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add columns to backlog

how can I see more columns in backlogs?

6 answers

1 accepted

19 votes
Answer accepted

What do you want from a column in a backlog?  A backlog is a list of issues to be prioritised and then drawn into a sprint, or a list of stuff that needs doing (Which, once you've started to look at it, by definition, isn't backlog any more)

Perhaps they are looking for useful information to help them prioritize items like story points or business value.

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I am also wanting to know how to do this.  I need it to help prioritize / categorize the tasks in the backlog.

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Deleted user Aug 31, 2017

I would love to see which issues are in which state of the workflow. It would be awesome to see if something is in progress (rolled over from the previous sprint) and if something is blocked. 

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If you're using Kanban backlogs, you can put multiple status into it.

I would love to see this added as well. Adding custom fields makes the rows too tall, and you can't see as many issues per page.

Like Lucie Keunen likes this

Same here. I would like te see the status of an issue. 

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I would like to see status too.  Due to using the back log to prioritize, I want to make sure the top items are being worked on.  Currently I have to flip back and forth.

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I want my account managers and implementation specialists to have one simple, clear view of cases of interest. This one simple view should answer all their important questions:

1)  See/identify the cases they have reported, or cases where they are the case owner. Today they only see the current assignee.

2) Our process/project has a step that is called "ready to develop" (basically requirements done). It is really important that case owners and persons of interest knows that they have work to do before our scrum team has all the info they need to actually develop.

3) We use a field called "Release notes", to summarize the business value of a case. Release notes are then send to our customers. Case owner is responsible to provide release notes according to our routine. As a product owner, I'm responsible to make sure all case owners provide good release notes. Me and product owners have no way to get a good view of the release notes.

4) Where in the process is the case I'm interested in?

I want to add columns to my Backlog view because I want to add columns to my Backlog view. Limiting what users can do is not conducive to productivity in my opinion.

The reason for status is before an item can be added into a sprint it needs to be in Ready for Development.  The status for us prior to that is Needs Information and Ready to Refine.  Then once an item is in the sprint you can see the status on the "Active Sprint" screen, but you then can not see the priority.  With multiple developers, sometime the highest priority takes longer, so its nice to use the backlog view to see priority and status. 

Although adding columns to the Backlog view is something I'm also looking for, I think you need to be careful which columns you believe are needed.  Up above a user asked for the State (or Status in Jira language).  The fundamental problem with this is nothing in the Backlog should have an associated Status with it because it hasn't been assigned to a sprint, so why is somebody working on it.

Having said that, I would like to see the status in the scenario when a developer sees a related bug in the Backlog and fixes it even though it hasn't been assigned to a sprint.  I need a visual clue that the bug should be moved into the sprint so it can be verified.  It breaks the rules of scrum a little, but is a very realistic situation.

I see your point, but for us the backlog view contains the backlog + all planned sprints for the year.


KAM:s and Sales people can come to me for a high level estimate and a planned delivery. I plan it for a sprint five months from now. Any person involved in the business side of things, will know that they have gotten an initial OK from the product organization. But before any scrum team will develop, the requirements will have to be accepted by the PO and Scrum Master. Until the requirements are accepted, no development team will touch your case. 


Right now, we have zero visibility. Sure, I can create seperate dashboards for people, but it's hard enough to get people to just log into Jira. We have maybe 100 people that, from time to time, are interested in their case. They have no idea what the case number is, nor do they have any interest or knowledga about sprints, Jira or anything like that. The routine to follow up their case should be simple:

1) Log in to Jira

2) Look in the backlog

3) If it's not planned - we won't do it.

4) If requirements are not accepted by the team - we won't do it.

Any outcome on this? I have exactly the same circumstance as described, and simply looking to add some columns in the view - there's a lot of real estate wasted here!


Like # people like this

I have the same request. 

The same for me - it would be a help to see the status in the backlog.

Same request for me and my Product Manager team. 

I echo this request.

This is insane - please allow me to see the status in the backlog view - I am using it to provide an overall prioritization within the Sprint before it is shown in swim lanes per developer. I need to see what is in progress so that we can complete what we started.

Please just add this feature. How can we be agile if we cannot see the information. We cannot drive around in the dark with no lights on.

TFS had this years ago, eg see "Column Options" button in

Atlassian we need this please.

I need it too... :-(

I would also really like to see this feature.

This feature request is SUPER important for us as well (we're using jira cloud).


We should actually be able to customize the Backlog listing table and add more columns (-> fields) to the table, not only the status - for us, all tickets showing in our backlog are of the same status - but extra fields that will help us manage tickets priority by drag-and-dropping tickets to the right spot, based on such additional insight that is missing today.

For example, ability to show tickets labels in that table (if you use labels, could be convenient to see what label(s) a ticket has, could influence the priority decision e.g. position in the backlog, just like any other field that you are using on your tickets in general..). 

Would be nice also to see "time spent in backlog / in current status", that could also influence how we prioritize our tickets, and probably many more fields, but would be nice to support a least a few fields to start with, and the board admin could go in the board settings and select which additional fields he/she would like to be added to the backlog listing.

Today, such listing is not showing much (lots of wasted horizontal blank space), hence not helping to make such important decisions, e.g. backlog tickets prioritization, which is key to [kanban] backlog planning; this is usually not as simple as a FIFO, so we need to get more insight to make the right decisions.


0 votes

Why is this accepted? We'd also like to see the status in the Backlog to know which items still need further refinement (specification) and which are ready to be drawn into a sprint (even if they do not have a high priority).

It's accepted because the answer (and/or its comments) are a good explanation of the current way things work, and why.

Jiras design for the backlog list indicates that Atlassian knows very well that you need an overview of the backlog AND the sprints, in order to plan and visualize the backlog.

But you're telling me that we don't need any information to plan? And if we need information, all companies, teams and processes need the same information?

@Nic Brough _Adaptavist_the only answer was yours "What do you want from a column in a backlog?"

This is not an answer. I'll try to clarify the request: When you click on an issue in a backlog, the right panel shows all the details from that issue. That panel only exists because sometimes it's important to see details of an issue in a backlog.

Now, imagine you want to see details of several issues at once, to help you prioritize them. This is what columns in list views are for.

Like Tamer Shaalan likes this

One of the big weaknesses of the Khoros (nee Lithium) system is that it does not let us comment on questions, we have to use "answer" when we want to do anything.  That, of course, includes clarification questions or comments that lead to a discussion.  This particular question is absolutely one that I would never have "answered" if I had the option to converse as a comment.

But I think that question still stands.  I, personally, cannot see any use for a column in the backlog.  What am I supposed to be differentiating between?  How would two columns help?

Anything that can help with prioritization should be a column. Eg assignee, estimate, epic, reporter, bug vs enhancement.

Let me reverse this question: Why would you want to hide this info?

There's some misunderstandings here - the columns were interpreted as "columns" by some, but others, including you, thought the question was about "fields" (which are not columns").

If you have Jira Server, or your project is Classic on Jira Cloud, then you can add fields to the backlog display by customising the card view in the board settings.  Next-gen projects in Cloud do not have this function (yet)

Agree that there are misunderstandings. What we want are "columns", not "fields".
The "fields" implementation has the following disadvantages over "columns":

  1. You can only pick 3 of them.
  2. They appear on the 2nd row of each item, wasting vertical real estate (not very useful for wide screen monitors).
  3. There are no column headings. Eg I can see "None" "None" in my 2nd row. What does that mean? (It means this issue has no epic and no assignee, but you didn't know that).
  4. You can't sort by clicking on a column header. Yes, sorting can make sense in a backlog. Eg, you might want to see all issues belonging to particular epics.

What's disappointing about this is that Atlassian have already implemented this. Look at the "All issues" screen. On the top right, there's a dropdown called "Columns". It solves all of the problems above. If items could have a priority order in this view, I wouldn't need a backlog at all.

No.  In Jira Software, a column is a collection of one or more status to display for issues.

You are talking about fields, not columns.  Even though the issue navigator offers you "columns", it's not, it's offering you fields (there's a change request to get that corrected)

The best option you have at the moment is the fields you can add to cards.  They're not arranged in a columnar format because there's not enough space to do it that way in a backlog display.

Yes, I know that's the best option. It's not good enough (I've described why in 4 points above), which is why so many people have commented on this page. I'm not sure why you think there's not enough space. Clearly there is enough space, since that's exactly what they've done in issue navigator.

The issue navigator and backlog have differing amounts of space either side, and if you look over 99% of people's issue navigators, you'll see them scrollling left and right because there is not enough width for all the fields they have on the screen.

Doing that in the backlog would make it even worse - having the fields on a second line actually works significantly better.

Sounds like you're arguing for issue navigator to have a "2nd row for fields" feature.

But you can't understand that other people want issue navigator's "columns for fields" feature in the backlog view?

No, I'd like the issue navigator to stay single line.  What I'm saying is that the backlog and issue navigator are there for two different reasons.  The UI for the navigator works for searching and looking through issues, and should be single line, and I have control over what fields I choose to have there.

I don't want to be screwing around scrolling left and right all over the place, especially when I can't control the arbitrary fields that the board owner thinks are important, when I am trying to rank my backlog.

I understand you think you want loads of fields and single line.  I don't think that works for a shared backlog.

Of course you can control the arbitrary fields. They're your settings. Only the order of issues in the backlog needs to be shared, not which fields/columns you choose to show.

I am sorry, but you're wrong.  A backlog is a part of a board, which is a shared view, controlled and configured by the board owners.  If I am not the board admin, I cannot control the abitrary fields.  And that is correct because it is supposed to be a shared view with everyone looking at the same think. 

In the issue navigator, I can control the arbitrary fields, because it is my view.

Sounds like you haven't seen competing systems.
Azure DevOps Services (previously TFS), FogBugz, and a bespoke system I used previously all have user-chosen columns in their backlogs.

A backlog that doesn't allow users to select any columns is half-baked and inferior. It doesn't have to be that way.

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I have - and they fail because you have people looking at different views.  No-one I've seen using these (well) has different backlog views for different people.

In issue navigator, can you view issues in backlog order?

Of course you can.  "order by rank" is not exactly complex.

But apparently being able to *change* the rank in this view is complex. That's the ask.

No, it's not in the slightest bit complex.  Given a ranked list, change the rank by moving things up if they should be higher, and down if they are lower.

The issue navigator is not a backlog.  It is a list you have asked for.

If you want to rank things, use the functions that are intended for that.  That means, the backlog.  (Don't get me wrong, I think the issue navigator should allow ranking as well, but the issue navigator is part of core jira, not software, so you're into thinking about what non-software users might use it, and how not to break it for non-software users, and, and, and.  I really do think it should be done.  But I do see it's not as simple as we think it is)

And going back to the more recent point, when you're ranking stuff, you really really really do need to all be looking at the same criteria.

Everyone - please vote for this feature here:

I need a column that is between the backlog and the sprint.

Call it "Ready for Development" or "Defined" or whatever.

The Backlog is where new requirements land.

The "Defined/Ready for Development" column is where they move after they have been force ranked and estimated.

Sprint planning involves pulling from the "Defined/Ready for Development".

Having this ability is a huge benefit to managing the project and should be considered a mandatory feature.

Like # people like this

I need more fields/columns as well. I need them to help me prioritize. Also I need ways to differentiate certain issues from others that are more sprint-ready. 

0 votes

Here is the solution to your request:

Not columns, but you will be able to see the status in the backlog at least.

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