Jira queries to support daily scrums

In this current moment in time working from home has become more prominent than ever, being able to manage your team and their workloads can help your employees to stay connected and ultimately keep your business running as usual. Ben Saunders explains how utilising Jira and daily scrum meetings has helped him achieve these things…

As our team has worked with the Scrum framework over the last couple of years, we’ve gradually evolved the format of our daily scrums, and we’ve been able to adapt our Jira board to match, using various JQL queries in the “Quick Filters” and “Swimlane” sections of our sprint board. In this post, I’ll share the ones we’ve found useful.


What did we each do yesterday?

At the start of our Scrum journey, we strictly followed the traditional format. Each team member took turns to answer the three questions about how they helped the team towards the sprint goal:

In these scrums, it is useful to be able to filter the board to show only the tickets that are assigned to a particular team member. So, we used a quick filter for each person:



Dealing with blockers

When it comes to calling out impediments, it’s useful to have a visual reminder. So we used a separate column on our board called “blocked”. It sat the the left of all the other columns (“To do”, “Ready to deploy”, etc).


What happened on each ticket?

Using the person-by-person approach, we found that tickets could sometimes be missed in scrums. Each person is busy, but a ticket could “fall between the cracks”, and not be worked on for a few days, and we wouldn’t necessarily spot it, especially if there was a lot going on. So we tried going though the board ticket-by-ticket instead. At this point, it was useful to be able to hide sub-tickets, so that we just talked about each top-level story.



A clearer view of “blocked”

We found that we were spending time explaining why tickets were in the “blocked” column. We switched to an approach that allowed us to see which column the ticket would be in if it wasn’t blocked, by using the label “blocked” instead of a column, and separating these tickets into their own swimlane.



What has happened since last scrum?

Lately, we’ve been using a hybrid approach to our daily scrums. First, we focus on what’s change since last scrum. This helps us remember to celebrate things that have moved to “Done”. Then we focus on the “Awaiting deployment” column, so that we’re making sure things get finished. Then we go person-by-person, and finally we check that there are no unassigned tickets. The following quick filters help us.



I hope it’s been useful to see how different JQL queries can help you make sure Jira is keeping up with the way your team works.