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Visualize blocked issues

I use issue linking to handle dependancies between issues and would like to visulize if an issue is blocked in the backlog and kanban. Is this possible?

It does't really matter how I just would like to see and mabye (this is a bonus) filter out blocked issues.

I have searched but can not find any good solutions to this issue. I took a quick look at the ScriptRunner add on, but it felt overly complicated to solve something like this, I would expect this to be part of the standard product... 

9 answers

1 accepted

8 votes
Answer accepted

Edit made 19 March 2019: 

With the release of Jira 8.0.0, you can now search JQL for linktypes natively, without the need for a 3rd party plugin.   Details on this usage can be found in Advanced Searching - Fields - Issue link type.  This new feature is also noted in the Jira 8 release notes.


Original response:

Hi Andreas,

I understand you are looking to find a way to visualize blocked issues in your JIRA instance.  

Unfortunately, the native functions in JIRA's Advanced Search functions do not presently have a way to do this.  That link explains there is a linkedissues() function, but that it requires an issuekey to return any results.   There is not presently a way to show all the issues that have a link of type block natively in JIRA.

As you noted, if you were using the scriptrunner plugin with JIRA, then you could create a JQL filter such as


issueFunction in hasLinks("blocks")


Which you could then use to create a quick filter on an existing board to quickly show that information.  This is documented in Scriptrunner Scripted Functions

Sorry there is not a better native solution in JIRA at this time.  However there is a existing feature request in JIRA to add this kind of functionality natively, I would recommend watching and voting on

Ok, thanks for the clarification, I will vote on the issue

Like Deleted user likes this

yet another request that has been open for 7+ years

Like # people like this

Really?  There is no simple Quick Filter that shows stories in Blocked status?

Like # people like this

Quite ridiculous. I'd say.

Like # people like this

@Mike Sebastian If you have a Blocked status then you can create a Quick Filter: status = Blocked.

Like Kenneth Huie likes this

Is there a way to highlight blocker issues in a Spring Board, so that they're distinguishable visually?

This would quite useful on a sprint board.

This is exactly why I want it as well @Patrick Cummins haha. The current solution is okay, but you still have to dive in to check if the issues blocking the ticket are accepted or not. Kind of frustrating.

Like # people like this

This is exactly what I'm looking for as well. A visualisation on a sprint board to see which tickets are blocked by another jira ticket. I don't want to have to click into them to understand why they haven't moved through the workflow. 

Like # people like this

@Francesca Myerson This is PRECISELY what would be useful......Voting for @scott.lake's suggestion.

in case you missed this feature in jira cloud, you can run an advanced search filter:
issueLinkType = "is blocked by" and statuscategory != Done

no apps needed.

Like Symantha Gates likes this

I have to say that this is such a fundamental need on Kanban boards that I shouldn't have to program in JQL for the visual.  Icon usage on the ticket/card is needed as a selection for the card.  Period.  No JQL.  Put a little stop sign on the card with a hyperlink to the blocking issue or task.  Something,  or a roadblock symbol.  Something VISUAL, not user code dependent.

As I use Jira and other Atlassian tools - it seems to me there is a general paradigm that the overall solution from the developers is that JQL is the answer.  I'm sorry, this is a paradigm that SOME users simply do not come to your suite with.  I am a relatively new user (about 10 months in)

Some of us come from a more traditional project management background and not an agile development background.  Blocked and blocking is simply path setup and analysis that nearly every traditional project management tool on the market has a much simpler (and more calendar focused) view and modus that is visual in nature.  In the really old days, where people only had Gantt charts, they still showed blocking with drawn in lines.

In MS Project you can create 'issues' on the network diagram, and then visually connect them together instead of memorizing their id numbers and hard coding it.

Searching - so much simpler in other tools where search is already context sensitive instead of requiring writing a line of JQL code to get the answer.

There would be a massive benefit to users like me (and I believe others that expect more visual manipulation of Jira) to have a mode of Jira that is decidedly more visual in nature.  

I think the developers could build this on top of the existing modus of Jira without disturbing a single existing feature of Jira, but give a much more user friendly way to establish blocking/blocked by relationships.

What also would be excellent would be a visual report to show 'critical path' blocking of all issues in the blocking chain.  This could get leaders to act more quickly to show them in one view if they don't handle the upstream blocking, their desired end goal that they really care about simply will not happen.  'Right to left' project planning and visualization.

Hi Atlassian,


Has there been any update on how to identify linked issues?  When we do the export it shows all blocked issues if open or closed and we only want the open blockers.


Please confirm if there are any solutions or plugins to address.




Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Mar 19, 2019

As of Jira 8, you can do this natively now.  You can see that the linked suggestion ticket I referred to has been updated to indicate this in JRASERVER-25640

There are more complete details of how to use this in the reference document of JQL advanced searching: Fields: issueLinkType.  In Jira 8 and higher versions you can now use a syntax such as

issueLinkType = blocks

in order to find issues via JQL that have a linktype of blocks.

Like Anders Dyhrberg likes this

One of the cool features in ScriptRunner was the ability to check the resolution on the ticket that is linked.

So you could query: project = TPS and issueFunction in linkedIssuesOf("resolution = Unresolved" , "is blocked by") which would show you issues that you have that are blocked, by an Unresolved issue. That way items would fall off the list as the linked issue that was blocking got resolved. 

Thus you could infer that your issues, that was once blocked, is no longer blocked anymore. 

Is there a way to do that with the new implementation of issueLinktype? 


@Andy Heinzer - Will this be available on Cloud version soon?

Like Ed MacDonald likes this
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Apr 02, 2019

@James Alvir I don't have a clear time table on if or when this might come to Jira Cloud.  There is a corresponding Jira Cloud feature request for this that is still open in JRACLOUD-25640 I would recommend watching that ticket for any updates to this.

Should this feature be implemented into Jira Cloud, I would fully expect that ticket to be updated to reflect this.

I may be misunderstanding the documentation but `issueLinkType` doesn't solve the issue of only displaying issues that have unfinished stories that are blocking it. The current feature set I believe only allows you to identify issues that have stories linked as "is blocked by", however, it is not possible to identify whether or not those blockers have been completed (aka have a statusCategory of "Done"). If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know! From my understanding, the current feature set is almost there, but currently still not incredibly useful. And I'm in quite a large organization, so don't really want to pay for a jira extension that's hundreds of dollars per month :/ 

Like # people like this

How do I  create a column in structure that will populate the IssueKey of the issue's blocker?

Issue link type > Customizing card

I see how you can color code cards using quieres for blocked or blocked by issues on the sprint or backlog.  How do you use a query to show a color for those that are both blocked and blocked by?  

By the way, my like for the topic is not an endorsement of needing JQL to make the visual happen.  Should be a core function of the card/ticket display.

If you don't want to go through scripting, it is not hard to do by exporting the data to spread sheet. Not good for all uses but good enough for some.

1) Use the standard search in Jira to find bugs

2) On the column selection for the result add "Links"

3) Export to csv, current columns

4) Open in spreadsheet

5) The links will be expanded into multiple columns

6) The first link column is: Outward issue link (Blocks)

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