I did not have the Backlog status mapped for the Scrum boards, which is why the issues with status = Backlog were not showing up on the backlog.


To answer your question, though, the boards in this project are all distinctly different in that they contain completely different subsets of work. We have multiple products, and the scrum teams are focused mostly on developing new features for those products, while the Kanban board is the queue for our production support team, which works primarily on defects and account escalations. There is very little, if any overlap of issues between the boards. 


I am interested to know what your specific concerns are about multiple boards or types of boards in one project, because we are actually looking to consolidate even further in order to move all of our projects into one project with numerous boards. I am new to Jira, so the downstream consequences of doing this consolidation are not immediately obvious to me.


Thanks again for your help.

Andy Heinzer
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Apr 01, 2019

Ah, ok, that makes much more sense.  Thanks for letting us know the solution here.  I am afraid that I was thinking you were trying to view the same set of issues in the project on both a scrum and kanban board at the same time and looking for some level of seeing exactly the same issues in both board types. 

Given the different nature of the boards, this won't always work out.  But it sounds like you have completely different bodies of work set to appear on each board.  In which case, I don't think you have anything to worry about here.

Like LoriAnne Carpenter likes this

hi Andy! I have experienced the same issue as LoriAnne just now but the other way around!

We have originally created a Scrum Board within the project but have learned that moving to Kanban method will be very beneficial for our team. When the Kanban board was created, the Scrum board was not deleted as it was not an urgent matter. Jumping to now, we've noticed that when new issues are being created, it only appears on the Scrum Backlog (old board) and not in the Kanban Backlog which we currently use. I've already validated that workflow and board filters are just the same.

Please help, thanks!

Andy Heinzer
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 21, 2020

Hi Verona,

The Kanban boards don't have a backlog by default.  It is possible to enable them to have a backlog, but the board admin or Jira admin will have to follow some steps outlined in Use your kanban backlog and/or the Enabling the Kanban backlog in order do to so.  Kanban boards work a bit differently here, at least for classic projects Kanban boards do not have sprints, so there tends to be a different feeling of planning what issues are going to be worked on.

I hope that helps.


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