Can't start my sprint because of another team's active sprint

Hi, we have two teams, Team A and Team B.  We're both working on Project X, but we have separate boards ("Board A" and "Board B" and separate sprints.  The sprints have different names ("Team A Sprint 9" and "Team B Sprint 3").

I understand that Board B will show Team A's sprint because we share a project (I would love for sprints to be linked to a single board, but I can deal with that).

However, Team A started their sprint last week, and now when I look at Board B it shows both sprints, and it won't let me start Team B's sprint, saying "Can be planned but not started until the completion of above active sprint".

How can I start my team's sprint?  Thanks.

(We're using JIRA v6.4.12)


Edit: To clarify: each board has a separate filter, but one of the projects is shared by both, e.g. the Board A filter includes Project X, and the Board B filter includes Projects X, Y, and Z.

3 answers

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Steven Behnke Community Champion Jan 05, 2016

This is bad because this implies you have issues with Team A's Sprint field data AND Team B's Sprint field data on your boards. The queries you derive your board from should be mutually exclusive! (ie use a single-select Team field, a radio-button Team field, or something like that!)

You should not implement JIRA Agile this way unless you are interested in the the function Phill brings up! Keep in mind that if you do enable the "Parallel Sprints" functionality (which is in beta) all reports on are shared instead of individual, which may not be desirable...

It sounds like you and Phill are both suggesting the same thing, and indeed, it appears that my predecessor added a custom field to indicate the team. I will look into this, but I think it will add an extra step during sprint planning because I'll need to look at a common backlog, then edit the story and assign to our team so they show up on *our* backlog, then add them to the sprint.

I ended up solving the problem by temporarily making the filters exclusive like you suggested: I removed Project X from the Team B filter, then started the sprint, then I was able to add that project back to the Team B filter.

@vincentj It should not need to add an extra step into your sprint planning. If your queries identify any issues not assigned to a sprint OR assigned to only one team, you can do your product backlog grooming using either board (as these issues will not be assigned to a team). As you identify issues for a team during the backlog grooming you can then flag them accordingly. When it comes to sprint planning you already need to be on the board for the single team so can concentrate on those issues which have already been identified for that team (A quickfilter to remove issues not in a sprint but identified for the other team comes in handy here.)

Oh, maybe your backlog grooming sessions are different. Ours are more about setting priorities and making sure that the stories have enough detail, not assigning them to teams. The teams will pull stories from the shared backlog during sprint planning as they decide which issues are important and/or related to other tasks they are working on.

Ok that is not that different. So the way I would approach this is as follows. Team A filter : sprint is EMPTY or Sprint ~ "Team A" Team B filter : sprint is EMPTY or Sprint ~ "Team B" In this way as soon as an item is moved to a sprint it is removed from the filter for the other team and so no longer shows in their backlog. If a mistake is made with allocating an item to a sprint it is then as simple as removing from the sprint to return to both Team backlogs. The only thing to make sure is you never overrule and add issues to both a Team A and Team B sprint as you will end up back in the same position as this Question started.

Steven Behnke Community Champion Jan 06, 2016

Using the Sprint field with a fuzzy search is an interesting topic. Thanks Phill! Vincentj, if the solution works for you, thanks for posting your response. I've had best results with filters that can never-ever include the same issues personally.

@Steven Behnke I spend far too much time working with organisations who need more control/options over sprints than I care to consider. But thanks for the recognition. It would be a good blog for Atlassian to publish about how to use JIRA Software with complex project/team structures.

Well there is one piece of functionality you may not be aware of from Atlassian Labs which allows you to run sprints in parallel.

Although be aware of its downside impact on reports.

Now to your current problem. Are both of your boards built off the same project or filter? If so you may solve the problem by changing one to look at a different filter.

One potential change that I would suggest is the addition of a new custom field which stores Team A or Team B and then filter to only include items that are tagged to the Team or no Team at all on your board. 


Each board has a separate filter, but one of the projects is shared by both, e.g. the Board A filter includes Project X, and the Board B filter includes Projects X, Y, and Z.

Like 1 person likes this


I had same problem and explain it:

1- Do a bulk change on your project and clear Sprint filed for all of issues. I hope you start your project recently and didn't loss your data.

2- For each board create a separate filter based on your criteria for Team A and Team B. Maybe components or versions are useful. Even you are able to separate issues by filtering out based on users groups.

3- Create new board or edit your previous boards to use your new filter(Not Project).

4- Be sure to use Unique name for each sprints name from now on.

5- Another important point is that if you assign an issue to a person in Team A and then this issue belong to an sprint and you notice this issue must be done by a person in Team B, before reassigning issue, clear Sprint filed of issue and the reassign issue, if you didnt do that, you see a sprint auto generated in Team B board with the name of Team A board and this two sprint are linked to each other. For example change finish date at Team A sprint and it's changed in Team B sprint.

I hope to explain clearly. This is the results of about two weeks effort smile wink laugh smile wink laugh 


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