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As a project manager what's the best way to get overview over your tickets in several JIRA projects?

Johanna November 13, 2020

Hey there,

our company started using JIRA and Confluence about a year ago and we are still learning. Now we are at a station where it is crucial that our project leads get a comfortable overview over ticket either in their project or tickets that are assigned to them.

I know that the starting/"your work" page has an overview over all tickets that are assigned to that user. But you have to click on them individually if e.g. at the end of the day you want to put all the tickets you finished into the done status. Same thing for a coustom dashboard.

So we figured that there is a way to use "personal boards" which kinda work like the boards in Jira classic projects where you could use a personal filter but unfortunately I could not figure out how to make them show projects that are organized in kanban as well as projects that are organized in sprints. Plus one can not add the occacional ticket that resembles a task wich does not belong to a project but is only a task for that one person.

Maybe we are not thinking the projects right and could structure them differntly? Or we are just a weirdly organized company since almost everyone ist working in mulitple projects and teams at the same time that have a different workflow? Or I just have not found that one hack...

So is there anybody out there who already solved this problem? Or what are your workarounds?

Best regards



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Dave Rosenlund
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 13, 2020

Hi, @Johanna.  There are a lot of opinions on this topic. As you may already know, Jira alone doesn't really have a good way to look across projects.

Therefore, if I may, the "best" approach is the one that works best your you, your stakeholders, and your company. There is no single way that is best for everyone.

That said, what you'll discover is that the most popular project portfolio management (PPM) solutions include: 

  • The Atlassian premium cloud plan includes Advance Roadmaps (formerly called Portfolio). It may meet your need & budget.  What people like about it is that it's from Atlassian and it's far less expensive than the other Atlassian product in the category, Jira Align. Both products are fairly prescriptive - to maximize the value of your investment in them, you need to closely follow their project management formula.
  • BigPicture and Structure (my company's product) are the most popular Atlassian Marketplace apps that address your use case. People tend to like (or dislike) these Jira apps because they offer better price points and different approaches to PPM vs. the Atlassian solutions.  BigPicture is broad and deep, like Microsoft Project. Structure offers tremendous flexibility and adaptability and a simpler form (think of it as a spreadsheet that sits on top of Jira with the ability to assemble Jira issue from any project as you wish).   

It probably makes sense for you to consider all four options -- and maybe some of the other options available on the Atlassian Marketplace. Only you can decide which is best for you :)

Hope this helps, 

-dave [ALM Works]

Johanna November 13, 2020

Hej Dave, thanks for the hint.

But I thinks thats not really what we really need - there are really nice features but we made a really big stretch to pull out a budget for the JIRA instance and enough users (and now have many licences left, since we needed to pay for the next tier but don't need so many users...). Since we ware state funded/academic we can't really afford to buy those addons or Advance features just because they are nice or might be helpful but do not bring essential value...

Maybe my description was not good enough - linked to my request was this ticket:

that's more what we need. Like a todolist but not as a list but as a board. That lists all the open tickets your assigned to and gives you the option to just drag them in the "done" colum.
And to really fit our needs it should not only list tickets one is assigned to but have the option to put tickets in there that are from "your projects" but unassigned.

Unfortunately the answer to that question is that it's not possible to do this with JIRA...

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Dave Rosenlund
Community Leader
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Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 13, 2020

Exactly.  Not really possible with Jira alone. :(

Walter Buggenhout
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 14, 2020

Hi @Johanna,

I agree to a certain point with @Dave Rosenlund that many advanced use cases require some extension of Jira functionality. But I know from experience that Jira Dashboards are capable of taking you a long way already.

You / your company is definitely not weird or anything if you state that people are working across multiple projects. We hosted an event last year where we had a few dozen of project and team leads in the room. When I asked them who was running 1 project simultaneously, not a single hand was raised.

It is true that Jira Next Gen does not cope with this well. When you set up next gen projects, all configuration is specific to that single project: custom fields, features you enable, even status. That is bad news for reporting or cross-project collaboration. Classic projects are a much better fit if your want to enhance that, as the basic idea behind those is much more coming from shared configuration. It would take a long time to elaborate all the details on that, so sorry that I keep it dangling there a bit like a carrot in front of a donkey.

But back to your question and the starting point we often use. Although you may have doubts, dashboards are a really good starting point to create this sense of overview. But you will have to do the initial setup yourself. I am thinking about writing up a couple of articles on the topic next year - just need to find some time. 

What we do for many of our customers, is draw up a generic Personal Dashboard that is dynamically tuned for the logged in user. It has a couple of Filter Result gadgets on it to display mainly the following information:

  • Open issues assigned to the current user
  • Open issues reported by the current user
  • Open issues watched by the current user
  • issues recently resolved by the current user

That alone is already a great starting point to visualise what is relevant to you across your entire Jira instance.

Building this is basically a 2-step process:

  • First create a couple of saved filters that fetch your data
  • Then set up a dashboard with gadgets representing the search results of those filters

For the use cases I described, that would be these filters:

assignee = currentUser() and Resolution = Unresolved
reporter = currentUser() and Resolution = Unresolved
watcher = currentUser() and Resolution = Unresolved

assignee = currentUser() and Resolved >= -30d

As soon as you have these basic gadgets and the practice in place, you can start thinking about more advanced cases as well. The flexibility just comes down to the way you define your filters.

So far the individual approach. Regarding boards, it is a really valuable idea to look at work from a Team perspective rather than a Project perspective. As you said, no one works on a single project. So create a unified board for the work (the multiple projects) the teams in your organisation is working on. That will be pretty hard with next gen, but - yet again - a lot more intuitive with classic projects. The same principle goes as for dashboards: the data in your board come from an underlying filter, which can perfectly hold data from multiple projects.

You are absolutely right that setting this up may take some rethinking and redesigning the way you set up projects to match the way you work as an organisation. But it is an important step to unlock the full potential of your teams, your practices and your tools.

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