Concept of EPIC items and stories in one board?

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to JIRA and I'm trying to understand it through the tutorials. It looks great and I'm eager to start!

But I got a bit confused at the part about the differences between EPIC, STORY, TASK, BUG.

I understand the differences, but why would you add EPIC and STORY to the board if they can only get cleared after all (sub)tasks under the stories are finished? Won't it just clutter up the board? Or is it common to have the Story on the board until all related tasks are completed?

Kind regards,

Peter Blom

3 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

Hi Peter,

It really depends ... It's like Pizza, at least that's my perspective:

An epic is the whole pizza. The stories are individual cut slices of the pizza and the rest, like tasks, bugs, improvements or whatever, are the topping on the pizza/slices.

In order for you to not get messy and able to digest the pizza (be in control of you project), you might want to cut the pizza in pieces. How big, depends on your appetite and how much you (or your team) can handle. Ideally you'd want to keep stories small. Anything above 3 days must be split into digestible portions (our rule), as this will give you more transparency on the work-scope, helps to reduces complexity and is therefore more tangible.

So, it really depends on the size of your projects and team etc.

A good way to go forward is to try and see what works out for you best. Don't be to harsh on the definitions and try to follow them, rather find a way to implement the framework/tool to your working environment, so that you get the most out of it. Both sides (your work environment and the tool) have to be flexible enough to accommodate seamlessly. 

Hope this helps and welcome to the Atlassian / JIRA world! smile



1 vote

Generally, sub-tasks are quite small, discrete pieces of work that are pieces of a story - the information on the story is used as well as the stuff on the sub-task.  It usually makes sense to be able to see the whole story and the other parts of it.  Same basic idea for Epics, although most find them less useful on working boards, as they tend to be too high-level and more about planning.

Also, stories don't have to have sub-tasks.  A lot of stories will simply be worked on without them. 

Stories are where the estimates go as well, so you need them on the board in order to do the velocity and estimation.

So, they can be very useful on boards.  Optional though, you have some flexibility to match your processes.

As addition to Nic's answer check this doc:

For me major difference between Epics and Stories is that epics describe some large piece of functionality and last through few sprints, while stories are supposed to describe some scoped functionality that should be implemented during a sprint.


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