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Using non standard issue types in Advanced Roadmaps

I have a business group who wants to use a non standard issue type in the plan, called Feature.  What are the cons in using an issue type that is not standard? Limitations? If I add it to the project configuration, will it be as useful and beneficial as a e.g. a story (a standard issue type)? Any help on this will be appreciated! 

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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.
Jul 02, 2020

There's no limitations or cons for having another issue type in a project.  The pros are usually quite simple - you can see at a glance what it is likely to contain without reading the detail.  If you create feature at the standard issue level (not a sub-task type), it will work the same as any other type at that level (assuming it is set to use all the same schemes)

Thank you! Is there anyway to make the issue type at the Epic level and not Story level?

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.
Jul 02, 2020

No, the Epic issue type is a special case, a system thing and there's a lot of code in Jira that assumes there is only one type of issue to be used as an epic (also, do not rename Epic - Jira Software works ok if you do, but some apps break in very interesting ways.  This is likely to go away as part of the closer integration with Jira Align, but for now, don't rename it)

Thank you, Nic!

Hey @Nic Brough -Adaptavist- , I wanted to follow up on this one.  What about creating a hierarchical level in between Epic and Story.  In SAFe, they have other "levels" such as Capability and Feature.  Is it possible to create a new Advanced Roadmaps/Portfolio hierarchy level above Story?

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.
Jul 08, 2020

So, I'm going to avoid the main question there.

SAFe defines Epic as being at a different level to Jira's Epic.  Epics in SAFe are higher up.

Jira does not (yet) really allow you to rename Epics (you can, technically, but it breaks some stuff.  This is changing soon).  To match SAFe, you want to rename them as Features.

But.  Yes, you are right, Portfolio/Advanced Roadmaps do indeed add layers.  But not about story, they add them above Epics.

Like pbrown007 likes this

Thanks so much for your answer, Nic.  This was incredibly helpful.

This thread is very useful! Any update on the above-mentioned capability to rename Epics as Features issue types? 

I suggest to not use the Jira Epic issue type when you implement SAFe; and to call  SAFe's epic something like "Portfolio Epic" to prevent confusing Jira.


We did this with success.

I have a Jira project which exclusively contains issues of a custom type, "Feature Release", which is of standard issue type (i.e., not sub-task level).

When I add this Jira project as an issue source to advanced roadmaps, I see zero issues.
According to documentation, all standard issue types should be shown.

What am I doing wrong?

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.
Feb 15, 2023

Ok, that won't work.

The SAFe hierarchy lowest 4 levels and Jira's 3 layer scheme have a bit of a conflict.

SAFe   Jira
 Epic  
 Feature  Epic
 Story  Issue (but you can have many types, called whatever you like.  They're all perfectly SAFe stories)
 Sub-tasks Sub-tasks (again, many names)

Epics in Jira are a special case.  If you don't use them, you can't actually map anything useful in SAFe to Jira, because there's nothing in Jira that can act at the Feature level other than Epics.

Until recently, we were stuck with that, because it was not safe to rename Epics, but if you get "Advanced Roadmaps", it is now fixable.

With AR, you can define layers above Jira's Epic, so you could add your "Portfolio Epic" now.

But it also lets you do some stuff with alternate names.  If you have AR, I strongly recommend renaming "Epic" to "Feature" (as it no longer breaks anything), and then adding Epic as the layer above.  You then have a good, simple, and clear SAFe mapping.

May I suggest you do that, and then have another look at your roadmap?

Like Dave Rosenlund likes this

(Hint: the SAFe Capability layer is missing.)

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.
Feb 22, 2023

Same answer - add them in AR (Or use Align and add them in there)

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