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How to create an Epic issue template in Jira

epic issue templates_grafika na nowego bloga.png

Issue creation is one of the basic actions you can make in Jira. People usually spend a big chunk of their working time in this software, especially if they have to recreate the same Epic over and over again. Here's the detailed guide on how to avoid repeating this task with Issue Templates for Jira Cloud and Server - the solution for automating issue creation.

What is an Epic in Jira

An Epic is an issue type that accumulates stories or tasks on the same subject. This is a way to divide your larger piece of work into smaller ones. It also makes easier for the particular tasks' assignees to see the wider context of their tickets. Let's take the New product strategy as an Epic example. You can add to it stories, like Product positioning strategy, Pricing strategy or Creating an ideal customer profile, with sub-tasks inside. Such structures are possible to build both in Jira Cloud and Server. 

epic with stories jira cloud.JPG

The view of an Epic in Jira Cloud with the stories assigned to it

An Epic issue template in Jira Cloud 

Probably there are bigger activities that you and your team perform on a regular basis, like preparing marketing campaigns, planning business trips, or arranging onboarding for new employees. To speed up your work, you can prepare an Epic issue template and create tasks (components of that larger action) under it. But before doing it, you need to configure your templates project. 

Project configuration

In the Configuration section of Apps → Issue Templates for Jira, choose a project where you will store all your templates or create it right from this screen if you haven't done it beforehand. Bear in mind that when you change the repository project here, the configurations will be cleared, but the issues themselves will remain inside the project. It means that recreating the issues which you'd like to restore won't be necessary. However, you'll have to provide the specific parameters (like name and scope) once again for every template to have them clearly visible on the list while creating an issue.

issue templates cloud configuration screen.JPG

For your template repository, you can choose either Business, Software or Service Desk project type. Keep in mind that they have different predefined issue types. If you'd like to create Epics and Stories, you'd need to add them manually to a non-software project. Also, note that Issue Templates for Jira Cloud hasn't worked for the next-gen projects yet. We recommend you to work with a classic Jira project, Software type.

However, if you've already chosen a non-software project type, you need to add the Epic Name field to your Create Issue screen - otherwise, you won't be able to create an Epic in this project. You can do it in the Screens section of the Project Settings. You should also add the Epic Link field to the same screen to have your stories properly linked to your Epic. If not, the stories won't be linked because the Jira mechanism can fill with values only the fields which are visible on the screen. 

Template configuration

Basically, templates look just like regular issues. The only difference is that the first ones have the Template configuration section. Let's see how to use it and prepare the right issue template. To create a template:

  1. Go to your templates repository project and click a plus icon.
  2. When the Create Issue screen appears, select Epic as the issue type (which is the only way to make an Epic template), provide Epic Name, Summary, Description and fill the rest of the needed fields.
  3. Once your template is created, open it and adjust the Template configuration settingsIn the General section, you can edit your template name, select the Scopeand switch the Copy Subtasks toggle to on.

A Scope is a set of fields that defines which values will be copied from your template to the target issue. The default Scope consists of a summary and a description only, but custom Scopes can also store values from non-text fields, like Assignee or Priority. As its name states, the Copy Subtasks toggle allows copying the added sub-tasks altogether to the target issue. The sub-tasks fields' values will be autocompleted.

epic template.gif

If you need a more complex structure for your repetitive tasks, you can use our Create issues from linked templates feature. Thanks to it, your linked templates will turn into issues in your target project.

How to create an Epic issue template in Jira Server

Issue Templates for Jira Server looks and works a little bit differently than the Cloud version of the app. Before creating an Epic issue template, you need to configure a few settings.

  1. Go to Jira Administration  Issues  Fields → Custom Fields, find the Template custom field and add it to the screens of the projects you want to create issues from your templates in.
  2. Add Epic issue type to the Templates project and make sure that you also have it in the target projects. To do so, head to Jira Administration  Issues → Issue types → Issue type schemes. If the Epic issue type isn't visible on the list for the right project, click Edit and add it to the scheme.
  3. Come back to Custom Fields section in Jira Administration and make sure that the Epic Name and Epic Link fields are added to all needed screens (both of Templates and your target projects).
  4. Go to Workflows in your target project's settings, click the pencil icon under the Actions section. Once the desired workflow appears, click Diagram, hover over Create transition and press Post Functions on the right panel. Then click Add post function and select Copy from Epic post function from the list and click Add.
  5. In Add Parameters To Function, select ON_CREATE in the Stage field and click Add. 
  6. Make sure that your post function is added in the right position and click Publish.

Workflow view.JPGNote that your templates have to be of the Epic issue type to make this work. To create such a template, click the Create button, choose Templates as your target project and Epic as your issue type, provide a summary, the Epic Name, description, and the rest of the needed fields and click Create. Now open the freshly created issue and add stories or tasks. You can also create sub-tasks inside of them which will be later copied to the target issue, thanks to Copy from Epic post function. As the last step, unfold the Issue Templates Details section. Here in the General tab, type your template name in the Template name field. We also recommend you to limit the template's availability to Epic issue type. You can set it in the Availability tab by selecting Epic under Issue Types Context Type. This way your Epic template will be possible to select on the Create Issue screen only if you choose Epic as the issue type. 

epic template serv gif.gif

You can also turn a preset template into an Epic template. There are three different categories of ready-to-use templates available in Jira Administration → Manage apps → Issue Templates → Get Started. Once you choose the set that you need, the templates will appear in your repository project. Then open a template you'd like to use and change an issue type from Template to Epic with the Move optionAfter that, you can add stories or sub-tasks to your Epic template. 

Create issues from templates

You don't have to spend time on creating the same Epics with Stories and sub-tasks again and again. You create needed templates only once, adjust their settings and you're able to create target issues in less than 10 seconds, both in Jira Cloud and Server.

Book a live demo via Calendly or watch the tutorial about Issue Templates for Jira Cloud or for Jira Server to see the app in action. Additionally, you can read more about the app:



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Doug Catiller
I'm New Here
I'm New Here
Those new to the Atlassian Community have posted less than three times. Give them a warm welcome!
April 20, 2019

I've created an Epic template for SCRUM, but it does not keep the time estimates from linked stories. Is there a way for me to do that? One of the main reasons I want to create a template is to have the time estimates. 

Thank you


Dzmitry Hryb _Deviniti_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
May 6, 2019

Hi @Doug Catiller ,

You can choose which fields to copy from the template by setting a Scope aka Set of fields in the Project Settings, and then choosing it on the Template Configuration panel on the issue view. Have you included the Time Estimate field into the Scope for your Epic template? Here's the detailed instruction on how to do it:

Deleted user November 6, 2019

The Configuration section of Apps → Issue Templates for Jira no longer seems to be available with Refined Configuration.


Dzmitry Hryb _Deviniti_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
November 7, 2019

Hi @[deleted] ,

Sorry to hear that. Please submit a ticket in our Service Desk and include as much information on the error as possible, so that our Support team could help you out.

Kari December 29, 2021

Hi Dzmitry, @Dzmitry Hryb _Deviniti_ 

we would like to work with the Epic Template on Jira Server.  Unfortunately we can't find the Templates to choose it as target projekt. 

Could you support us here please. 

Thank you 

Dzmitry Hryb _Deviniti_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
December 29, 2021

Hi @Kari ,

Please submit a ticket in our Service Desk and describe your problem. Our Support team will surely help you out :)

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