How to Use Labels (or something else) to Organize Issues in Backlog

I'm confused about the purpose of Labels in Jira. In our product backlog, I'd like to have a separation between issues that are fully documented and ready to go into development and issues that are new or "raw" and need some further documentation before the next step.

I thought labels would be ideal for this, but have encountered the following issues:

  • Labels are invisible in the backlog list.
  • Labels are invisible in the issue detail view (they are listed in Board -> Configuration -> Issue Detail View, but adding the label there doesn't make them appear in the issue detail view).
  • Labels are not recognized in JQL (I've seen some answers suggesting the use of "labels =", but when I do so, I get an error message telling me the field doesn't exist).

The only way I've found to make lables visible is the same way I use to create them: select a task and hit the "L" key. It appears labels are being saved, but beyond that, I can't figure out how to make use of them.

Ideally, I'd like labels to show up in the backlog list directly and also be able to set up a quick filter for them.

Can anyone shed some light on this or suggest a better alternative for what I have in mind?

2 answers

1 vote
Maarten Cautreels Community Champion Mar 24, 2014

Why not just use a Status for that? When an issue is created it gets the status "To Document" which can transition into "Open". Only show open issues in your development board and you're good to go.

We actually do this since a few weeks and it starts to pay off. We keep track of all the work that still needs to be done before and during development in two separate boards for two different groups of people.

Hope this helps.


Thanks! That sounds like a good setup. Unfortunately, it seems that in my setup, I can't create or add a status to anything. I'm new to Jira, but I did some searching and found that there are different workflows. I guess when a Scrum project and board is created, that's a workflow without status.

I've started using a different hack in that I created an "awaiting documentation" epic and initially add all issues to that epic. This serves the purpose of adding clearly visible labels to the issues in the planning list very well, but it's a misappropriation of the epics feature.

I still don't know more about labels or why exactly I can't have states in my project, so I'm leaving the question open for now.

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