How to prioritize work in Jira (2023)

How to prioritize work in Jira (1)

The key to the success of any project is knowing which tasks should be prioritized first and which can be postponed until later. But how do you properly prioritize work in Jira? When pressing Jira issues come up, do you pause or try to speed things up so you can finish what you're working on quickly? And how can you track and maintain progress to ensure everyone is on the same page?

Proper prioritization in Jira can improve team efficiency, make workload manageable and reduce wasted time. So let's see how you can achieve this.

Constantly prioritize Jira issues

By default, issues in Jira can have one of five priority levels: Lowest, Low, Medium, High, and Highest. You set this by simply creating or opening an issue and clicking the Priority drop-down menu. If you don't choose a priority when you create an issue, Jira sets it to Medium, which an administrator can later change.

But how do you define these priorities? And how do you know that everyone uses the same definitions when they prioritize their own and/or other people's work? When an issue is a high priority for one person, but a low or medium priority for another, it leads to inconsistent categorization and prioritization of work, which in turn creates confusion and inefficiency.

So how can you objectively decide what's what so you can consistently prioritize work in Jira?

if you are oneThe service team works according to a service level agreement, which sets time frames for solving different types of problems, this helps create clear definitions of your priority levels. But business teams like marketing, human resources and finance must create their own system. This may include documenting when and why certain types of issues should take precedence over others, or reviewing them on a case-by-case basis during planning meetings.

Don't underestimate the value of collaborative problem solving as a team, especially on new projects. It helps build a mutual and fundamental understanding of the team's values ​​and goals. Over time, as the team's understanding and culture matures, prioritization happens much faster and may not always require a meeting (we'd all appreciate fewer meetings!).

When considering how to prioritize work in Jira, you and your team should ask the following questions:

  1. What value do you bring to the team or organization by solving the problem?
  2. Is there an external deadline that makes the matter urgent?
  3. Is the problem blocking the processing of another problem?
  4. What impact will it have on the team/project/whole organization if the problem occurs?does notworking on it now?

Adjust the Jira priorities

Jira's built-in priorities cover a wide range of scenarios, but you may find that they don't cover them allfromIn this case, you might want to create some custom priority fields instead. Assuming you have the appropriate permissions in Jira, you can create your own priorities using the following steps:

  1. Go toManagement > Issuesand choosepriorities.
  2. Choose nowAdd priority level.
  3. EnterNameand aDescriptionfor your new priority. The description can be useful to provide context and other details to users who have permission to manage priorities.
  4. Select an icon to represent priority.
  5. Choose a color for priority, either from the color table or by entering the appropriate HTML code.
  6. Choose nowAdd to, and your priority is ready to use and available in the Priority drop-down menu.

ToPrioritize specific projects, you can add them to a prioritized schedule and then associate that schedule with your project.

When setting your own priorities, be careful not to add too many and/or make them too vague. You will avoid redundancies and unnecessary complexity in your workflow and ensure that you prioritize work in Jira in the most efficient way.

Use flags to highlight blocked Jira issues

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When something is preventing a task from being completed, you want to highlight it as soon as possible so that all team members are aware of obstacles that may affect their own work or that they may be able to help with.

An easy way to draw attention to stuck issues in Jira is to add a flag that highlights the issue in places like backlog and yellowWait for the Kanban board. The priority icon is also replaced with a flag icon.

To flag an issue, open it and click the ellipsis (...) in the upper right corner. ChooseAdd flag, (orremove Markto take it off again). Alternatively, you can right-click the issue on your board and then selectAdd flagfrom there.

In addition to being a quick, visual way to identify blockers, tagged issues can be searched using a simple piece of Jira Query Language (JQL):Checked = obstacle.

Use reporting to prioritize work in Jira

The sheer amount of data that Jira emits can be overwhelming. It's an extremely powerful tool, and if you're not careful, you'll find yourself wading through an endless wave of epics, stories, and a growing backlog. And prioritizing becomes daunting, if not impossible, when all you see is an endless list of problems.

To prioritize effectively in Jira, you need visibility into your team's progress. An overview, which is best achieved by summarizing all data in graphs and charts. This gives you and your team instant insight into the big picture. And you know what they say about pictures speaking louder than words.

This is where reporting comes into play. Jira has some basic reporting features that you can use to create a handful of useful graphs and charts. But Jira offers very few custom reports, so users often find they can't easily see or access the data they want.

But thanks to Jira's extensibility, there are many ways to add additional reporting capabilities to your instance. Business intelligence solutions like EazyBI, Tableau, and PowerBI allow you to create all kinds of reports, but are sometimes so expensive and/or complex that they turn off and turn off all but the most tech-savvy. At the end of the day, you only have one or two experts in a company to serve them.

The ideal solution is one that balances functionality and accessibilityCustom diagrams for Jira, a data visualization tool forReporting on Jira Dashboards, adressed toonUser. The interface is designed to be easy to use, so even a novice can create an informative and customized diagram or chart with just a few clicks. Without prior training or expertise, you can change colors, filters, labels, chart types and visualize your data as you like. At the same time, Custom Charts for Jira has enough basic power that more experienced users can further refine and focus their charts using custom JQL or saved filters.

With custom charts, users and project managers can see everything at a glance, from the number and severity of open issues to how much time was spent resolving deadlocks. You can create bar charts, pie charts, tree charts, funnel charts and more. You also have the ability to quickly drill down into the details using a dynamic problem finder equipped with custom diagramsSimple search gadget(for those who want to avoid using JQL!).

Present information about your work processes withgod datavisualiseringallowing you and your stakeholders to better understand what is happening and make more informed decisions about prioritizing work.

How to prioritize work in Jira (3)

Try the Atlassian playbook

If you need more advice and guidance on prioritizing work in Jira, check it outAtlassian Team Playbook. This extensive library of self-guided workshops is a valuable resource for any team struggling to find the best ways to work for their organization. If you're a business team looking to create a system to consistently prioritize Jira issues, try thisAllthethings prioriteringsmatrix. This hour-long workshop is designed to help teams visualize the prioritization of their projects relative to the work requested by other teams.

However you choose to take on the prioritization challenge, it's important to understand that every time you spend on it is an investment: what you invest now can save your teams a lot of time and effort later. Consistency should be your top priority, and reporting solutions like Custom Charts for Jira can make this easier by giving you quick, visual overviews of open issues, team progress, and workloads.

Learn more abouteverything you can do with custom diagrams for Jira, or you canCheck out other Old Street apps on the Atlassian Marketplace.

How to prioritize work in Jira (4)

Morgan Folsom

Born and raised in Seattle, Morgan loves rain and software, especially software that isn't burdensome (as some Atlassian tools can be). Because of this, she is a super fan of custom diagrams for Jira and jumped at the chance to contribute to the solution herself. She specializes in Agile, Scaled Agile, and ITIL in the Atlassian app space, loves road trips across the country, and is always looking for the cutest coffee shop in every city she visits.


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