How to replace multiple dashboards with a single one

Dashboards are a key component of any JIRA implementation. Independently of the process you implement, most of the time users will visualize and interact with their issues through JIRA dashboards.

Dashboards are based on gadgets which can be combined in hundreds of ways in order to display whatever information is relevant for the user. Although this framework provides some flexibility, JIRA dashboards also have their limitations — for instance, once configured, the content of the dashboards is rather static. Very often we see people building a nice dashboard for a project but if they need to see the same information focused on only one component of that project or on a team working on it, they end up duplicating the initial dashboard and re-creating all the filters they initially used. This is why on many JIRA instances we see the same dashboard structure duplicated many times: for each project, for each release, for each component, for each team, even for each assignee or other criteria and combinations of these. This adds significant maintenance effort and after a certain number of duplicated dashboards it becomes difficult to keep track of all of them.

In order to overcome this limitation, we have designed and released the Rich Filters Add-on for JIRA. One of the core features of the add-on is that it allows the users to define quick filters on dashboards. When a quick filter is selected, all the other gadgets refresh their data taking into account the quick filter — for instance, if the user selects a project, all the gadgets will focus on that project; if the user selects a team, all the gadgets will display the issues of that team.

Dashboard quick filter example — select a project and all the gadgets will display issues from the selected project

The quick filters can be combined so that any combination is possible — eg. focus on the work of a team on a particular release of a project. The video below shows this simple yet powerful principle in action.

This way, instead of duplicating your dashboards for each project, component, release or team, it’s a lot easier to have only one dashboard which displays everything and can focus on any of these dimensions in a couple of clicks.

Many types of quick filters can be added to the dashboard:

  • Static filters – appear as on/off buttons on the dashboard and apply an additional JQL query when selected. The static filters are very similar with the quick filters you probably used in the agile boards of JIRA Software.
  • Dynamic filters for single and multi-value fields – are designed for fields that can take predefined values, such as issue type, priority, component, fix version, status, labels, user pickers, check-boxes, select lists (single or multi select), etc. These dynamic filters appear on the dashboard as buttons with drop-down lists, which allow selecting among the options available for each field.
  • Dynamic filters for text fields – are used for text fields such as issue summary, description, comments or custom text fields. The filter is displayed as a text box where the user can insert the text to search for.
  • Dynamic filters for date fields – as the name suggests, they are used for date/time fields such as created, updated, resolution date and custom date fields. Date filters allow the user to filter issues with date field values on before, after or between two dates.
  • Smart filters – are displayed as buttons with drop-down lists and each option in the list applies a JQL query. This is very useful when you need to combine related queries. For instance, in the example above, the team filtering is based on a smart filter with two options – Blue Team and Purple Team. Each option applies a JQL which clearly identifies the issues of one team (i.e. assignee in (user1, user2, etc).

Together, all these filters allow users to build dashboards where they can filter on virtually any field, combination of fields (native or custom), and JQL queries, delivering a very rich end user experience.

Play with our live demo, or try it out on your own JIRA server! Which filter type is your favorite? Let us know if you find it useful by leaving a comment!

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