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Marking an issue as blocked in JIRA (Kanban)

I have seen examples of Kanban boards where a work item is marked with a red sticker or something similar if it is blocked for some reason. Is there a way to do this in the JIRA Kanban board?

Among the things I thought about already:

  • Setting the issue as a Blocker is not what I want; that would just mean it should be prioritised.
  • Using a JQL query for an "is Blocked by" link could do the trick, but it would be nice to have something simpler.
  • There seems to be some plugins available, but my preference is on built in functions.


7 answers

1 accepted

5 votes
Answer accepted


You could use the flags, although this actually represents an impediment: Also, since JIRA Agile 6.6 you can add a field to your cards, so you could use a (custom) field to display that the issue is blocked.



Flags work well, just need a visual signal then the team to can decide on its meaning. Thanks a lot!

We use a label, "blocked", and in the scrum boards we colour red any ticket with that label and also put a swim lane at the top of the scrum board for any tickets marked as blocked. 


Am keen to find something less manual, but it works well enough.

Flagged is really useful the project managers love having a 2 dimensional filter showing all the flagged issues by fixVersion and I normally do this for the scrum teams based on Sprint's

Is it really not possible to mark a story as blocked by something else (another story, or bug)??

You can use links and say an issues is blocked by another issue

Esther Strom Community Leader Jun 27, 2019

Yes, but there's no visual indicator on a board that a ticket is blocked or a blocker. For example, it would be cool if a ticket that's blocked by another would display something like this:


Like # people like this

You mean the red sign near the type of issue in the lower left corner, right?
It's a priority flag.
Just add priority called 'Blocker' or smth and select a suitable icon for it.

0 votes
Esther Strom Community Leader Oct 10, 2019

As an update to my recent comment (and a possible answer, however late), I want to point out that Atlassian has very recently introduced a new JQL function called issueLinkType, which can be used in filters, but also in boards.

It's not perfect; if you're already using card colors for something else, you won't be able to use this as well. It also behaves inconsistently when a ticket has links of multiple types. But if you're looking for an easy way to get a view into what might be blocked, and what might have blockers, it works pretty well.


Unfortunately, this marks tickets as blocked even if all the blocking tickets are marked resolved.

LinkedIssues(issueKey,CaseSensitiveLinkType) can only be used with a distinct issue key - is there a way to to do that in a more generic way?

Like I said, it's not perfect :) But it's more than we had before. As to distinct issue keys, I don't know - you'd need to contact Atlassian about that. You could comment on the ticket that announced the new functionality, but I don't know if Atlassian pays attention to comments on closed tickets, as they have not responded to a comment I posted a month ago.


ETA that it's not native, but if you have ScriptRunner, you can use the enhanced search functionality to pull issues that have blockers that are still open, and vice versa.

This will display issues that are blockers in a project where the issue itself (the blocker) is not closed and where the parent issue isn't closed:

issueFunction in linkedIssuesOf("project = PHTP and status != Closed", "is blocked by") and status != Closed


And this will give you the reverse - show issues that are blocked, where the issues themselves are open and the issues doing the blocking are open:

issueFunction in linkedIssuesOf("project = PHTP and status != Closed", "blocks") and status != Closed


Thank you, according to our admin, ScriptRunner will be installed in the near future, so that might be the solution ;-)

project = ROC AND issueLinkType=Blocks

Includes both the blocking ticket and the tickets that it blocks. In other words, it includes "is blocked by" as well as "blocks."

0 votes

Feature suggestion:

As a product manager using JIRA, I want to have an indicator that when I tap it marks a ticket "blocked" so that I and reporting know that the ticket is blocked.


Indicator in tickets and bugs, that when I tap on it, it marks a ticket "blocked" so that I and reporting knows that the ticket is blocked.


notes: A separate ticket but worth mentioning a nice to have would be a notes field when when you tap on blocked. 

This is a feature that an Atlassian competitor has today.

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