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Hello everyone 

I am new to agile development, and I am using VSTS. 

I have two questions regarding work items. 

is it possible to have an epic under an epic( Epic --> Epic)? 
and is it possible to have an an epic under a feature that is under another epic (Epic --> Feature --> Epic)?


Can you please provide me with examples to make things more clear to me ??? 

Thank you in advance

2 answers

Dear yasmeen,

I am afraid not; A sub-epic in that sense is a "story".  You could add the Portfolio addon and use "initiatives" to group together Epics though - a layer above Epic rather than below.

Or.. you could just add sub-tasks to the Epic.. but not an epic under an epic.

Friendly Regards,

Jeremy Mooiman


Thanks for answering me. 

So I can understand that there is no case that we can have one epic under another epic, nor a hierarchy of an epic- feature- epic?

Dear Yasmeen,

Correct, this is by design made that way. The ''Epic'' is always the highest point in the hierarchy. You could try creating a structure based on Issue Links and Automation.. or just with stories / sub tasks.. but a true Epic inside an Epic without tinkering is not possible and goes against the agile way of working.

Friendly Regards,

Jeremy Mooiman

0 votes
miikhy Community Leader Dec 01, 2017

Hi Yasmeen,

Agile would recommend a simple structure of Epics, Stories and "Subtypes" (Tasks or equivalent). If you open your perspective to SAFe, that could lead to Initiative -> Feature -> Epic -> Story -> Subtypes, this can be supported in Jira using Jira Portfolio and would be transparent at a board level.

In order to answer your question I'd recommend going that way if you need more than 3 levels of hierarchy which is the Jira standard (and Agile). Always keep in mind that Atlassian tools are meant to improve your team's experience and complexifying process with unnecessary levels is never a good idea, that being said if you need 5 levels, above is an idea :)

Hope this helps


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