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How do I combine issues from multiple projects into a single backlog and sprint?


I am managing a development team that works on multiple different projects, a fairly common scenario I assume. I would love to base our sprint planning based on the team though, rather than doing it on a project by project level. What I am asking is, is there a way to view project A, B & C's issues that are in the backlog of each respective project, in a single backlog view, thus allowing me to create ONE sprint containing issues from each different project? This seems to me to be something that would be fairly common, however I am yet to discover an answer on this. I hope someone here can enlighten me about this practise.

Best regards,


1 answer

1 accepted

9 votes
Answer accepted

It´s absolutely possible. When you create the board, Jira asks you if it will be for an existing project or for an existing saved filter.

You have to select the second (first you have to create a saved filter that includes all projects you want to managed togheter, the simplest is project in (PRJ1, PRJ2, PRJ3)) and then the board, both backlog and active sprint views, will include issues from several projects.


You are indeed right sir, found it out this morning actually. But forgot to update my post.

Thank you for taking the time to explain it though, someone else might get something useful out of the answer later.

Very helpful answer! Thanks for posting the question Andre and thanks for answering Aylin

Like # people like this

Hello guys, I am trying to do this, how do I create a filter that includes all projects so that I can create a sprint with issues from multiple projects?

Go to the issue search and create a filter like "project in (ABC, DEF, GHI)", then use that in the board.  Or edit the filter in the board configuration so that it includes many projects.

This might be stretching it, but can you just use a label to filter across multiple projects?  I have specific projects that I want in a backlog but I also might have development jobs that have a specific contribution from my team.  If I add the label to that issue can I use only that for my filter?  It doesn't appear to work.  So I am left with having to edit the filter then.

A label will work too, but you always need to edit the filter to include it.

For example, set the board filter to

Project = Pets or labels in (Cat, Dog, Bunny, T-Rex)

And that will give you all issues in "Pets" plus any issue in any other project with one of the four animals as a label.

How about if it spans multiple projects?  I have been talking with a colleague and they said that this really goes against an agile philosophy.  To me it makes sense when you have multiple projects.  They said that the performance hit against the database would be drastic.  Is that really a problem?  This would work nice with an agile board and creating sprints for only a week.  

So my example is:  

labels = weekly-sql-tasks AND project IN (SQL, JAVA-DB, VB, SSIS)  

You get the idea.  This will not display the issues in the backlog.  It displays them in the filter.  I use the filter for a backlog.  

In theory, I know where they're coming from - in an ideal Agile system, you'd have a project and a board for it simply containing everything for that project.

In real life, a LOT of Agile teams in the world work across different projects at different times, so cross-project boards instantly make perfect sense.  Even more so when you're not strictly doing scrum or kanban (which almost none of us really do).

The performance hit on the database is pretty much zero, I don't know where they got that from.  Boards work off the index, and only go back to the database for getting the raw data for an issue, not for a search.  And the index is built for this sort of work.

I see nothing wrong with using your query.  It's the other way around from my guess - one label used inside several projects, rather than one project and draw in stuff from labels in other projects, but both of those are perfectly valid and useful things to do.  As long as they fit with the way you need to work!

Like djratliff likes this

Thank you Nic.  I know it could be done.  It just makes sense.  

I've tried this but the quick filter on the project B backlog is not pulling in stories from the Project A backlog.  Is there something other than project = 'CCM'  (or the code) needed?

Quick filters are for hiding things from the board, so you can concentrate on a sub-set.

You need to look at the board filter - the one that chooses what the board selects.

One more hint, you also need to make sure, that your team has permissions to see issues in all projects from which you combine issues.

Otherwise issues will be part of your backlog, but each person may see a different list, as a consequence of different permissions.

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