For Stories and other issues in a backlog status, is it proper to indicate them as flagged/blocked?

Bill McMillen May 6, 2024

Looking at the data collected in Jira, a count of Blocked (also called Flagged or Impeded) days is maintained. However, each blocked day is not associated with a status. 

Since blocked days are not associated with the various statuses, the use of excluding them or including them in the calculations for Cycle Time does not make sense, unless your practice is to not block cards in backlog. 

So, is it:

  • A common practice to not block/flagged cards in the backlog?
  • If not using the block/flagging of cards in backlog, is a label used?

In short, not associating a status to a time flagged can lead to misleading use if you try to use the blocked days for some common calculations. Also, if your organization does not have a consistent way to use blocked/flagged within your organization, reporting would be difficult to collate upward.  

Knowing, the above, have others come up with solutions?

Is Jira planning to associate the blocked days with a status (I can see the data on my Stories Statistics tab) so it can be displayed via filters. 

3 answers

0 votes
Gizem Gökçe _OBSS_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
May 22, 2024

Hello @Bill McMillen ,

I wrote an article on how to manage blocked tasks in Jira. However, the system I suggested includes a blocked status in the workflow. And as you mentioned above, for this system to work, people in the organization need to develop a culture of using blocked tasks. Anyway, I'll give you the link to my article in case you want to take a look.

Recover Lost Time with Timepiece: Managing Blocked Tasks

Hope it helps,


Bill McMillen May 24, 2024

Thank you so very much. The article is very helpful. I will be sharing it out to others. 

0 votes
Bill McMillen May 6, 2024


Thank you for your quick response and thoughts.


The use of the Flagged field for issues in the backlog are based on an issue that is linked that is not being completed on the timeline agreed to. 

Linked cards are only indicated as flagged/blocked when the promised delivery has been exceeded. Things like security, a database, etc. not being executed and preventing our work from starting.   

The flag field is helpful when we look at and review issues on the backlog and on the team boards as we are set up to have a flagged issue be indicated with a red stripe on the left.


The blocked days are indicated on an app ActionableAgile (AA) Also, the Statistics tab in the Context Fields section of our stories has the following noted. In AA, the total days are displayed as one number. With the number of blocked days. Only a total count of days without designation as to the status of the issue for any of those days.

I have reached out to AA to get a better understanding of what they have and may be able to present. No word yet.


On the Jira side, the issue’s Context Field tab for Statistics does present the tracking information of Flagged coupled with status. Sample below:


Flagged Change History

Impediment - Jan 4, 2024, 10:06:54 AM Status - Backlog Reason –


I have not found the blocked days in any information directly in Jira. 

Again, thank you for your time.

Bill Sheboy
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May 6, 2024

FYI, when responding please try to stay with the same thread.  That will help others reading your question in the future know if there are multiple solution approaches to try.  Thanks!


And thanks for the clarifying information.  That dependency issue makes sense to me for flagging the backlog items.  A workaround would be to use another indicator (e.g., custom field and card colors) for those dependent / overdue issues, but that would create multiple ways to show "impediment" conditions.

I have not used the Actionable Agile addon, although have often recommended the book on which it is based to those learning about measurement.  Given what you describe, waiting to hear from the vendor about discounting that time in the measure seems like a good step.

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Bill Sheboy
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May 6, 2024

Hi @Bill McMillen 

First thing, where are you seeing an indication of "blocked days" in Jira?  Is this a report, a dashboard, a custom field, a marketplace addon, or somewhere else?  I am not using the Premium license level so perhaps that is a feature of that level.


Back to your question...

My guess is any suggestions may depend on what your team means by "blocked", "Cycle Time", and their workflow.  For example...

When a team uses the Jira "blocked" flag on issues in the backlog, to me that may indicate:

  • There are multiple workflow steps not broken down, and instead summarized with "Backlog".  Perhaps there are intake or ideation steps not split down into different status values, and one of them is blocked.
  • The blocked flag is being used for multiple purposes other than "impediment indicator".  Perhaps a product champion or team member is toggling it on / off for some quick visibility and filtering need.
  • Putting those together, if the backlog truly is a condition of "work not started", any blocking delays should not impact Lead Time (duration from request to delivery) or any Cycle Time (duration between to known points of workflow, usually starting from a point of "in progress work")


If I am misunderstanding your question, please let me know.  Thanks!


Kind regards,

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