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Agile Board Glossary

This glossary provides a list of terms and their definitions used for agile development in YouTrack.



agile board

An agile board is the visual representation of an agile development process. The board lets you view the current status of each task, group related tasks, estimate your efforts, and track the progress toward completion for each task.

The columns on the board represent the development cycle. The swimlanes represent a secondary level of organizational structure. The board settings let you configure the board to reflect the development process that is used by your team.


The backlog is a set of issues that await planning and implementation. In other words, it is the collection of unfinished work that your development team can build to improve the product. Teams normally prioritize issues in the backlog to determine which issues are addressed in each release cycle.

In YouTrack, the collection of issues that are displayed in the backlog on an agile board is represented by a saved search. For more information, see Work with a Backlog.


Each card on an agile board represents an issue. On an agile board that uses issues to identify swimlanes, issues that are shown as cards are linked as subtasks of the issue that represents the swimlane that they are assigned to.


A column represents a single stage in a development cycle. Columns are typically arranged from left to right in order of increasing completion.

In YouTrack, columns usually represent the set of values for a state-type field. However, you can use any field that stores a single value. You can configure board columns in the Columns and Swimlanes tab of the board settings.


A sprint is a set period of time during which a pre-defined body of work is completed. During the sprint, incremental improvements are applied to the product. The completed effort results in a viable version of the product that can be delivered to the consumer.

In YouTrack, there are three methods that you can use to add issues to sprints:

  • You can manually assign issues to sprints by creating them on the board or dragging them from the backlog.

  • You can automatically assign issues to a default sprint. Here, new issues that are not yet assigned to a sprint and are assigned a value that matches a column on the board are added to the selected sprint automatically.

  • You can link sprints to the set of values for a custom field, like Fix versions. Here, an issue is automatically added to the corresponding sprint when you set or change the value in the linked custom field.

For more information, see Board Behavior


A swimlane is a secondary level of organizational structure that is used to group related tasks. In classic Scrum development, a swimlane represents a single user story. However, you can configure an agile board to identify swimlanes using a wide range of issue attributes, including priority, assignee, subsystem, project, or tag.

You can customize which issues or values are used to identify swimlanes on the Columns and Swimlanes tab of the board settings.

For more information, see Configure an Agile Board.

Last modified: 19 July 2024