How to close a sprint in Jira

Estimated read time 4 min read


If you’re new to scrum on Jira, you might be curious as to how to close a sprint. Jack Wallen has the details.

Laptop computer displaying logo of Jira
Image: monticellllo/Adobe Stock

Jira is an outstanding issue tracking platform that offers plenty of features for bug tracking and agile project management. One feature found in Jira is Scrum, which is a project management framework that helps teams organize and more effectively work together. Although scrum tends to be mostly used for software development-type projects, it can be used for just about any kind 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 within the realm of software development is the sprint. A sprint is a short, time-constrained period where a team works to complete a set number of tasks. Effectively, a sprint defines the amount of work that a team needs to accomplish over a given amount of time. It’s very much like a “race to the finish.” During the sprint, your teams only focus on that one goal.

Jira offers scrum and sprints. In fact, Jira makes scrum and sprints fairly user-friendly. You can create a scrum board using the Scrum template within the Software Development category and then start your sprint from within 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 on.

Once you have your sprint created and started, your team can race off in an attempt to complete all of the associated tasks before the sprint end date arrives.

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

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

What you’ll need

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

Ready? Set? Go!

How to close a sprint

Log in as an admin and open one of your active sprints. At the top right corner of that sprint, you should see a Complete Sprint button (Figure A).

Figure A

An active sprint of mine in Jira.

Click Complete Sprint and a warning will pop up to inform 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 have all issues finished before it’s time to complete the sprint. However, as we all know, things happen and you might wind up with a sprint that includes incomplete issues. Should that be the case, you can select to either move open issues to a new sprint or 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 a new sprint later on by dragging them from the Backlog to the new sprint (Figure C).

Figure C

Adding issues to a new sprint from a project Backlog.

The caveat to closing sprints

If you have parent issues that are marked as done but include sub-tasks that are not complete, you won’t be able to close the sprint, as sub-tasks must be completed first. If, on the other hand, you have parent issues that are not done that contain sub-tasks that are done, you can move those issues to the Backlog and close the sprint.

And that’s all there is to closing a sprint in Jira. Once you get the hang of using a sprint, you’ll find them an invaluable tool for the management of larger, complex projects.

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