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Backlog holding tank

Craig Rennie February 26, 2021

Currently we have a bloated backlog, which ideally I want to move non-essential stories/tasks to a holding tank to make the backlog easier to read and administer.  I've created a new board "holding-tank", which has duplicated our current backlog, and then as an experiment deleted a single task from the backlog to see if it's still apparent on the newly created holding-tank board.  Unfortunately the deletion has actually removed it from both boards!  Is there a way to prevent this from occurring please?  If not, is there another method of creation to gain the same result please?    

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Bill Sheboy
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February 26, 2021

Hi @Craig Rennie  -- Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

First thing: a board is a view of issues in a project, based upon a filter.  This feature enables different perspectives on the issues.  If an issue shows in both, that is because it is the same issue, not a copy.  So when you "removed" the item, it was gone.

I understand your concern about having many issues to manage in a backlog.  You have several options to solve this concern using Jira (each with pros and cons).

  1. You could delete the issues you don't want
    • This is generally a bad idea; there is no "undo" with cloud
    • This limits visilbity to how much stuff you have that is thrown out, losing the opportunity to learn from it
  2. Keep everything in place, and add quick filters to limit visibilty
    • This is often a good approach to maintain everything in one place, and get it back when needed
    • You need to add some indicator for relevance (or staleness).  This could be by feature area, priority, labels, etc.  Avoid using Epics for this as that takes away a valuable organization tool you could use.
    • Keeping everything together can be a forcing-function: you eventually need to deal with the stale work
  3. Clean up your backlog and mark unwanted stuff as "abandoned" so it is gone from view
    • This is often a better approach than (1) and (2) above
    • Adding a custom field, such as Abandoned, helps the team be explicit about what they are abandoning and why
    • Abandoned items can always be recovered (just clear the flag)
    • You can learn about how much and why you abandon things, helping the team learn
  4. Split into multiple projects, moving some items to what you called a "holding tank"
    • I consider this a worse idea than the others as it creates multiple backlogs for a team to manage
    • It may be an acceptable approach when a separate team does extensive "discovery" of work which it feeds to your team for "delivery"

I am interested to hear what you try and how that is working for your team.

Best regards,


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