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What is the best practice for handling parent ticket with sub-tasks?

Kent Chiu November 5, 2017

What is the best practice to handle parent ticket with multiple sub-tasks?

I suspect that there will be multiple approaches depending on the company processes and procedures for their release cycle.

I am trying to put together a process for handling parent tickets that have multiple sub-tasks for each release cycle. However, I find that there are multiple scenarios and pros/cons.

Here is my question:

1. What should be done when a parent ticket has partially completed sub-tasks?
- e.g. 2 out of 3 sub-tasks have completed in the release cycle
- should the parent ticket left open and move to the next Sprint?

2. Should we close the parent ticket and create a new one with the open sub-tasks?
- PLM team needs to track the original story/parent ticket. By closing and recreate a new parent ticket causes a confusion and ambiguity of the story delivery.

3. What should we do with the completed sub-tasks and left over open sub-tasks?
- How should these sub-tasks be tracked for Sprint cycle/s?


There is a suggestion at our company to not close the parent ticket until all sub-tasks are completed/closed. My concerns with this approach are:

1. It will cause the confusion in the Sprint board/report as it doesn't show the sub-tasks.
2. Should we automatically move the incomplete parent ticket to the next sprint? How does JIRA track the time tracking for this parent ticket?


I would appreciate if you could share your thoughts on handling this situation.


Thank you.



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November 6, 2017

Hi Kent

Standard Scrum (and Agile) practice is that an item is only complete once all sub-tasks are complete. Generally, a sub-task adds no value and you cannot claim any story points from it.

So ... your option 1 above is the way to go. When you close the sprint, any unfinished sub-tasks and the parent will be moved (to the backlog or the next sprint). You can then update any remaining time on the open sub-tasks. Only when ALL sub-tasks are complete can you close the parent and claim the story points. The sprint report will show the story as incomplete, which it was

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