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An assortment of thoughts.  Mostly tech related.

Multiple Concurrent Sprints in a Single JIRA Project

…or having multiple teams work out of a single project in JIRA.

Out of the box, it might appear that JIRA doesn’t allow multiple teams to work out of a single backlog of work in JIRA, given that backlogs exist in specific individual JIRA projects. As a result, most teams set themselves up with a new JIRA project and work out of that.

This makes things a little difficult, especially for some scaling Agile frameworks such as LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) or Nexus, where having multiple teams operating out of single backlogs is demanded.

There’s a hidden, lesser-known feature in JIRA software that when switched on will enable this kind of operational behaviour and allow several teams to operate out of a single JIRA project.

It’s done by enabling something called parallel sprints in JIRA. To do this you need to have the ‘JIRA Administrators’ global permission.

This JIRA Software knowledge base article explains the simple process to enable parallel sprints.

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There appears to be a couple of gotchas, though…

The article explains:

Please note the following caveats when using Parallel Sprints:

The Velocity Chart will not show the velocity per team.

The current implementation assumes that the teams perform estimation identically, which is unlikely in practice.


These could be a deal breaker for some, but there could be workarounds.

I’m not quite sure what the second point refers to. I know JIRA can have story points or time as the estimation unit, so it could be related to that. If it’s in regard to teams and their different considerations of how much effort a story point represents, that makes sense, but I’m keen to see what this looks like in practice.

Velocity charts can be generated manually if needed.

Useful to know if you find yourself with multiple teams needing to work out of a single Backlog using JIRA Software. I’m writing this as a prompt for myself as much as it is for anyone else… ;)

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