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YouTrack Backlog Management

Backlog generally refers to a list of requirements to fulfill while making a product. Requirements may refer to user stories, particular product features, tasks, and so on.

In YouTrack, backlog is a part of Scrum practice implementation, when you see tasks related to a sprint on the board. Following Scrum concept, tasks shall be related to a particular sprint or remain unscheduled in a backlog.

How does YouTrack make a backlog?

By default, YouTrack creates a saved search for you as soon as you create a new agile board. This is a search for

project: <project> Fix versions: {No Fix versions} #Unresolved

YouTrack replaces <project> with the actual name of your project, and makes this saved search available. You can see it in the left-hand column as you look at the issues list:

YouTrack uses the saved search to form a backlog out of issues you have in your project. It assumes that you use Fix version field to define a sprint that the issue belongs to, and that you need a backlog made of issues that do not belong to a particular sprint (i.e., with no Fix versions set).

To customize a search query that YouTrack uses to what you wish to make a backlog of, hover over the name of the saved search in the list and click the pencil icon. The following configuration dialog appears:

To see issues that are in the backlog now, click the sheets icon on the left-hand side of Agile board:

Choose another saved search to change the backlog

You can configure your board to use another saved search as a backlog for that particular board. Change it in the board configuration Saved search to show as backlog (see the last line of settings on the screenshot below):

Prioritizing backlog

The easiest way to prioritize your backlog is to do it from the issues list (not from Agile board view). To do that, click the corresponding saved search to the left of the issues list, hover over the issue, and then drag it to the desired position.

The higher the position in the list, the higher the priority. However, the position does not impact any field value in the issues: it's just easier for developers to pick up new tasks from the top of the backlog.

The issues in the list are sorted based on the preferences you defined by manual sorting; all remaining issues are sorted by update time. If the issues were sorted manually, this is indicated by the thin blue line on the left-hand side of the issues list.

The order remains unchanged until the next prioritization. You also can reset the custom order by clicking the cross in the top left-hand corner of the issues list.

View and prioritize your backlog from the board

You can reorder your backlog right from the board. However, this mode is more suitable for planning individual sprints, as the backlog view on the board lacks important details that may be important for its prioritization.

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  • Avatar
    Mathew Hamlin

    This doesn't work as expected.

    If I click the saved search from the left navigation of the issues list, it shows the items in Updated order. Only if I start at the agile board, open the backlog and then click on the 'From "WebDev Team Backlog" saved search' does it open in the issues list in the manually updated order for our backlog. I notice when this happens, the URL is different.

    Saved search:

    Click from Agile Board on the "same" saved search:

    Additionally, I cannot find a way to have my manually ordered backlog set as the query used to drive my Dashboard widget, where I manage multiple projects and simply want to see the backlog for each of them. This is a fundamental function of a agile development tool. Please help.

  • Avatar
    Christo Ivanov

    We have the same issue here. Any updates on whether this behaviour will be fixed?

  • Avatar
    Ekaterina Ivanova

    To have your custom order applied to the search result, please select the saved search in the context combo (to the left from search field). I have to admit it is indeed hard to discover, here's the issue dedicated to the redesign of the entire sidebar/context selector behaviour:

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