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Sometimes it’s helpful to run queries on your current sprint or past sprints to better prepare for the sprint retrospective. November’s tip of the month focuses how to use JQL in the context of sprints. I’ll focus on Jira Agile 6.3, but some of the features do work in prior versions of Jira Agile.

Calling a sprint out

Sometimes you want to explicitly reference a sprint. Jira’s autocomplete makes searching for a particular sprint easy, even if several teams use the same naming convention. Let’s look for “Sprint 2”.


In the autocomplete dialog, we can see several key bits of information:

  • Sprint name
  • Sprint start date
  • Sprint ID

We can use this information to help narrow down which sprint is the one we are looking for. If we know the project key(s) that our sprint contains, we can add that to the query for a stronger search.


The project=cis will only return issues from the CIS project. Thus if another team is using “Sprint 2” as a name and we choose that one, our query will not return any issues. We can then choose the other option in the dropdown list. You can use either the sprint name or ID as the predicate. In other words, sprint = “Sprint A” and sprint = 223 would be equivalent.

Want to hang in multiple sprints?

There are three functions in JQL that allow you to query your agile projects:

  • closedSprints() – Returns issues that are contained in a sprint that has been completed.
  • openSprints() – Returns issues that are contained in a currently active sprint.
  • futureSprints() – Returns issues that are scheduled for a future sprint (and not in the backlog).

Missing the sprint commitment is really important to track for agile teams. Let’s see how we can find issues that slipped from a prior sprint into the current sprint.

[cc lang=’sql’ ]Sprint in closedSprints() and Sprint in openSprints()[/cc]

Running this query right before the team’s retrospective can focus the team on which issues did not meet a prior sprint’s commitment. Reviewing these issues can give the team invaluable information on how to become better at estimation.  You can go even further by customizing search results to include the sprint column. Click the columns dropdown in Jira 6.1 to add the sprint field. If you are using a prior version of Jira, check out my configuring search results blog.


Want to learn even more? Check out the docs about using Sprints in JQL. New to JQL? Check out my JQL primer!

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Jira Agile Tip of the Month: Searching for Sprints...