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How to Close a Sprint in Jira

If you’re new to Scrum in Jira, you might be curious about how to close a sprint. Jack Wallen has the details.

A laptop computer displaying the Jira logo
Image: monticello/Adobe Stock

Jira is an excellent issue tracking platform that offers a lot of features for bug tracking and agile project management. One feature found in Jira is Scrum, a project management framework that helps teams organize and work together more effectively. Although Scrum is mostly used for software development-type projects, it can be used for any type of teamwork. This Agile project management tool describes a set of meetings, tools, and roles that help teams manage the work involved.

One aspect of Scrum that is very popular in the field of software development is the sprint. A sprint is a short, time-bound period in which a team works to complete a set number of tasks. Effectively, a sprint defines the amount of work to be accomplished by the team in a specific time period. It’s like a “race to the finish”. During a sprint, your teams focus only on that one goal.

Jira offers Scrum and Sprints. In fact, Jira makes Scrum and Sprints quite user-friendly. You can create a Scrum Board using the Scrum Template in the Software Development category and then start your Sprint from the Project Backlog. I’ve already discussed how to create a sprint in Jira (see How to Create Sprints in Jira), so make sure to check out that tutorial before continuing.

Once you create and start your sprint, your team can try to complete all related tasks before the sprint end date.

See: Hiring Kit: Project Manager (TechRepublic Premium)

But how do you close a sprint? Let’s find out how.

what you need

You’ll need a Jira account to follow along, and you’ll need to be an admin on the project in question, as only admins can close a sprint. You should also have a running sprint to close.

Are you ready? Set up? Go!

How to Close a Sprint

Log in as an administrator and open one of your active Sprints. In the upper right corner of that sprint, you should see the Complete Sprint button (Figure A)

Figure A

My Active Sprint in Jira.

Click Complete Sprint and an alert pops up to tell you how many issues are complete and how many are open (Figure B)

Figure B

Completing a Sprint in Jira.

Obviously, the goal should be to complete all issues before the sprint completion time. However, as we all know, things happen and you can wind up with a sprint that contains incomplete issues. If so, you can choose to move open issues to a new sprint or to your backlog.

If you know your team is ready for a new sprint, select New Sprint from the drop-down. Otherwise, move those open issues to the backlog, where you can then add them to the new sprint by dragging them from the backlog to a new sprint (Figure C)

Figure C

Adding issues from the project backlog to a new sprint.

Warning of closing sprints

If you have parent issues that are marked complete but contain sub-tasks that are not complete, you will not be able to close the sprint because the sub-tasks must be completed first. On the other hand, if you have supporting issues that involve sub-tasks that are not done, you can move those issues to the backlog and close the sprint.

And that’s it for closing the sprint on Jira. Once you get the hang of using Sprints, you’ll find them an invaluable tool for managing large, complex projects.

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