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What is an issue?

Different organizations use Jira to track different kinds of issues, which can represent anything from a software bug, to a project task, or a leave request form.

Issues are the building blocks of any Jira project. An issue could represent a story, a bug, a task, or another issue type in your project.

  • If you're a project admin, select more [] > Configure to change the layout of fields in the issue view.

  • You can see related commits, builds, and pull requests to help you evaluate the development status of your issue. Read more about development info on an issue.

Boards can display up to 5,000 issues at a time. If your board is trying to display more than 5,000 issues at once, you'll receive an error message, and be prompted to update your filters.

Project and issue keys

Issue keys

Issue keys are unique identifiers for every piece of work you track with Jira. They are easily recognizable and quick to remember.

You'll see issue keys:

  • On issues themselves, as a label

  • In search results and saved filters

  • On cards on your boards or in a project's backlog

  • In links connecting pieces of work

  • In the issue's URL

  • Anywhere you need to reference the work you're tracking


Issue keys are made up of two parts:

  1. The project key (“SMART” in the screenshot above)

  2. A sequential number

Project keys

Project keys are a series of alphanumberic characters that describe to people across your Jira site what pieces of work are related to your project. They're the most memorable and recognizable piece of an issue's identifier. For example, our team is codenamed Donut World. We use the project key "DONUT" to help people across Atlassian know and recognize work that relates to our team.

Project admins can create and assign their project's key when they create a new project. Based on the project's name, Jira suggests a recognizable key. If you're a project admin, you can customize this while creating a project by selecting Advanced options. You can also update it in the project's settings. They must be at least 2 characters long and start with an uppercase letter. 

Read more about editing a project's details

Additional Help