Sprint planning with Agile - Sub-tasks problem

Currently in the lifecycle of a project Story we have various steps, for example:

Open - In Analysis - Analysis QA - In Development - In UAT - Packaging - Closed

On a JIRA Agile Sprint board this can easily be created and visualised.

However, recently the company altered our JIRA model to place emphasis on Sub-tasks.  Sub-task types weer created for Analysis, Implementation (i.e. development), Testing and Packaging. 

Now, the Stories have a light touch workflow (Open - In Progress - Testing in Progress - Closed), and each sub-task has a unique but simple workflow (e.g. Open - Analysis In Progress - Ready for Analysis QA - Analysis QA In Progress - Closed).  The rationale being that the detail should be in the Sub-tasks - within the workflow, comments etc.

The person responsible for managing the sprints has asked if I can recreate the original Sprint board view of a sprint.  I cannot find a way to do this.  I have created a board that, for example, displays Sub-tasks and shows their individual status on the board, but this does not roll-up the overall Story, because the Story only ever has one of the 4 statuses identified above.

Can anyone see a way that I can visualise a sprint in the old way using this new structure?  I have experimented with Script Runner's "parentsOf" function (that searches for Sub-tasks but displays the Parent task), but this hasn't worked.

Matt Carr

2 answers

Hi Nic,


Yes I could have explained this better.  The "old way" - having the Agile board configured with the following columns:

Open | In Analysis | Analysis QA | In Development | In UAT | Packaging | Closed

Therefore, it was possible to track a Story from Open to Closed through these steps.

In the "New Way", because Stories now have only 4 statuses, the board can only show a Story's progress through:

Open | In Progress | Testing In Progress | Closed

What I am being asked to do is be able to show the progression of a Story through the so-called "Old" board columns - the difference being that this detail is now contained in the statuses of the Sub-tasks, as opposed to the Parent Story. 

Does that make more sense?


Perfect sense, I didn't see that the columns were the problem. I suspect you're actually stuck here. As your stories only have 4 status, then their progression is four-step. What your users appear to be asking for is "a load of status on the stories that aren't actually there, but somehow represent all the differing status of the subtasks". There's no way to do that, because the information simply isn't there. You'll need to build up some reporting rules for the stories - how do you determine that a story is "in development" if it has three subtasks - one open, one in dev and one closed? Once you have those rules, then you'll have to kludge the stories - either by putting them back into the old workflow and moving them automatically as the subtasks move according to your rules, or by placing a (scripted) field on the stories that indicates the current reportable status.

Thanks Nic, I thought that this might be the case. Just thought a second pair of eyes on the problem might have pointed out something I'd missed! Thanks again for your insight. Matt

0 votes

I'm a bit confused - what do you mean by "original sprint board view"? The fact that the sub-tasks and parents have different workflows and status doesn't change the way a board works, it just shows you what's in the sprint now, and sorts it into the columns and lanes you specify. Your focus on sub-tasks is fine, but I'm not sure what you're trying to roll-up, or why you say "it's not happening because the stories only have one of 4 status" I guess what I'm asking for is more explanation of what the "old way" and "new way" are.

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