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How is an issue status set to BLOCKED?

I am new to JIRA Kanban. I am evaluating whether it will serve my team's needs. One of the requirements is that issues can be marked as blocked. We are not a software team and will not be tracking software development. We work on hardware. Our issues can be blocked if other groups or teams do not deliver hardware in time, or if the hardware does not work as advertised, which happens frequently in development of new products. If I look at the board Configuration -> Columns section I see that the In Progress column has a BLOCKED status. If I select an issue in a board the details show the status as IN PROGRESS but I can't change it to BLOCKED. If I try dragging the issue there is no box for BLOCKED. How do I change an issue's status to BLOCKED?

7 answers

1 accepted

Hi @fmoor,

The workflow that your issue type is using will need a transition from In Progress to Blocked. The Kanban board will also need to have the status mapped to the column (you can do this by Configuring the board, and clicking on columns, and then drag and drop the statuses to suit)

The trick is that you can only drag and drop between a column (one or more statuses) if there is a transition between the two statuses on the workflow status you are trying to drag from.

 

Thanks,

Jared.

0 votes

There's a bit of a flaw in JIRA's implementation of the boards here.  You can not drag an issue to another status in the same column.  The boards only allow for a change of column.

A couple of options:

  • Use the "impediment" flag instead.  (Probably not ideal for you, but I had to mention it)
  • Add another column to the board for "blocked" explicitly.  (Less than ideal as another column looks like a valid part of the process, and "blocked" takes it out of the normal flow really)
  • Change the status in plain JIRA in the issue view, rather than on the board (less than ideal because you have to leave the board to do it)

Have you tried this recently?

Yes.  Still not there, and Atlassian have stated they are not going to enable it.

I would recommend to create a user called 'Blocker' and assign issues that are blocked to this user. This way Issue will remain on the original column it was blocked. To make it more visible I recommend to add a warning sign image to blocker user profile picture. This will make these issues stand-out in the board. 

But now you don't know who it is assigned to.  Worse, it's assigned to no real person, so you don't know who is responsible for it.

Really, this is a very bad idea.

Like # people like this

Although i've never done this or tried it, i like the idea of having a strong signal of a "blocked" assignee icon image on the card when it'd blocked.  

The (major) downside as nic pointed out is that you'd have to find a different way to track who's "owning" the item and unblocking.

Instead of using a 'user' have a label "BLOCKED" then set a filter so that the color of the card changes when that label is used.

This maintains the separation and keeps the owner.

I wish the colors was more than just a line on the card and actually changes the entire card like how adding the impediment flag does.  The current implementation doesnt "pop" as much as something that needs to be highly visible to signal the team does.

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Randy I agree with you. I wish it would turn the entire card a different background color. This is something that my team has asked about as well.

Like Brooke Miller likes this

I think the best non-intrusive solution is to use the flag feature in Jira which is used for indicating impediments. When a story is blocked, from an Agile perspective is has an impediment. A not too ideal solution will be to create a new column, you will need Admin access to configure your workflow which will affect other teams or groups using Jira.

If you go the flag route you can have a quick filter look for flagged issues, or a swimlane.

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Can you measure the time a call has been flagged to understand how long a call has been blocked for?

Like Pedro Souza likes this

If you hover over the story on your board you should see 3 yellow or red dots that indicate how long the issue has been in that status/stage/column.

You will need to enable this setting by going to Board settings of the board >> Card Layout and turn on "Days in Column". I'm assuming you are using the cloud version. This might not be located in the same location with other versions of Jira

Hi Dele,

Thanks for the response. 

I'm using the Server 7.9.2 version. I can see the dots displayed which represent the number of days that card was in that column.

What I am looking for is to review how long a card was flagged for either through Jira reports or through their REST API. This will allow me to understand the pattern of our blockages and our cycle flow efficiency.

I should probably open a new thread for this as this thread is closed..

Like # people like this

I'm also interested in understanding the patterns of blockers in my project. Thing like which status issues get blocked the most, or how long does an issue stays blocked on average and compared to the cycle time.

Let us know here or point out to the other thread if you ever find a way to answer some of these questions. Much appreciated!

We are using the Flagged (impediment) and then added a swimlane that queries for Flagged.  This moves all the blocked stories to a separate swimlane making them very visible and they retain the column and the assignee.

Using Flagged also adds the Flag symbol to the card and changes the card color to yellow - allowing it to "pop" more.

Like Dele Oyedepo likes this

Another benefit of using flagged is that it shows up on your dashboard (if you are using the Sprint Health Gadget) which increases visibility into all the impediments your project/team might currently have.

Like Humberto Nunez likes this

Where can i find this impediment flag?

Right click on the jira call you want to flag.

Half way down the popup, yo will see the option to Flag or Flag with Comment

You can use the 'add flag' on a card in the backlog or in the active sprint.  The Flag let's you add a comment when setting the flag and when removing the flag so there is a history of adding/removing the flag.

Thank you so much Gabriel and Tracy.  That helped. :)

Jen Grout I'm New Here Nov 04, 2019

I'm new to Jira Kanban and we're trying to figure out a good way to note why the story is blocked. When you first add a flag, you can add a comment, but then that comment gets lost in all other comments. Is there a field anyone is using or a good way to highlight why a story is blocked? Thanks in advance!

Like Brooke Miller likes this

Has anyone figured out a way to add a column for impediment to the view contained within an Epic?

 

I am trying to help project managers who are working with several team or other users who are not looking at a story on a kanban or scrum board see an issue is flagged. I want a high view of stories in an Epic that are blocked. 

I’m not sure I totally understand what you mean by “ add a column for impediment to the view contained within an Epic?”

However, if the goal is to bring transparency and feasibility to issues flagged as impediments across multiple projects for those that are not involved in the day to day dealings of the teams, You can accomplish this in a couple of ways.

  1. Create a dashboard for the PM’s, they will be able to see all issues in Jira flagged as impediments (Blocked). Here is the JQL for the filter (Flagged = Impediment), you can choose to filter by project and other criteria if you don’t want all issues in your instance displaying
  2. Create a new Kanban board for the PM’s using the same filter or create a quick filter

I hope this addressed your question

I think I will start my own thread on this topic, but I just joined the community thanks to a google search on this topic looking for a suggestion.

I am looking if there is a away to customize what displays in the columns under the section within an Epic that is called, "Issues in Epic." I want it so that other users who have view access and are not monitoring the specifics of several different projects (like in a dashboard or on a board or in a saved filter) can see a high level view of stories related to one project. We use Epics to house related stories on one specific project/initiative. 

Issues in Epic.png

I don't think it's possible to add the flag of an issue to that screen at this point in time. I believe based on your ask, a dashboard will be a clean solution.

This may be helpful to visualize blocked items via Card Coloring.

JQL for Blocked Color Issues.PNG 

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