How to Run Multiple Sprints in Jira

The Atlassian suite includes Jira, a tool that assists software developers in planning, tracking, and managing project development. Jira is easy to use and, when combined with other Atlassian suite apps, can become an efficient and effective tool in software development. Here, we will cover how to create, run, and manage multiple sprints in a Jira software project.

This is beneficial if a large team is accomplishing parallel sprints but operating under one backlog. Typically, the need for parallel sprints but one backlog is due to the collaborative nature of agile practices and the ability to reflect the full project scope to a client or executive.

Note: A larger collaborative team or smaller sub-teams may perform the scrum ceremonies.

Enabling Multiple Sprints

To confirm that project settings allow for parallel sprints, follow these steps:

  1. Log in as a user with the Administer Jira global permission.
  2. Select Settings > Products from the global navigation.
  3. Under Jira Software configuration, toggle the Parallel sprints switch.

Creating Multiple Sprints

To create multiple sprints, follow these steps:

  1. If the project is already set up, with a backlog created, select the “CREATE SPRINT” button at the top of the backlog.
  2. Edit the sprint to reflect a unique name to differentiate between sprint 1 – nameA and sprint 1 – nameB.
  3. Adjust the sprint dates accordingly.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 to achieve multiple sprints.

3 Tips for Managing Multiple Sprints in Jira

Tip 1 – Utilize the Epics Feature

In the “backlog view,” the assigned epic is visible. If maintained, epics can differentiate between various project features. This can help the scrum master toggle between issues assigned in groups to a specific sprint.

Tip 2 – Organize Backlog with “Marker” Issue Type

Issue types can identify or categorize issues in Jira. This allows for grouping and organizing a story list within the backlog. With one backlog to work from, keeping issues organized based on the upcoming sprint allows for more efficiency from the product owner or scrum master.

Marker ideas to assist with the organization of a combined backlog are:

  1. Defined issues above this marker
  2. Estimation targeted above this marker
  3. ProjectA issues below this marker
  4. Project B issues above this marker

To add a new issue type:

  1. Select > Issues.
  2. In the left column, go to Issue types > Add issue type.
  3. Enter a name and description for the new issue type.
  4. Choose between a standard or sub-task issue type.
  5. Select Add.

Tip 3 – Labels are Useful

Labels in Jira are tags of keywords or categories that do not fall within the Epic. They are searchable and filterable, which means that, by selecting the label on one issue, Jira automatically filters the rest of the issues with that label.

To add a new label:

  1. Open the story/issue that needs a label.
  2. Scroll to the header “label” and select within the description box.
  3. Select the label, and don’t forget to hit save.

When teams enable parallel sprints and follow the tips in this posts, they can plan, track, and manage their projects effectively within a single Jira software project. Using Jira’s built-in features (such as Epics, Issue Types, and Labels) can help teams stay organized and efficient, even when working with a large team and multiple sprints. With practice and patience, Jira can become an indispensable tool for any agile development team.


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