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How we can do linking like Initiative -> EPIC -> user stories

Currently I can link user stories against EPIC. 

Similarly can we link multiple EPIC's to initiative ? How ?

And in backlog , we can see EPICS->user stories. Similarly Initiatives can be shown ? how ?

Note: I have already added issue type as Initiative in our JIRA. 



It is not possible, there is only option to link to epic, that is highest issue type in structure

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To clarify, that is the highest issue type in out-of-the-box Jira :)  As @Carmen Nadeau and @John Funk point out below, there are several ways to extend the hierarchy in Jira.


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John Funk Community Leader Jan 07, 2022

Yes, thanks for the clarification, Dave!

If you have JIRA Premium with Advance Roadmaps enable use "Parent Link". Child Issues (Epics) will link to Initiatives. 

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The only way I know how to do that is by using the apps Structure - Project Management at scale

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John Funk Community Leader Jan 07, 2022

Hi Vishal,

If you get a Jira Software Premium subscription, then you can do Advanced Roadmaps which will give you a hierarchy above Epics.

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@John Funk is correct. Depending on the type of subscription, you could leverage Advanced Roadmaps and add a 3rd level to your hierarchy and associate the Initiative issue type to it. Refer to - Configure custom hierarchy levels in Advanced Roadmaps . Then, simply add the Parent Link field to your Epic screens. and when an epic is created, you can use the Parent Link to select the Initiative that you want to associate it with. From here, you can create a plan using Advance Roadmaps to view your new 3 layer hierarchy. 

Regarding the Backlog - I would first ask myself who the audience is and what information do they need to view regularly, as this will determine what to use and when. For example, Team members may be more focused on the planned work at hand, so a scrum or kanban board may be their main source viewing issues while a Product or Program Manager (using the names loosely) may be more concerned with the long term strategies. Here the Advance Roadmap Plan may be their main source of information as it provide a view of multiple teams, their progress and all of the Initiatives in play. In my opinion, this would be the easiest starting point.

I hope this helps.

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HI @Vishal Pachpute

This type of hierarchy requires an app. This could be the already mention option of Structure, but there are more options like BigPicture or Jira Advanced Roadmap (this is free on a cloud premium subscription) and even more.

These options can be searched for on the Atlassian Marketplace, use search terms like portfolio or roadmap



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Rahul_RVS_Support Marketplace Partner Jan 07, 2022

Hi @Vishal Pachpute 

You can use issue links to create your own hierarchy above and below Epics or infact at any level.

To visualize the hierarchy based on the issue links, we have created an app to track the progress at each level,

Agile Tools - Epic Tree, Links Tree and Time in Status 

Key features of Links Hierarchy:

  • Hierarchy upto 10 levels deep
  • Progress % on "remaining estimate" or "original estimates"
  • Edit Issue summary, time estimates, story points and assignee on the tree with real time updates in the progress
  • Rolled up percentage completion at all levels
  • Ability to add/remove the columns on the report


Links Hierarchy.png

If you have the "Advanced Roadmaps" option in Jira, it provides a "Parent Link" field function.  You can use the Parent Link to link your epics to anything you'd like, after you set up a custom hierarchy.  That's what our company does now.  We have Initiatives and also Capabilities.  The Hierarchy is set as 





When someone creates a new Epic, they use the parent link field to link it to a Capability.  Then the Parent Link field in Capability links it to the Initiative.  The hierarchy is completely customizable, so if you want to skip Capability and just have Initiative, you can do that.  

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@Vishal Pachpute 

As per the advice above, we use Advanced Roadmaps to create and manage the structure as attached

  1. Theme
  2. Initiative,
  3. Epic
  4. Story/Task
  5. Subtask
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Anna-BigPicture Marketplace Partner Jan 10, 2022

Hello @Vishal Pachpute


If you consider using an additional application, BigPicture/BigGantt seems to be a good match! 
You can create an automatic,  no-limited number of WBS levels with this plugin. Task Structure can be created based on both build-in task attributes (e.g., Epic link, Component, Version, Sprint) as well as Jira links (e.g., Parent-Child relation). 
Here, you will find a short video presenting how to create desired task structure (WBS) in BigPicture/BigGantt. I hope you will find it helpful.
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Thanks all for your valuable inputs. 

We are using standard JIRA version and NOT premium. So I think we need to look for suggested plugins above. 

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We do use Structure to visualize and manage the hierarchy, but in JIRA we simply use two new linking types - 'Contains' and 'Belongs To', then link the issues w/ those types.  Structure can pick those up automatically, once defined.

Like Dave Rosenlund _Tempo_ likes this


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