YouTrack Standalone 2017.2 Help

Agile Board Glossary

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




The board is the main part of the Agile Support module that allows you to visualize your daily activities. On the board, you can view the status of all your work items, group cards in user stories by creating swimlanes, estimate and move your cards around the board.
The board shows cards in the columns that represent the current state of a card (issue). You can configure the board in the Board settings section.


The backlog is a collection of not yet estimated swimlanes and cards that await planning and implementation. In other words, it is the list of work that your development team should address during the project release cycle.
In terms of YouTrack, a backlog is a saved search. By default, the following saved search is created automatically and is used as the backlog:
project: <project> has: -{Board <Board Name>} #Unresolved

That is, the backlog contains all unresolved issues in the project that are not yet assigned to the Board.
For more information, see Work with a Backlog.

YouTrack also provides Project Templates that allow you to create new projects with pre-configured boards depending on the type of selected template. See the detailed description of templates for information about the default settings of the pre-configured boards and their backlogs.


Columns on the board can represent an issue state (by default) or any other issue custom field with a set of values that has Multi-value option disabled. That is, such field can have only a singe value selected. A column is displayed on the board if the corresponding value is selected in the board settings.
You can configure board columns in the Columns and Rows tab of the board settings.
By default, the default State field is used, and the four columns are displayed: Open, In Progress, Fixed, and Verified.


An orphan is a card that is not assigned to a swimlane. In YouTrack terms, an orphan card is an issue of any type (except the issue type that is selected to identify swimlane), which is not linked to any issue of the "swimlane type" as a subtask.

orphans lane

The Orphans lane contains all the cards that are assigned to the current sprint on the board and do not belong to any swimlane. By default, the orphans lane is located below all of the swimlanes. You can change the placement of the orphans lane by in the board Settings.


A sprint is a set period of time, during which specific work has to be completed and made ready for review.

In YouTrack terms, a sprint is a separate independent entity. Since YouTrack 7.0, a sprint is no longer associated with a custom field in a project. To see an issue on the board in a sprint, you must explicitly "put" it to the sprint either by dragging it to the board or by applying a command.

Also, you can select a sprint to which issues can be assigned automatically. If set, all new issues that match a column and are not assigned to a sprint are put to this "default sprint".


Generally, a swimlane contains a feature with all its subtasks. In terms of YouTrack, a swimlane is an issue that matches a condition that is selected to define swimlanes in the board settings. By default, the "Feature" type is used. You can customize how swimlanes are defined in the Columns and Rows tab of the board settings. All issues that are linked to a swimlane issue as the "subtask of" are displayed as cards in the corresponding swimlane.
For more information, see Configure an Agile Board page.


A card represents an issue of any type except the issue type that is selected to identify swimlane. To be a part of a swimlane, a card must be linked to the swimlane issue as "subtask of".

Last modified: 7 March 2019