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Build out your plan

This page refers to the advanced planning features that are only available as part of Jira Cloud Premium and Enterprise.

We have a separate section for documentation about the project timeline that’s included in Jira. Go to the documentation for the project timeline in Jira.


Creating a plan requires you to do two things: estimate and schedule issues.

Your plan is a sandbox environment meaning that any changes you make won’t be committed back to your Jira issues until you choose to do so.

How do I save changes in my plan?

Estimate issues

An estimate is an educated guess at how long you expect an issue will take to complete. You can base your estimations on either story points or time-based units (hours/days) — whichever aligns with how your teams work.

These estimates don’t need to be super accurate, but enough for planning purposes. It helps with scheduling issues and allows you to use features like capacity planning later on.

Schedule issues

Once you have an idea of how big or small each task will be, the next step is to schedule them on your timeline. You can do this using dates which works exactly as you’d expect: you set a start and end date in the Date column, and it’s placed it on your timeline. Alternatively, you can place the schedule bar directly on your timeline.

Scrum teams can also schedule work according to sprints or releases. your plan uses the dates of the sprint or release to create a corresponding schedule bar on your timeline. You can then save the sprint or release assignments to your issues in Jira to make planning for your team that much easier. Planning issues this way is less prescriptive, but it better aligns with the agile planning philosophy.

Learn more about agile planning in the Atlassian Agile Coach


You can also define order in which your issues need to be done using dependencies. With these, you can indicate that an issue is reliant on another being completed first or that it needs to be completed before another one can begin.

When referencing dependencies, your plan labels incoming dependencies with is blocked by, and outgoing dependencies with blocks.

View all of the dependencies attached to an issue in Advanced Roadmaps for Jira Software Cloud

For example, an issue titled “Get in the car” blocks an issue called “Drive to work” but is blocked by the issue “Get out of bed”. Dependencies aren’t necessary in any plan, but they help identify the order in which tasks must be done so you can schedule issues more effectively.

Further reading:

Learn more about estimating and scheduling issues

Learn more about dependencies


Still need help?

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