Whoever managed project backlog knows the pain. At the beginning of the project, everything is nice and tidy but with first feedback received the chain reaction of tickets starts and soon enough your backlog becomes hardly manageable.

Let's have a look at some quick fixes you can do to tidy up your backlog in Jira.

1. Big backlog? Priority isn't enough 👉 use the Priority Score

One of the common problems of big backlogs is that it's hard to figure out what you and your team should focus on first.    

Many projects are using Priority to highlight issues that are more important than others. When using only priority to highlight important issues, you soon find it's not granular enough. Imagine having a backlog of 100 issues and half of them having medium priority. How would you prioritize?  

Calculating the Priority Score might be the right answer. The idea is simple. When prioritizing items in your backlog, we already consider many variables like time urgency, impact it's going to deliver or what's the size of the task. With a little bit of thinking, you can bring all these aspects together and create a priority score.

Foxly - Backlog Prioritization plugin for Jira Cloud
Foxly - Backlog Prioritization for Jira Cloud

There are many prioritization methods you can use to calculate this score and you can read more about them in this article or take a quiz with our bot to find the right one for you. And to get the priority score in Jira faster, you can use Foxly - Backlog Jira Prioritization plugin. It's free for 10 users or less, and if you're more people, then you can try out the demo!  

Finally, your backlog of medium Priority items gets a new dimension and help you make better data-driven decisions.

2. Don't want to give up Priority? Automate it 🤖

No reason to do things twice, right? When you already calculate your Priority Score, you can set up simple automation to assign Priority to your issues automatically (spoiler alert: no coding required).

Let's say your priority score has a range between 1 and 1000 you can assign Priority as follows:

Priority Priority Score
Highest 801-1000
High 501-800
Medium 201-500
Low 101-200
Lowest 1-100

The range will vary based on your prioritization method, so take this as an example and adjust as you need.

Now the fun part. With Automation for Jira (it's free 🎉) you can set up rules every time Priority Score is changed, check its value and assign the right priority.

Here is a step-by-step process to assign the Lowest priority automatically:

  • Select Field value changed as a Trigger for automation
  • Add JQL condition to check that Priority Score is in the certain range:

"Priority Score">=1 AND "Priority Score"<=100

  • Create New action - Edit issue and choose to change the Priority field and to assign Lowest value

That's it! Now just create a similar rule to assign rest of the priorities and you're done.

Assign Priority to the issue automatically based on the Score in Automation for Jira
Assign Priority to the issue automatically based on the Score in Automation for Jira

3. Order your backlog by most important items

Imagine your backlog order by the most important items first...and what would be even better you didn't need to drag cards around to get there!

Sort Jira backlog by priority automatically
Sort Jira backlog by priority automatically

You can easily achieve this when you change settings of your Jira board to be ordered by the Priority Score. And don't forget to enable Score to be shown on the cards so you can easily compare issues without opening detail.

Here are the steps to sort your Jira backlog by the Priority Score:

  • Create JQL filter project = PROJECT_KEY order by "Priority Score" DESC
  • Create a new Jira board from saved JQL filter
  • In Board settings enable backlog
  • In Board settings > Card layout add Priority Score to the Backlog and Kanban cards

And you're done! You can also watch the video bellow to see detailed steps 👇

How to sort Jira backlog by Priotity Score

Happy prioritizing! 🦊