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Personal Task Board in Jira

Jira workflow automation

In this article we’ll discuss a Personal Jira Task Board, a useful and simple tool to improve your workflow. In some companies, an employee has to handle tasks in several projects simultaneously. As a result, tracking all of them could be a tough journey because you have to: enter a menu, switch from one project to another, apply quick filters by a user, and only after all of that you have to screen related task cards, for example, tasks of the current sprint. Meanwhile, it’s possible that there could be a need to check tasks in another project. As a solution, you can open a new browser tab with the tasks from another project, or switch between project boards and lose the eye on the current project tasks.

How do you address this issue? In that case a Personal Jira Task Board can help. For instance, in WBT—Global, each employee can participate in more than 4 different projects at one time. Therefore, we implemented a Personal Task Board in our workflow. Let’s see how you can do that too.

What is a Personal Task Board?

How to Set Up a Personal Task Board?

When a Personal Task Board can be Useful?
- Main Advantages of Personal Task Boards

What else is important to know about Personal Task Boards?

Additional Questions

What is a Personal Task Board?

The Personal Task Board shows only your tasks from all the project boards where you are listed as an assignee. You can see the priorities (kanban tasks) as well as the tasks to accomplish in a week (sprint tasks).

According to the expertise of WBT—Global and the experience of our clients, a Personal Jira Task Board is a useful tool that can be applicable for any kind of business, even if there are only 10 employees in the company. For instance, such a solution is a great fit for startups, where cross-functional activity is an essential part of the workflow. Therefore, it’s always better to set up personal boards at the very beginning.

Jira Personal Task Board
Example of an employee’s Personal Task Board

How to Set Up a Personal Task Board

1. Before creating a Personal Task Board, you need to set a JQL filter

Here’s how you can do it:

assignee = {assignee ID} AND resolution = Unresolved OR assignee = {assignee ID} AND resolutiondate >= startOfWeek()
Go to Advanced Issue Search in the Filters menu.
Jira JQL
Switch to JQL.
jira assignee ID JQL
Just start typing a user name, to find its assignee ID.
jira JQL filter
Make sure the search displays the right tasks and save the JQL filter.

Please note that JQL filters are locked by default. Therefore, after you setup filter, don’t forget to grant read access for relevant employees or groups.

2. Create a new Scrum board using a saved JQL filter

Don’t worry about Kanban tasks, they will be also visible on the board.

Jira scrum board
Create a new board using an existing saved filter.

3. Configure the Personal Task Board

This is a basic view of your Personal Jira Task Board:

jira task board
Personal Task Board basic view

Now you can upgrade your columns by switching on the ‘Swimlanes’ tool that divides the board into strips for each project.

jira board settings
Go to Board Settings.
jira swim lanes
Chose the Swimlanes tab in the Board Settings.

Here’s the view of the Personal Task Board after all settings are done:

Jira Personal Task Board
An example of a Personal Task Board columns breakdown
Jira Personal Task Board
An example of Swimlane breakdown for Sprints and Kanban tasks

Sometimes your support may report about the creation of a new board, but you still can’t see it in the “Your boards” menu.

Missing board (in the left) vs. what you expect to see (in the right)

Jira Personal Task Board
Three ways to open a Personal Task Board.

Just wait for a while. You might have to give Jira some time to adopt the changes. In case you don’t have time and you need to start working with your Personal Task Board immediately, you can ask your Jira Admin to provide you with a direct link and use it via the “Planning” menu.

Temporary board location

task board location

Here’s where you can look for a Personal Task Board:

Jira Personal Task Board
Three ways to open a Personal Task Board

When a Personal Task Board can be Useful

Personal Jira Boards are not a widely used practice. Usually, all the employees are “living” in one certain project, having one common board and just using filters to screen their tasks. Meanwhile in WBT—Global, most tasks are cross-team and the Personal Task Board gives a great opportunity to screen all your weekly tasks in Sprints together with Kanban tasks in the Backlog section.

Main Advantages of Personal Task Boards

Less surfing between the project boards. Without a Personal Task Board, there’s always a need to interact with a Projects Menu and then use quick filters to screen your tasks.

The maximum clarity of the tasks, which you can filter by the Backlog or by the Active Sprints.

Jira Backlog Personal Tasks Filtering
Filtering Personal Tasks by the Backlog

In this section, you can see all the tasks where an employee is set as an assignee.

Filtering Tasks by Active Sprints
Filtering Personal Tasks by the Active Sprints

In this section, you can see tasks from the Active Sprints. They are represented by columns, statuses, and swimlane strips: Scrum and Kanban projects.

Better planning. During a weekly meeting, an employee can simultaneously screen his Backlog and Active Sprints tasks. As a result, they can do much better planning for the next week.

Implementing a Personal Task Board is a matter of care for your employees and their personal work comfort.

What else is important to know about Personal Task Boards?

Why is the board called Personal, but created by Jira Admin?
Because the board must be created according to the company’s regulation In this matter, the intervention of a user in personal board settings, filters, or configuration may result in the loss of visibility of some tasks. As a consequence, you could have such dialogues as: “Why is this task not done? – Because it was not on the board…”. We don’t want that.

A user decided to add new columns on his board which he considers necessary. But Jira does not allow him to drag tasks to a new column. Why?
Because a user needs rights to move tasks in created columns. These rights must be provided by Jira Admin. We do not recommend providing such permissions to your employees as it can corrupt the workflow.

How to get to a Personal Task Board of other team members?
You can do it using a direct link provided by Jira Master or through an Advance Issue Search. In this case, you’ll see the tasks as a list with statuses (not a board view).
To find a user and their tasks using an extended filter, follow Filters -> Advanced Issue Search.

Click Advanced Issue Search in the Filters tab.
basic filters view jira
Switch to basic.

After switching to basic, just type in the Assignee name in the relevant column.

Jira employee tasks filtered
Using filters in Jira to view employee tasks.

You can also set the access rights to the user’s personal board. This way, not everyone will be able to open it. Even if they can open it, not all tasks would be displayed since projects can be classified.

For example, the editor has access only to the Blog project. By going to the project manager’s board, the editor sees tasks only related to the “Blog” project. You won’t see tasks from other projects.

Or, suppose the editor is responsible for the visual content of the article. The designer is responsible for graphics creation. The project is running out of time, but no graphics are done. The editor can go to the designer’s board and check what other tasks he has in his pipeline and better understand the reason for the delay. As a result, this could be a source for a constructive dialogue with a colleague about how to advance in the release of the article.

Usually, project managers have a direct interest in the “big picture” of the employee’s board.

Additional Questions

How to restrict the view of a certain column on the board?
The columns will be visible to everyone. You can’t hide them.

How to hide certain tasks on the board?
The board displays tasks according to filter configuration. If there is a filter, you can see it; if there is no filter, you cannot see it.
For example, the ‘Security level’ tool allows you to hide the project from everyone, except for a specified list of people. And accordingly, you won’t see tasks in the columns. You can apply this filter mainly to financial projects.

Can I create tasks on my board?
Yes, you can. Any employee can create a new task in an active sprint or just take it from the backlog.

How to hide a private board from the admin?
It is not the responsibility of Jira-admin to follow the tasks of other employees. His responsibility is to help set up the process to improve the workspace, so that everything works good for everyone.

Key Takeaway

Does your company ask how to make Jira space more convenient for an employee? Our experience shows that management usually represent two camps. For one camp, general Kanban and Sprint boards with quick filters are enough. For others, they try to study more about and implement the Personal Task Boards workflow.

Our WBT-Global team has been using personal boards for years. With these boards, even our beginners are feeling much better in screening their tasks. If you have any questions or would like to see the same results, write to us!

P.S. Share with us your feedback on how your workflow perception changes after implementing the Personal Jira Task Boards.

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