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Guidance on using Programs or Initiatives vs. EPICS that never close

When you have a work stream that manages perpetual streams of work (nested/organized by client), using EPICS that remain open, with linked stories that get executed (open/resolved/closed) seems to skew reporting (time to close, avg time in status, etc.).  How do we classify this work, so that we have a history by client of all work requests, features, etc that get executed.  Using tags and labels seems to classify and group the work, but then you can't see the details and history - that only allows you to pull data by tag/label - we need to have all work (and the history) roll up to a level is this best achieved using Initiatives, or Programs vs. trying to keep Epics open indefinitely?  Please advise.

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Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Oct 11, 2018

Hi @Kelly Jones,

To help clarify the difference between programs and initiatives:

  • Initiatives are issues that usually sit above epics. So you could have many epics linked to one initiative. We sometimes recommend setting up an "initiative" project in Jira when the epics will be from multiple projects. This will vary depending on your needs
  • Programs is a Portfolio feature that links multiple plans together into one view.

It sounds like using initiatives may suit your needs better. We have our documentation available here: . I'm not 100% sure if this will solve all your needs, but let me know if you think this will work. 



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