We are already using Jira to visualize the work of ~30 people, and it's being rolled out to other teams too, so this number will increase dramatically.

One of the enhancements we need, is to be able to tag a ticket as blocked - and to be able to collect the blockers at the end of a month (or week, or whatever), and discuss them in a retrospective, for the purpose of spotting trends and solving blocker clusters.

The best way I've come up with, is to create a new issue type called "Blocker" and to log new blockers whenever needed. This lets me put as much detail as I want into the blocker, and it also lets me measure their lead & cycle time. There's a gaping hole with this approach though - how do I make the blocker look attached to the related project ticket?

Is there some other way I'm not thinking of? It would be ideal if we could put some kind of indicator on an issue in Jira-Agile, to highlight it as blocked.

2 Answers 2


There are a few ways you could do this in Jira.

  1. You could change the priority of the task to "Blocker." You would see the ticket in the kanban as a blocker with the blocker task icon. Later search for tasks of that priority within the period applicable for your retrospective.

  2. If you do not want to change the priority you could add a label to all the blocked tickets. That is not visible quickly in the Kanban board, but will show in the details on the right. Search is easy, just specify the blocker label.

  3. Your team members should probably be indicting which tickets block others already with the "Issue Link" field, but that could be another mechanism of doing this. Like the label, it alone isn't immediately visible on the kanban board, but it can be see in the details pane. Unfortunately relying on this field alone can be a little tricky to search for, there is support with the JQL-pro add-on. Use "linkedIssuesHaveStatus([blocker])" See the last few answers https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3918255/jira-searching-issues-by-issue-links for other ideas.


My team uses the blocker tag:

Flagged option in JIRA

This flags the item on your Kanban or Scrum board with an easily visible flag:

Kanban item flagged

  • Ah, but what version of Jira are you using? We're stuck somewhere in the last decade, I suspect. I'm not aware of any such feature where you can in any way configure what is shown on a card. It simply shows the summary, priority and issue type (as an icon).
    – Johan
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 18:53

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