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Can't get the Initiative Item Type working

I have Jira with the Portfolio product added. 

I'm trying to use Initiatives to provide a way to link multiple Epics in a Program Management-type scenario. My understand is that this is the kind of this Initiatives are intended cover (Epic "App onboarding App1" is part of the Initiative "Onboard All the Apps", for example). 

I've looked at several pages about custom hierarchies, but I can't seem to get the connection between adding the issue type, and getting the field to show up for items in the Epic's form, so I can tie them to the Initiative.


Those two pages seem like they are in the neighborhood of what I want, but I may be too dense to follow what they are saying.


Thanks in advance!


1 answer

1 accepted

2 votes
Answer accepted
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Mar 27, 2018

Hi Brian,

Let me explain it to you with simple steps.

  • Create a new issue type called Initiative in JIRA admin ViewIssueTypes page. This should be of Standard type, but not sub-task type.
  • Associate Initiative to all the projects you want to include in the Portfolio.
  • Now go to Portfolio Hierarchy Config page, click on 'Create Level'
  • Choose 'Initiative' as the Level Name, and select Initiative from the dropdown list under JIRA Issue Types column.

Here is the screenshot how I defined the hierarchy in my instance. Best practice is to have only Initiate on top of Epic issue type so that Initiative can be marked as parent for multiple Epics.


Hope it's clear. Please let me know otherwise.



Thank you for you very clear and detailed answer! I have done what you indicated, and the Initiative shows up in the Hierarchy Config screen, and I have associated it with a project. How do I now associate an Epic with an Initiative? There doesn't seem to be a field showing up in the Epic screen (creation or edit) that allows me to identify an Initiative to associate it with (similar to the way I can associate an Story with an Epic). Any idea what I'm missing?



You're supposed to add "Parent Link" field to your Screen. This works in data center, but when I added in Cloud to says I need to log in :(

Is there any way to do this within the Next Gen projects?


Thank you

I also have the same question as Michael Ryan? It seems that the highest level ticket available in NG projects is EPIC. I don't see an option to add Initiatives to it

Like # people like this

Same question. I've completed all of the setup but there doesn't seem to be a way to link the epics to the initiatives.

I was able to resolve this issue by adding the parent link field to the issues.

1. When viewing a ticket, click the cogwheel button on the bottom right. This brings you to the issue layout section of the project settings. You could also get here by going to project settings and selecting the issue layout section on the left hand menu.

2. Click the link on the top of the screen to go to the settings for "Rollout Screen"

3. From this screen, you can add standard & custom fields that will be incorporated into the issue. In my case, Parent Link was a standard field that was available to add.

After performing these steps, the Parent Link field is visible on the tickets and automatically populates the dropdown with the appropriate options, based on the hierarchy settings.

I've been unable to get to the Portfolio Hierarchy Config page on a NextGen project. 

Can someone assist me on how to set up the hierarchy for a NextGen project? 

Hi Roman, 

I have done 1, 2 and 3.  However, I am not able to get my  Initiative ticket on to the Parent Link. The message that I get is "To set an epic as parent, use the epic link". This is not what I wanted. I want to link my epic to my Initiative ticket.

Can you tell me how to do this. I must have missed a step

Thank you.


This actually does work, although the field language is confusing.  Once the Parent Link field is configured in the ticket, you can search for and select your initiative to link the epic to it.

Thank you Holly. I worked it out. Have a great day.

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