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Are multi-level swimlanes a possibility in kanban boards?

I have been asked to look into the possibility of multi-level swimlanes.

Here is the use case.

Currently it is possible to base swimlanes on Stories, which can be expanded to show all subtasks within. 

I have been asked to find out if this can be done for Epics so that stories could be expanded or collapsed, and then within stories, expand or collapse subtasks.

I understand this is likely not possible out of the box, so any possibilities would be appreciated.

The epics panel on the Kanban backlog is not an option, as that would involve removing a column from the main board.

2 answers

1 vote
Esther Strom Community Leader May 12, 2021

The short answer is no. There are other ways to get a hierarchical view, but they rely on additional paid features/add-ons, and they're not native to the actual kanban/sprint board view.

One option, if you have Premium, is using the Plans (advanced roadmaps) feature. It does a lot more than just allow a hierarchical view, but if that's all you need you can use it that way.

2021-05-12 11_32_27-EstherTest - Advanced Roadmaps - Jira - Vivaldi.png

Another option is a plugin like Structure. It allows you to configure multiple levels of hierarchy (including levels above Epic if necessary.)


Thanks - like I said, this isn't for me.  My customer doesn't have Premium and those add-ons, while nice, are also more $

More importantly though, neither of those options are kanban boards, so, while nice for other reasons, that wouldn't work.

Otherwise I'd suggest they go with BigPicture.  I'm not a fan of how Roadmaps forces users into a very narrow Agile-focused (mostly Scrum) way of working, ignoring waterfall and mixed methodologies.

Within the board settings, you have the option to choose Stories or Epics for what to base the Swimlanes on. To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to do both at the same time with the existing functionality.

You can, however, build custom queries for Swimlanes. So if you can build a filter to encompass everything you want, you could in theory have them display together that way. So you could do everything with a parent ticket in a specific epic (either display just subtasks which will have some amount of story signifier on them, or display both stories and subtasks)

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 9.07.10 AM.png

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