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Initiatives with no epics and epics with no parent

Richard Way August 9, 2021

Trying out JIRA Cloud Premium to see if Advanced Roadmaps will help with tracking our large initiatives. 

I have a PMO project that contains only Initiative incident types. Initiative incident types have been added to the top of the roadmaps hierarchy.

I have product-level projects that are tied to specific applications. These include Epic, Story, Task, and Subtasks (no Initiatives). In the Epics I have added the "Parent Link" field to the screen and set it to the Initiatives.

In the PMO project/board I see only the initiatives, in the product level projects I see only the epics and stories. So far, so good!

I created a plan for the PMO, set the filter to the PMO project. It shows the initiatives, but none of the epics or children. 

I created a plan for one of the dev teams, set the filter to the Team field. It shows the epics and stories, but not the initiatives (says "Issue without parent" above each epic).

I expect in both plans I should be able to see the Initiative-Epic relationship in the top level view.

Is this a filtering issue? Or am I missing something in the links between the epics and initiatives?

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Aaron Gage
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August 9, 2021

@Richard Way 

When you say, "set the filter to the Team field" are you referring to the Issue Sources?  If so, as far as I can tell, boards are NOT designed to include anything except Epics/Stories/Tasks and since the Initiative doesn't have a means of showing up on a team board, then it's not pulled into the Plan.

What I've done to combat this, is that I'll created a saved filter that produces the Initiative as well as it's full list of descendants.

Here is an example:  issue = ROF-4156 OR issue in childIssuesOf(ROF-4156)

This provides a means of pulling in ALL issues tied to the desired Initiative.  Then you can also select a team board as another input source to pull in any of their work not tied to that initiative if desired.  This also provides the means of automatically pulling Target Start/End for their issues aligned with the planned sprint if they're Scrum.

One other thing that continued to bite me.... Release is important for setting up a plan.  If your various projects contain different Releases this is a logic gate for showing the issue on your plan.  e.g. if you select an Initiative based filter (like shown above), but then have a child/grandchild issue set to a Release that you do NOT have selected for your plan, than the issue will not show up in your plan.


Hope that helps out some!

Richard Way August 9, 2021

You got me going in the right direction! I switched the item source to a new filter:

issue = POR-1 OR issue in portfolioChildIssuesOf("POR-1") or issue = POR-2 OR issue in portfolioChildIssuesOf("POR-2")

Which got me closer as then I was seeing the two projects with the full hierarchy and then another block with the two Initiatives and nothing underneath them. But then I noticed that I had it set to group by Project (doh!). Setting the group by to 'nothing' got me the PMO view I was looking for! It would be nice to have a more generic way of setting up that filter as the number of Initiatives will just continue to grow and I'd rather not have to keep adding OR statements to it. 

And that got me to looking at the team plan filter, which I switched up to:

"Team[Team]" = 2 or issuetype = Initiative

Same issue there, turned off the grouping to get rid of the double listing of Initiatives, and it's good enough. Might have to play around with some sort of active filter on it as that Initiatives list will keep growing and the dev team might not want to see the Initiatives that they're not involved on. 

Gotta admit, I was anticipating the filter being a bit more polished than having to come up with custom stuff for cross-project initiatives and views. 

Aaron Gage
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August 9, 2021

@Richard Way  Completely agree.  We're used to using the Structure App Automation and was really hoping that AR supported something similar, but I've not found a way to do this.

Instead, I've instead begun generating a new Plan for each Initiative and then linking all the Plans to a single Program, but that still requires the Program be updated each time a new plan needs to be reflected.  Luckily our Plans go for a couple years so it's not too bad.  If you investigate this method, there is a downside in that each Plan can only be linked to a single Program so it can be difficult to visualize different slices through a multitude of Plans, but it works....

Glad I could help!

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Curt Holley
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August 9, 2021

For your PMO Plan @Richard Way you need to add another issue/s for any project you want to see the Epics/Stories etc of. Either by adding Boards, Filters (that meet the criteria required) or even whole projects (just need to be careful not to overload the plan if adding multiple whole projects).

The other key to all of this is, ensuring the Epics are linked to the Initiatives via the "Parent link" field. Like the "Team" field, you need to add it to your Epic's screen scheme if you want to view/edit it from your Epics.

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