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Changing Story to Epic


Epics and regular issues are treated very differently by Jira.. these differences should be accounted for and managed when one performs a "move" action on a story to convert it to an Epic. 

Epics cannot be assigned to sprints from the backlog view. Stories can. When a story that's in a sprint is converted to an Epic, it should be removed from the sprint.

Epics don't show up in backlog view (they have their own side panel) so if a story is converted to an epic while part of a sprint, you don't see it as part of the sprint until the sprint is started when it shows up on the sprint board.

Long story short, my team converted a bunch of big stories to epics and they made a mess of our sprint when I started it because they didn't show up as being part of the sprint in the backlog view.. the move process should have removed the sprint identifier.. or i dunno, shown up as part of the sprint in the backlog view.


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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jan 20, 2020

I'm not sure this is a "bug", as it is really is behaving as intended - when you "move" an issue from one type to another, you only adjust the data that must change because it is incompatible.

I think this one might be more of an "oversight" or "design flaw" than a bug - Jira didn't used to have "Epics" - you could create the type, but they wouldn't function any differently to "issues", whereas they do now.

I agree with you that if you're going to convert Stories to Epics (or even go the other way), the Sprint field is something that should behave differently.  I think it's an oversight that it does not.  I'm not sure how best to handle it - maybe the minimum non-invasive change would be to display the Epics in the sprint in the backlog view with a massive red flag so you know there's something wrong and you can either drag them out of the sprint or just edit them to remove the sprint.  Clearing it feels a bit wrong, as "data loss" and "what happens if we made a mistake and want to reverse it", but a hefty warning certainly would work for me.

> only adjust the data that must change because it is incompatible.

It is incompatible is my point, Epics cannot be added to sprints as they do not appear backlog view (side panel not withstanding) so allowing this incompatibility through when changing from a Story to an Epic is a bug from my user perspective.

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jan 22, 2020

But, technically, that one is not incompatible.  Just not desirable.

Some places do do sprints with Epics.  They are, of course, not doing Scrum, but if it works for them, why break it for them.

Ahh, that's a good point.. you are correct that it's not incompatible with Kanban board views, just Scrum board views.

I would still argue that the incompatibility with Scrum boards should be handled. It should warn or otherwise flag the transition as incompatible with scrum type boards.

Epics being hidden in scrum sprint backlog view and then unexpectedly appearing in the scrum board once the sprint has started is not a great user experience.

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