link vs. sub-task

What is the difference between creating a sub-task underneath a parent task vs. simply linking a task to a parent task? When use linking and when sub-tasks? What are the advantages/disadvantages of these two relationships?

Is a link automatically created when creating a sub-task? Can I also add a 'blocking' relationship to sub-tasks?

Do any of these relationship types interfer with one of the Agile project management tools Scum or Kanban?

Thanks for clarifying - I'm confused.

3 answers

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Imagine an issue named "Create a pizza for Frank on 3/7/13". you might find such tasks as "gather the incredients" and "cook the pizza." you might also find another issue named "Create a pizza for Frank on 3/8/13." Those two pizzas for Frank would be linked. I hope that illustrates the difference between the two.

To your other questions:

  • No, links are not auto-created for sub-tasks, but these sub-tasks are present on the screen of the parent issue.
  • It's usually implied that if a sub-task isn't complete, the parent issue also isn't complete. Still, you can create relationships (by linking) between sub-tasks where one must be complete before the other can be started.
  • Linking doesn't interfere with any functionality in JIRA unless you configure your instance to do so.

Thanks Tanner for the reply!

But could it also make sence to put tasks "gather the incredients" and "cook the pizza" etc as steps into the workflow and not create seperate sub-tasks? After all, they do happen after each other... But I think I understand the main features of tasks/sub-task vs links now.

Lets say the parent issues are more like "Create a pizza for Frank on 3/7/13" and "Create a hot sandwich for Frank on 3/8/13" to differentiate the two parent tasks more as in the situation I am facing (although they do have some things in common). If an issue comes up along like "salami gone bad" (buy new salami), would you assign this issue as sub-task or just link this issue to the parent as "blocker"?


Michael, I like to differentiate between sub-tasks and links (all functionality available aside), in that sub-tasks are small pieces of work necessary to complete a task which encompasses them, and linked issues are related to that work but don't necessarily cause any conflict or dependencies (although they *can*). Using this pizza/sandwhich anolgy further:

Make pizza for Frank (task)

Roll out dough (sub-task of above task)

Add sauce and cheese (sub-task of above task)

Buy sauce (task) - linked to Make pizza for Frank issue as a blocker; buying sauce is not actually a part of making the pizza for Frank, but is is separate thing that has to happen so the pizza can be made. Does this make sense? :)

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all this is making me hungry. But it did answer the question I had - thanks

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I have a further question. How do I link a task (not a sub-task) to a parent task? 

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