Top 10 JQL queries for busy scrum masters

As a Jira Scrum Master, you have a lot on your plate, from identifying project blockers to reporting progress. To ensure that teams are happily humming along and high-quality work is constantly shipped on a time-boxed period, you need the latest Jira project data. Stat!

Some roles and responsibilities of a Scrum Master (source).

Fortunately, you can leverage Jira Advanced Search, AKA JQL queries to find the right project information at the right time. You can even make use of search extension apps like JQL Search Extensions for Jira to access additional JQL functions and keywords not available in native Jira. 

In this blog post, you’ll learn the top 10 advanced JQL queries that can help you optimize performance, strengthen cross-team coordination, and ensure on-time value delivery for your scrum teams. 

Top 10 JQL Queries for Scrum Masters and How to Use Them

When you’re busy facilitating people, processes, and technology within a fast-paced scrum environment, use these JQL queries from our search extension add-on to make your job easier. We’ve grouped them according to the major job functions of a Scrum Master. 

Get Recent Project Updates 

As part of stakeholder management and communication, you must give project updates to relevant parties regularly. For example, your Product Owner may want to know the latest update for issues that were worked on a particular date (e.g., between 21st and 22nd August 2021). Use this JQL query to find that data:

When you locate all the issues that were updated between certain dates, you can efficiently share the information with the relevant stakeholders.

Similarly, if you want to locate issues that were updated by a particular team member, use this JQL query: 

Find and Remove Project Blockers

As a Scrum Master, you must always be alert to blockers and proactively solve them before they affect your team and project progress. It can be as simple as finding the issue with Blocker status (this requires you to create custom status in the Jira settings first) within a sprint backlog and solving it. 

But what happens if there are issues from external projects that are causing a blocker? To find and remove such blockers, use this JQL query. Just replace ABC with the name of your external Jira project. 

You can look for blockers by identifying issues with “Blocks“ or “Is Blocked By“ links or checking the issue status itself. But if you want to search for issues with subtasks that have Blocker status, use this JQL query instead: 

On the other hand, use this JQL query if you want to find subtasks where the parent has a Blocker status:

Remember that you can refine the results even further by adding more keywords like “project” and “assignee.”  

Get Issues Ready for Sprint Planning

As a Scrum Master, you’ll also facilitate Jira backlog grooming—a regulated scrum process that involves reviewing and prioritizing items to be developed in the next sprint cycle. Your end goal is to get a backlog that’s DEEP (detailed, emergent, estimated, and prioritized). 

One way to do that is to ensure that issues have adequate context for team members to work on. For example, maybe critical project information is documented in a Confluence page that must be linked to Jira issues. You can use one of the JQL queries below to find issues that don’t have a Confluence page linked to them and update accordingly before staff can start working on them. 

When it comes to selecting issues to be developed in a sprint cycle, priority plays a role. That said, some low-priority issues can actually have dependencies that are of high priority. To find issues that are linked by the highest priority issues, use the following JQL query: 

You can also add this JQL query to find issues that have more than a certain number of dependencies. The higher the number, the more important it is for the issue to be staged in a sprint and completed so as to not cause a blocker. 

Combining the two JQL aliases above results in a Jira issue that has at least one linked issue that’s of the highest priority. 

While you’re at it, find issues that have been added to the backlog and never been updated using the JQL query below. Clarify with your Product Owners and Project Managers if the issues are still relevant to be developed. If they don’t support any business goals, it’s best to remove such issues.  

Locate and remove issues that no longer support business goals. 

Prepare and Present Reports

In addition to the existing Jira scrum reports like burndown charts, you can also use advanced JQL queries to prepare and present reports. Let’s say that you need to prepare a report of all issues in which a particular team member logged in time; you can use this JQL query: 

Keep in mind that you can even save a JQL query as a filter and then plug it into a third-party reporting app like Tempo to generate custom reports. Check out this blog post to learn other expert tips for Jira reporting using advanced JQL.  

Use JQL Queries for Better Scrum Process 

Those are the top advanced JQL queries that can make your job as a Jira Scrum Master even easier! Check out our guide to advanced JQL queries to learn more about it. 

Alternatively, you can also try out our JQL Search Extensions for Jira app to quickly access the JQL queries shared above. With over 50 unique JQL search extensions not available in native Jira, get the right project information at the right time. 

Try our very own JQL Search Extensions for Jira and create better Jira dashboards! 

Last updated: 2023-07-31

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