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Best practice to deal with a 1-subtask:M-stories relationship ?


Is there a leading view on what is the best practice to deal with a single sub-task that helps complete several user stories?

I know that only one parent can be defined, and that I can use linked issues to track it in some way. But should I:

  1. Choose 1 story to be the parent and link the sub-task in all other user stories as "is blocked by"?
  2. Create empty sub-tasks in all other user stories that are linked to the "main" sub-task as"clones"?
  3. Create a task rather then a sub-task completely outside the user stories?
  4. any other way?


I want to make sure it's easy to work with and also clear when viewing the roadmap.


Any view point would be appreciated.

Thank you


1 answer

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Answer accepted

Um, no, that is not what sub-tasks are for.

A sub-task is a part of it's parent, it has nothing to do with items outside the parent story.  By definition, a sub-task cannot block anything outside its parent, it's not part of other things.

What you're describing is a a dependency, not a sub-task, and the best way to do them is pull them out as stories in their own right.

Options 3 and 4 are the best way to represent that something is blocking something else.  I'd use a mix of them.

Option 4 is the right way to do it - you should be linking things that the sub-task blocks to the parent story.  The sub-task itself is just part of the story, it's not going to get delivered until the story is, and it's really the story that's blocking the others, not a fragment of it.

Option 3 creates an independent story, so when you find a sub-task that genuinely could be done outside its parent, that should be a story in its own right.

Option 1 is not a bad thing to do if you insist, but it's not very representative of the reality - it makes out sub-tasks to be something that they are not.

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