Is it possible to have swimlanes in a Board's Backlog?

We just upgraded to Jira Core & Software Server 7.4.1 and are exploring the new backlog view. Is it possible to still have swimlanes to group backlog issues in this view, or are we giving that up by separating backlog from the rest of the board? Our swimlanes are currently based exclusively on component queries.



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Hi Liam,

Swimlanes are only in play on Kanban boards. When you're in the backlog, the following ways are available to organize issues besides just ranking:

  • Epics
  • Sprints
  • Quick filters (based on JQL - you can create some based on your components)

This documentation isn't 100% what you're asking about, but it's helpful to see what actions are available on the backlog view.


That certainly jives with what I suspected. Moving a large backlog to a different view is great for focusing attention on current work. However, having a single long list on a page that potentially requires lots of scrolling is still a challenge to manage. I'll investigate the quick filters / JQL approach. Thanks!



I just had a team ask me for something similar.  Here is what will work for them.

On a Kanban board they manage their work flow.

On a Sprint board backlog, we have several sprint rows for:

  • ungroomed stuff
  • tool features
  • tool tech debt
  • legacy stuff 

I suggested they just use quick filters, but they want to see it all and have the convenience of dragging to categorize.

Hacky?  Yes.

But I have a happy team.

Just to add a potential alternative solution, I've created a second kanban board, which has a filter to only show Backlog / To-DO, and has whatever swim lane I prefer. 

This way we have one kanban board for our day to day work / focus, and one kanban board for our backlog filtering / etc. (for us, our backlog swimlanes are priority)


Just offering up another suggestion as this has helped greatly!

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