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Why must we map a given status to a column in order for the issue to appear in Scrum backlog? Edited

David Roulin May 31, 2018

The question was already raised here by Ingrid and Sarah:

According to Atlassian's documentation:

"An issue will only be visible in the Scrum backlog if: (...) the issue's status maps to one of the board's columns"

(from Using your Scrum backlog)

I think this is a problem.

Here is my use case:

  • In my workflow the initial status is New ( which means "undiscussed" )
  • After New comes To Do in the workflow ( which means "we're gonna do it" ).
  • We are using Scrum boards and doing sprints.
  • The first relevant status of our sprint is To Do.
  • Thus the first column of our sprints is mapped only to To Do.
  • I don't want to see New issues in the sprint.
  • But I want to see New issues in the backlog.

Because of Jira's limitation, if I want to see the New issue in the backlog, I have to map the status New to one of the Scrum columns.

I don't want to do that.

Am I the only one to want to organise my projects this way and thus to have this problem?

5 answers

1 accepted

2 votes
Answer accepted
Scott Theus Community Leader May 31, 2018

Hi @Thomas Schlegel!

Some Scrum Masters and Product Owners separate the Product Backlogs and Sprint Backlogs during sprint planning; the product backlog contains all of the stories in the project. During sprint planning, the PO selects the stories for the next sprint and then moves them to the sprint backlog. The Scrum team then writes sub-tasks for each story where needed, and the set of stories and sub tasks becomes the sprint backlog.

I've found that this setup gives more autonomy to the Scrum team; it allows the PO to set WHAT will be included in the sprint, while the Scrum team defines HOW the stories will be developed. It can be tough to get used to, but I've seen it work.

@David Roulin,

I suggest having two boards in the project; a Kanban board with all the current Scrum board columns, plus the "New" column, and a Scrum board with just the current Scrum columns. The Kanban board becomes your product backlog, During story grooming or sprint planning you can review the "New" items in the Kanban board and move them to the "To Do" column. All the stories that are marked "To Do" will show in the Scrum board as the sprint backlog.


Does this help?


David Roulin Jun 01, 2018

Hey @Scott Theus, yes this is more or less what I did.

One of our workflows allows undiscussed issues to be injected at different steps (concept art sprint, dev sprint, etc).

So we now have a "discussion" dashboard that lists all these new issues as @Thomas Schlegel suggested, but also a "planning" kanban board allowing us to graphically move those issues to the various initial sprint statuses.

Gabriel Franzoni Jul 21, 2018

Although this works, this far from the best solution. Too much bureaucracy for a simple thing.

Like # people like this
Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Jul 22, 2018

Eh?  You put a status in a column.  I don't see how that is "too much bureaucracy" when the principles are explainable in a short sentence and it's a single action.

Gabriel Franzoni Jul 23, 2018

I would like to have only one board and not need to map the 'BACKLOG' status to any of the columns there.

What I have now is either create a new board and follow the suggested steps or keep seeing things going to the 'To do' column with the status 'BACKLOG', which is really sad.

Like # people like this
Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Jul 23, 2018

But if you don't map it, the board is useless because you can't see your issues.

Gabriel Franzoni Jul 23, 2018

Exactly, I want the 'BACKLOG' issues to be shown only on the BACKLOG. Once I move it to the sprint, it should be 'at least' with TODO status.

So I want the status 'BACKLOG' to be mapped only on the 'backlog', not any column of my board or any board, hehe.

Like # people like this
Alari Keedus Jan 09, 2019

I would like to have only To Do, In Progress and Closed columns (mapped to To Do, In Progress and Open statuses) on the Active sprints board. I don't want to see the Backlog column there which is mapped to BACKLOG status because it's always empty - when I put a ticket into a sprint I move it from BACKLOG to To Do. 

But if I delete the Backlog column / unmap the BACKLOG status all tickets on the Backlog page/view are gone. I would like to use the Backlog view for prioritizing the product backlog but I don't want to see an empty column on my Active sprint view.

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2 votes
Thomas Schlegel Community Leader May 31, 2018

Hi @David Roulin,

a backlog is meant to include issues that have to be done in a sprint (and which are ready to be done within a sprint). 

So, if your "new" status is something, that has to be discussed yet and it is not even clear, if issues in that state will ever be done, they should not be part of the board. If the discussion is part of a sprint, it should be included in the board.

Your backlog is the source of issues for the sprints. And therefore, every status in the board has to reflect an issue status in your sprint.

I would not include the "new" status in the board. Manage the discussion status on a dashboard instead. 

David Roulin May 31, 2018

I see. In other words, I cannot have my project backlog in a Scrum board, only my sprint backlogs?

Like Michael Forni likes this
Thomas Schlegel Community Leader May 31, 2018

What's the difference between a project backlog and a sprint backlog? A sprint backlog is, in my opinion, the part of the project backlog which is added to a sprint. 

So, the backlog is the project backlog. But part of the project is, to get back to @David Roulin's question, also the discussion about new issues. And if this is not being done within a sprint (which is totally normal, I think), it should not be part of the board.

David Roulin Jun 01, 2018

I see your point. I guess it's a matter of scrum implementation glitch... erm I meant flavours :-)

See my detailed answer to @Scott Theus 

Thanks for your help!

0 votes
David Roulin May 31, 2018

Simple suggestion: why not having a "backlog column" in Scrum boards too? (just like in Kanban boards)

0 votes
Aaron Stichter Mar 15, 2019

I had the problem where my Sprint was empty/done and all my issues are in the Backlog. So when I am looking at the Backlog screen there is a sprint with no issues in it and I believe it said Start Sprint still. I was in the habit of working from the Backlog in this project and when I changed one of the issues in the Backlog to Testing status, it was disappearing from the Backlog. So it was hidden and forgotten. 

This thread helped me solve my problem. I went to the Board Settings and found Testing was in the uncategorized column. I created a new column for Testing and dragged it into the new column. Then, when I went back to the Backlog the Testing issues were still hidden, even after reloading the page, so I was concerned the fix did not work and there is another problem. 

After some experimentation I found that if I moved issues into a Sprint, hidden issues were all exposed in the Backlog. Hope this helps others.

0 votes
Dorota Gut-Knapik I'm New Here Apr 23, 2019 • edited

It seems the route cause is the category of the status which does not match the category of the column in the Active Sprint (board Configuration).


Example case

Status Deferred (yellow) is mapped to column Done (green) that stores all final statuses.

Issue type Bug in status Deferred is not visible on the Agile Board.



Option 1

To create a separate column on the Agile Board e.g. Deferred in a yellow category and map a Deferred status to this column.

Issue type Bug will show up in the Backlog.


Option 2 (I personally do not recommend)

To create (use existing) separate Agile Board with filtered all issues that are in the Deferred status but not assigned to any sprint.

However, my experience with the Agile teams shows that people prefer to have everything in one board, so they may forget checking other places. It will result with not planned/ completed issues.


Option 3 (I personally do not recommend)

To assign all Deferred issues to the sprint under the current Agile Board.

However, it requires:

  • prior planning and careful monitoring of Deferred items. Therefore you have to have a filter, dashboard or a separate board to monitor it anyway),
  • creation of "a dummy" sprint which will work as an another backlog. However, this proceeds to the confusion in a team and in my opinion – is not in line with the SCRUM methodology. In this case you also have to closely monitor of unassigned items (in a separate filter, dashboard or agile board).

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