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Can Epics have Sub-Epics?

We use Epics as projects, however some projects have any number of sub-projects where designating them to a story or sub-issue would be counter-productive and designating an Epic to be a control Epic for subordinate Epics (projects) would be preferable. 

4 answers

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1 vote
Answer accepted

An epic cannot have another epic linked to it using the Epic Link field, however two Epics can be linked using standard link features (i.e. relates to, duplicates,...)

Also Epics can have Subtasks in the same way a Story or Bug can... and also can have any Standard Issue type linked to it using the Epic Link special field.


In addition, you can use third-party apps, like Porfolio for Jira or Structure to create custom cascading relations.



3 votes

No, the heirarchy in plain Jira is Epic -> Story -> Sub-task.

If you want more, you'll need one of the apps that enable more layers - Structure or Portfolio for example. 

Good timming! We said the same hahaha

Actually after toying with adding a test Epic, I answered my own question, and despite what Nic said, I found it is achievable.  The way it appears achievable is that as an Epic is created, you can add issues to it in the form of stories.  However after defining a story as if it were a new (sub-) project, you can then select the stories icon and change it to an Epic of its own.  The new Epic stays subordinate to parent Epic but can now contain stories of its own.

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Ron, that is exactly how I figured this out the other day. Since this is doable - same should be achievable via GUI, @JIRA ?

But loses all the functionality associated with Story/Epic links.

When trying on our Classic Project, changing an Issue to an Epic does not create a sub-Epic. It makes it a completely new EPIC just added to the list of existing EPICS. So nothing gained.

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Yep, it's not achievable, it might look like it's done it, but it really has not.

I agree with Christian and Nic, there is even a warning displayed that the Story will be unlinked.

this would be an extremely useful feature especially for those not wanting to use jira plan/porfolio

Looks like going backwards. Good tool, but disappointed, its very challenging without feature and feature groups 

Try the Advanced Roadmaps, they create layers above Epic

Like Bryan Yager likes this

@Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ I don't particularly need the other Features of Advanced Roadmaps. We only have a team of 15 people that use Jira so we don't want to make things too complicated, and the cost doesn't justify the means. I have used other Agile tools that have feature and feature groups as Standard for 10+ years.  This seems like a big miss for Atlassian. It defiantly, making me consider other tools. 

I would be interested a bit more on Atlassian philosophy on not extending the Hierarchy.

I understand that, but the extra layers of hierarchy that you think you want above Epics are for doing the sort of thing Advanced Roadmaps (and the alternatives) are for.  

Like Bryan Yager likes this

The ability to structure stories in a nested fashion would be a great help.  I think having just two levels (Epic > Story) is too limited to organize your backlog. It's getting too messy if you have lots of stories.   This should be a standard feature.  @Jira

In the meantime, I will be looking in workarounds like plugins.

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