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Does Jira support the concept of multiple parent links or upstreams like JAMA does?

We have been using both Jira and JAMA in our company and in JAMA we were using the concept of multiple "upstreams" This is very important as we can have the same story enabling multiple Epics. We were able to do this easily in JAMA as there were no limitations on how many upstreams or downstreams links we can have. Does that concept exist in Jira? I scoured through the community and did not find anything favorable. How have people been doing this?


Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
May 14, 2020

Plain Jira Core does not have a way to do this, but when you add Portfolio to it, then yes, you get all the initiative/theme/your-layer functions on top.  (And Align - that handles it even better)

Like Tom Kakanowski likes this

Thanks for that, its an avenue I will investigate!

Nic, yes I am using Portfolio as well. Although I still see a fixed limitation of one. For example I can use the parent link and there can only be 1 value there. In Jama, I am able to have more than 1 parent for a given child. Even if I use the Epic Link, there also it is 1.


I tried to use Initiatives with portfolio and that works fine for initiatives having multiple Epic.. I am still unable to have 1 Epic have 2 initiative.. Essentially the concept of how do I get more than 1 parent linkage?

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
May 19, 2020

You wouldn't expect Epics to belong to many initiatives - look at splitting them up if you think you need this.  (Dependencies are a different story of course)

Yes we are doing that right now, that is how we are working around it. Although it does cause a proliferations of Epics in the system. Also even more important is the ability to have multiple parents for the stories.. 

Our use case is that we have a team that works on embedded software, a team that works on hardware tools and a team that works on software developer tools. All 3 components have to meet at a union for a full solution to be possible. What is going on today is since we can only have 1 Epic link, the first one to link to the story wins. This makes it harder to track as some of the stories are cross linked from the teams. In a small company this is very simple to do, although in a big company like ours it needs a lot of co-ordination.

In Jama we solved this by having multiple parents to the same "stories" so this way each parent can track the state.. Does a concept as such exist in Jira/Portfolio?

Like # people like this

As an update, in Advance Roadmaps (Portfolio) Cloud, I agree that you seem to be able to have only 1 parent, but you can have many higher layer tiers. 
I recently asked my CTO what a specific SAFe 'Feature' (Jira Epic) would be considered as relating back to on his technology initiatives, and he rattled off several that the feature enabled.

 I've not seen JAMA, but I'm consolidating on Atlassian to alleviate the many disparate apps my company use internally. 

You may think about correlation using other mechanisms like components, labels, or custom fields. Splitting epics isn't the answer for me. 

I'm certainly in the same predicament. I want my team to be able to correlate their work back to  Company Objectives and Departmental Initiatives. 

Like Tom Kakanowski likes this

Do you have this feature in your roadmap? 

Like # people like this

I also have the use case for allowing multiple Parent Links. We have two product varients that need a number of components combined to deliver them.  However, one team are being good agilists and have sevaerl reusable solutions that can be used for "both" varients.  Other than creating a complete poinless duplication of parent child strucutre - we can't represent this.  We are using the Progress Fields for the top level items in Roadmaps and our "in transition" PMO group love this feature - if it were able to accurately represent the child/grandchildren items...   Any suggestions WARMLY welcomed.

Like Eloi Le Roux likes this


at the moment our approach ist to use issue links to work with multiple "parents"

Works okay with structure Plug-In, but not just with advanced roadmaps


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