How to add backlog to jira kanban board

Add backlog to jira kanban board: Jira, an industry-leading project management tool, offers a powerful Kanban board feature that enables teams to visualize and manage their work efficiently. One key element often missing from Kanban boards is the backlog, a crucial component for planning and prioritizing work. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of adding a backlog to your Jira Kanban board, providing step-by-step instructions, external resources, and FAQs to ensure a smooth implementation.

How can I add a backlog to my Jira Kanban board?

To add a backlog to your Jira Kanban board, create a new board, configure columns, and prioritize tasks in the backlog. Drag items into workflow columns as your team has capacity, ensuring a seamless workflow and optimal task management.

Understanding the Basics:

Before we dive into the steps, let’s briefly review the fundamentals.

What is a Kanban Board?

A Kanban board is a visual representation of work items, typically organized in columns representing different stages of the workflow. Jira’s Kanban boards provide real-time visibility into your team’s progress, making it easier to manage tasks and enhance collaboration.

Why Add a Backlog?

A backlog is a repository for all your upcoming tasks and user stories. It serves as a prioritized list of work items that can be pulled into the active board as the team has capacity, ensuring a smooth workflow without overwhelming the team with too much work in progress.

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Step-by-Step Guide of add backlog to jira kanban board

Now, let’s go through the process of adding a backlog to your Jira Kanban board.

Step 1: Create a New Board

  1. Log in to your Jira instance and navigate to the desired project.
  2. Click on “Boards” in the top menu and select “Create Board.”
  3. Choose “Kanban” as the board type.

Step 2: Configure Columns

  1. Click on “Board Settings” and go to the “Columns” tab.
  2. Set up your workflow columns to reflect your team’s process.
  3. Include a “Backlog” column at the beginning of your board.

Step 3: Add Issues to the Backlog

  1. Go to your project’s backlog.
  2. Create or drag existing issues into the “Backlog” column.
  3. Prioritize the issues based on your team’s goals and objectives.

Step 4: Pull Items into the Active Board

  1. As your team has capacity, drag items from the backlog to the appropriate workflow columns.
  2. This ensures a steady flow of work without overwhelming the team.

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Best practices for adding backlog to jira kanban board

Adding a backlog to your Jira Kanban board can significantly enhance your project management practices. Here are some best practices to ensure a smooth and effective implementation:

  1. Create a Dedicated Backlog Column:
    • Establish a separate column on your Kanban board explicitly labeled as “Backlog.” This provides a clear distinction between the backlog and active work.
  2. Prioritize Strategically:
    • Prioritize backlog items based on business value, dependencies, and urgency. Leverage Jira’s ranking feature to maintain a well-organized and easily adjustable order.
  3. Use Epics for Larger Initiatives:
    • Employ Jira Epics to group related tasks within the backlog. This helps in managing larger initiatives and provides a high-level overview of project progress.
  4. Regularly Review and Refine:
    • Conduct regular backlog refinement sessions to reassess priorities, remove outdated items, and add new ones. This ensures that the backlog remains relevant and aligned with project goals.
  5. Involve Stakeholders:
    • Collaborate with stakeholders during backlog grooming sessions to gather insights and feedback. This fosters a shared understanding of project priorities and requirements.
  6. Estimate and Size Tasks:
    • Assign estimates or story points to backlog items. This aids in capacity planning and helps teams understand the potential workload associated with each task.
  7. Integrate with Agile Boards:
    • Seamlessly integrate your Kanban board with other Agile boards in Jira. This allows for a holistic view of work across different methodologies, facilitating collaboration in larger projects.
  8. Set WIP Limits:
    • Establish Work In Progress (WIP) limits for both the backlog and active columns. This prevents overloading the team and encourages a steady flow of work.
  9. Utilize Quick Filters:
    • Leverage Jira’s quick filters to easily toggle between backlog items and active work. This provides a quick and focused view when planning sprints or addressing specific project needs.
  10. Educate Team Members:
    • Ensure that your team understands the purpose and workflow associated with the backlog. Educate them on how to effectively use the backlog for planning and prioritization.
  11. Monitor and Adjust:
    • Regularly monitor the board’s performance metrics and adjust as needed. Analyze cycle time, lead time, and other relevant metrics to continuously improve your team’s efficiency.
  12. Document and Share Processes:
    • Document your team’s backlog management processes and share them with team members. This fosters consistency and provides a reference for new team members or stakeholders.

By incorporating these best practices, you can optimize the use of a backlog in your Jira Kanban board, promoting efficient project management and collaboration within your team.

External Resources:

To further enhance your understanding and implementation of a backlog in Jira Kanban, here are some external resources:

  1. Atlassian Documentation – Kanban Boards
  2. Atlassian Community – Adding Backlog to Kanban Board


Q1: Can I have multiple backlogs for different teams on the same Kanban board?

A1: Jira does not support multiple backlogs on a single Kanban board. However, you can create separate boards for different teams or projects.

Q2: How do I prioritize issues within the backlog?

A2: You can use the drag-and-drop functionality in the backlog or use Jira’s ranking feature to set the priority order.

Q3: Can I customize the columns in the backlog?

A3: No, the backlog has a predefined set of columns. However, you can customize the workflow columns on the active board.


By following this guide, you can seamlessly integrate a backlog into your Jira Kanban board, enhancing your team’s agility and efficiency. For further information and community support, explore the provided external resources and refer to the FAQs. Empower your team to manage work more effectively with the combined power of Kanban and backlog in Jira.

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