What Is a Jira scrum board, and why do you need it?

Written by 
Shauna Ward
September 23, 2021
Illustration of moving issues between Jira and Mural

Using an Agile workflow — where projects are completed in small pieces and delivered on a regular two-week basis — with a Scrum board (a visual representation of all the tasks in a project) seems like a perfect match. MURAL Jira integrations make it possible to seamlessly plan and execute your product strategy by saving you valuable time otherwise spent transferring information from one software platform to another.

You can manage the multiple responsibilities of any huge task by combining Scrum boards and Jira. Why Jira? Jira is simply a way of adding trackable tickets to your Scrum board so that issues can be resolved before they hold up the line. Jira is your person behind the scenes making sure that small problems don’t hold up your project.

What are Scrum, Jira, and Agile?

Know the processes and their differences.

An Agile workflow is an iterative workflow where large projects are completed in chunks in order to hasten the project deliverables. So if you’re planning a software launch, the Agile workflow makes sure that all parts are moving during every Sprint (about two weeks). Traditionally, you would have to wait until the development teams finished the whole project, which could take months or even years. The increased visibility and efficiency of Agile methodologies leads to a better overall product development process. It has become so popular that seven out of ten companies use some form of Agile in their businesses.

A Scrum board (while not a technical term used in Scrum) is another way of talking about an illustrative representation of a projects’ tasks and statuses. Visualize a whiteboard with Post-its that tell you what has to be done, who should be doing it, and when it’s finished. The whole team will look at the board every day and offer help, report on problems, and identify where roadblocks may occur. Scrum boards follow very distinct Scrum ceremonies, which are like project meetings that help the Scrum board achieve its goals. They include:

  • The Daily Stand-Up:  Fifteen-minute daily check-in that allows all team members to review the board and discuss any issues
  • Sprint Planning:  The process of adding tasks to the board, assigning the correct teams, and deciding if additional resources are needed
  • Sprint Review: Presenting the results of the Sprint to the stakeholders
  • Sprint Retrospective: A meeting to discuss what went wrong, what went right, and what could have been done better before you start the next Sprint

Jira is a bug and issue ticketing system by Atlassian that tracks and manages issues or problems with any part of your project. Why do project managers need Jira? Without it, it becomes a Herculean task to track where a bug is, who’s taking care of it, and whether or not the issue has been resolved.

One of the things that holds up productivity when using Agile Scrum boards is obstacles to tasks and incomplete user stories. When in the middle of a Sprint, nothing is more time-killing than seeing a task suddenly stop in production because of a problem that could have been prevented if it had been addressed during the Sprint.

So combining Agile and Scrum makes good sense because you’re using a Scrum board as an organizational tool, you’re applying a certain set of processes to it, and tasks are being completed in a timely fashion with the Agile workflow. Now you need a way to help identify bugs, problems, or issues that may hold up this very fast-paced process. That’s where Jira comes in. Adding Jira to your Scrum board lets you manage problems before they become even bigger problems that could potentially slow down the workflow. The equation reads Agile (FAST) + Scrum (or Kanban) board (ORGANIZED) + Jira (PROBLEM SOLVING) = Success.

💡 Not sure which type of task board you need? Check out this primer on the differences between a Scrum and Kanban task board.

Identify the major roles of Agile Scrum

The Scrum Leader (Master)

The Scrum leader, also called the Scrum Master, has one main responsibility — to make sure that everyone is adhering to Scrum ceremonies and that the team knows what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. You need this person on the team because, without them, you’ll only be serving up chaos and disorder.

The Product Owner

The Product Owner has a higher level of responsibility than the Scrum Leader. You need someone at the Product Owner level to make the tough decisions about priority and overall workflow of the team.

The Jira Administrator

A new manager on your project, the Jira Administrator, is the person responsible for tracking and managing the Jira tickets that will be incorporated into your board. The Scrum Master and Product Owner have way too much on their hands — the Jira Administrator is there to sweat the small stuff.

Get your Agile game together

Use the Scrum Framework to help plan your project, and use Jira to make it more efficient.

MURAL has a variety of ways to help Scrum teams integrate Jira into an Agile workflow. One of the easiest is a resource hub that shows you step-by-step how to incorporate Jira into your MURAL templates, including how to install both the Jira Cloud and Jira Server integrations as well as how to use them in your everyday workflows in MURAL.

You have to start your project by knowing what you want — what tasks need to be done and who will be responsible for the work. That’s where the Scrum board comes in. Then you have to make sure that the process moves in small chunks, gets done quickly, and progresses smoothly. That’s where the Agile methodology comes in. But making sure that the obstacles or challenges in the process are tracked and managed efficiently — that’s where Jira comes in.

Add Jira to turn ideas into trackable tickets.

Jira can turn any idea, problem, or issue into a trackable ticket. That one virtual sticky note that shows you what the user story/task is can now have several other Post-its attached to it that explain why it isn’t moving on the board. With Jira, someone can now track and manage all of the problems on the board and let the team know what the problem is, where it’s at, and if it’s been resolved. Is your design team responsible for a slowdown in the process? Is there too much work for them to complete in one Sprint? Do they not have the tools to complete their part of the project? Jira is there to track those issues.

You have the team, now use the tools

Putting together the perfect team doesn’t always equate to instant success — being an amazing chef means nothing if the food is delivered late. Project organization should include implementation of Jira bug and project tracking software for a more comprehensive approach to project management, one that catches bugs and problems before they turn into project delays. Jira just adds another layer of accountability to your Agile Scrum board — think of it as a muscle-bound Post-it system for your next Scrum. 

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About the author

About the authors

Shauna Ward

Shauna Ward

Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Shauna Ward is a senior content marketing manager at MURAL. As a former remote work skeptic, she enjoys creating resources that help hybrid and distributed teams make collaboration fun, easy, and effective.