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How to convert a Kanban board to a Scrum board in Jira

If you are using Jira, you have probably come across Kanban boards and scrum boards. They are the two main ways of viewing issues. Sometimes you might want to switch from one board type to another. This article will explain what is involved. It’s not really possible but there are pretty good workarounds.

Board types in Jira

There are two board types in Jira: Scrum and Kanban. It is a bit confusing though because when you create a project, Jira asks you to choose Kanban or Scrum.

Please keep in mind that project and board are not the same! Project is the top level container in Jira. A project is a collection of issues (tasks, stories, etc). Plus all the settings and configurations for the project.

A board is a view of issues in that project. A Kanban board just shows issues in various columns. And the columns map to worfklow states.

A Scrum board shows issues for the Active Sprint. That is, issues that have been moved into whatever the current sprint is. (An issue can move from sprint to sprint over time but can only be in one sprint at a time).

How to convert a Kanban board to a Scrum board

Well the bad news is, you can’t. Once created, a board cannot change. But don’t worry! You can just create a new board that is set up how you want to.

Remember, a board is just a view or filter of issues in a Project. You won’t lose the issues!

You just have to make sure the board is set up how you want to.

If you want to see issues on a Scrum board, just create a Scrum board! This will be easier if you set up your project as Scrum project at the beginning.

For this reason, I always recommend choosing Scrum when creating a project. It’s easier to just not use sprints in a Kanban project than it is to try and add sprints to a Kanban project. Trust me!

So if you have a Scrum project, and are using a Kanban board, just go to Create Board.

Click Create Board from the Boards menu

On the next dialog, choose Scrum board.

Choose the “Create a Scrum board” option here.

Then import from an existing project. Pick your project.

Choose the “Board from an existing project” option here.

You should have a Scrum board which shows issues in a sprint. You probably won’t see any yet.

Don’t panic! You just need to get a sprint and have issues in it.

Go to the backlog, and click the Create Sprint button. You won’t see this if you have a Kanban project, why is again why I recommend you always create a Scrum project!

Move issues into the Sprint by dragging them from the backlog. Now just one more step – make it the active sprint! You do this by clicking the Start Sprint button. Put in the start and end dates and the Sprint Goal.

Now when you go to your Scrum board, you should see the issues in a sprint view.

You might of course need to go and update columns, workflows etc. Based on how you want the new board to look and work.


So as you can see, there is no way to convert a Kanban board to a Scrum board in Jira. But you can pretty much get the same result. You just have to create a board and get the issues showing there that you want to see.

Have you found this article helpful? Or do you have more questions? Let me know in the comments! I read and reply to every one.

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