3 Essential Jira Backlog Management Tools You Can’t Miss

It’s normal for your backlog to expand over time, going from 10 to 20, to 50, or even to 200 items! This growth reflects the expansion of your business and increased demand from your customers. So, how do you intend to handle hundreds or even thousands of items in your backlog? How do you prioritize your backlog successfully?

An efficiently managed backlog not only acts as a strategic roadmap for both your team and stakeholders, but it also plays a vital role in enhancing task allocation and elevating workload management within the team.

Jira is undeniably the most popular issue-tracking tool for project management, aiding in task prioritization and delegation. However, like any system, Jira can present its own set of challenges, particularly in backlog management. In this blog, we’ll delve into three prevalent challenges businesses encounter when managing their Jira backlog and the best way to address them.

3 Common Challenges in Jira Backlog Management

Lack of bulk action control

Ask any scrum lead or backlog owner in your team—backlog grooming is a tedious process. This is especially problematic when the backlog contains a substantial number of tasks, making the process even more tedious and inefficient. You have to navigate through each issue screen and manually update the same field, a process that could be expedited with the use of bulk editor tools.

Lack of prioritization

Without a clear prioritization strategy, teams may struggle to identify which tasks are most critical to work on first, leading to inefficiencies and missed deadlines. Shifting priorities and unexpected changes can also disrupt workflow, causing confusion and impacting team morale.

Imagine you have a list of tasks, each with its own level of importance. Without a well-defined strategy to rank these tasks based on their significance, teams may find themselves uncertain about which tasks to tackle before others.

Lack of visibility

Without proper visibility into the backlog, teams may struggle to understand the big picture, leading to suboptimal planning and resource allocation. Having a clear view of the backlog is essential for effective project management in Jira. The backlog contains all the tasks necessary for a project, much like a to-do list. Imagine trying to work on a project without knowing all the tasks you need to complete; you might miss important steps or waste time on tasks that aren’t a priority.

Top 3 Jira Backlog Management Tools

One thing is clear: effective backlog management is a craft scrum masters and product managers must master. Here are the top 3 Jira backlog management tools you can leverage to help you overcome the above challenges and unlock greater value.

Excel-like Issue Editor for Jira by Ricksoft

A dedicated issue management tool, Excel-like Issue Editor for Jira eliminates the tediousness of updating your issues.

You can efficiently edit a large number of issues all at once using a familiar copy-and-paste method, similar to how it works in Excel. Integrating this with the ability to sort and filter issues enhances your capacity for managing issues even more effectively.

Excel-like Issue Editor for Jira: Backlog Management Tool in Action
Managing backlog in Jira is so much easier with the right tool.

Locating specific information in a sea of data can be like finding a needle in a haystack. This is where conditional formatting and smart filters step in. Users can define precise conditions to reformat cell colors, making essential data pop out and simplifying the search for specific information.

Apply smart filter to comb through your Jira issues more effectively.
Jira backlog management doesn’t have to be tedious with smart filtering.

Creating multiple issues within Jira involves a series of steps. The bulk create issues feature transforms this process. Users can now generate multiple issues directly on the spreadsheet in one swift motion, simplifying the process and preserving valuable time.

Bulk operation in Jira doesn't have to be in multiple screens.
Bulk create issues without having to switch screens.

In short, the Excel-like Issue Editor for Jira brings the familiarity and efficiency of spreadsheets to your issue management process. With features like

  • bulk editing,
  • summarizing data,
  • conditional formatting,
  • grouping,
  • smart filters,
  • and bulk issue creation,

this tool empowers you to take control of your Jira environment like never before.

Check out the tool’s documentation here.

Foxly by Appfire

Backlog prioritization is another aspect that agile teams must stay on top of. Priorities often change rapidly, leading to confusion and inefficiencies. Foxly can help you prioritize your tasks, especially if you have a fully remote team.

Appfire's Foxly backlog prioritization tool in action.
Appfire’s Foxly enables agile teams to prioritize their backlogs effectively.

Foxly is designed for project managers looking to remove uncertainty and maintain clarity across their Jira projects and priorities. Its priority table enables you to filter and sort tasks based on metrics, real-time calculation of priority scores, and the ability to adjust and customize prioritization templates. The app’s UI, simplicity, and real-time updates are highlighted as critical advantages.

How to prioritize your backlog with Foxly
Foxly improves how comprehensive your issue prioritization practice can be.

Foxly enhances Jira prioritization by bringing transparency, structure, and data-driven decision-making. It features predefined priority list templates, accommodating diverse project requirements. Users can also customize metrics and score formulas to suit their project needs.

More importantly, when you need feedback from your team to help sort your priorities, you can create a priority poker and let your team vote whenever they are available!

Foxly Jira priority poker in action.
Create a priority poker game to get your team involved in backlog prioritization.

Basically, Foxly is a tool that simplifies backlog prioritization, improves transparency, and empowers managers to make systematic and informed priority decisions while involving their teams in the process.

Hierarchy for Jira by Adaptavist

This final tool is great for teams who need a more comprehensive issue hierarchy display in Jira.

This tool enables users to expand the default Jira hierarchy, providing a more detailed and precise perspective on projects, releases, and filters. It allows for a deeper insight into projects, even at the sub-task level, by presenting a nested tree list that offers a comprehensive view of different stages.

When you increase project visibility, your team can keep track of progress using rolled-up estimates, such as story points and time-tracking reports for epics, rather than just counting issues.

Hierarchy for Jira is a key tool for managing issue hierarchy.
Increase project visibility successfully with a tool like Hierarchy for Jira.

This application also provides you with enhanced control over where you intend to share your Jira hierarchy tree beyond your Jira environment. For instance, if you wish to distribute it to another team within their Confluence page.

Do more with your issues using the hierarchy table feature.
Share your issue hierarchy outside of your Jira environment.

To conclude, Hierarchy for Jira can be used to empower users to create customized hierarchy levels, going beyond the standard structure. This means tasks can be added under stories, features under epics, and more, allowing users to tailor their Jira hierarchy to match their needs and workflow.

Towards a More Efficient Backlog Management Practice

Every application comes with its unique strengths and areas of expertise. Whether your requirements involve extensive bulk issue editing, backlog prioritization, or a broader hierarchical perspective, leveraging any of the above tools can elevate your Jira experience and expedite your value delivery.

Check out these apps and try them for free!

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