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Close a sprint with open Sub Tasks

We may not be using Jira in it's true designed fashion (but I am sure others are having this same issue?)  I cannot close a sprint with open subtasks?  They need to move to the next sprint, is there a workaround for this or is there a way to allow subtasks to stop preventing the sprint from closing? 

Jira is an awesome product and we love it, we just need to understand how to address certain issues we encounter.  Thanks in advance for helping out with this one.

2 answers

I just ran into a scenario where things acted oddly - and after a bit of trial and error I found a solution.  

My team has a status of "Won't Do" (a Done status category). It automatically applies a resolution of won't do as well using a post-function. Won't do status is really just a shortcut for our teams, and it allows us to easily revisit those tickets in retro. The 'proper' way to do this would be use to Done/Won't Do (status/resolution), but some teams like the shortcut because they're not perfect at remember to add any resolutions...

A few moments ago a scrum master got an error message saying that they had open subtasks in their sprint in 2 tickets - those ticket are closed as Done, but they had a couple subtasks in each that were deemed not required - so they had a status/resolution of Won't do/Won 't do.  To me they appear as done (green), but Jira disagreed.

After some trial and error I found that if I converted those Won't Do/Won't Do subtasks to issues (tasks in this case) the error message went away.  


UPDATE:  The actual issue is that Jira recognizes DONE as the far-right column (status/resolution don't matter). The 'Won't Do" status was not mapped to the board, so the board doesn't recognize them as Done.  
Solution: Map the Won't Do  (or whatever) status to the far fight column on your board (even temporarily).  

Ah, you just edited, I was just about to post something about status not being directly relevant, it only looks at the last column, so some mapping in there will probably be the right thing to do!

Like Chris Buzon likes this

I knew that the board needed done on the far-right side, but this is one of the few places I've actually seen why it needs that.

Everywhere I have worked just sorta ignored this requirement - and generally speaking just butchered their sprints (and all the reports/metrics) as a result - this exercise has cleared a lot of stuff up for me. 

Also I know now I don't need to do the gross-subtask-ssue-convert solution (which is still a question for me, I don't see why THAT worked when their status didn't change, just the issue type...).




In my answer, I burbled a bit about issues that are in a broken state - they're in a "done" status, but can't be "done" because they have open sub-tasks.

If you convert the open sub-tasks to issues, then the problem goes away, because the done on the issue is now consistent.

Like Chris Buzon likes this
1 vote

Sub-tasks are not sprint items, they are parts of a Story/issue, and it's those that are sprint items.

This error message happens when you've got into an illogical position, where an item is said to be "done", even when parts of it are still flagged as "not done".  This makes no sense, and Jira can't know how to handle it.

So, the simple "fix" for this - reopen the parent issue.  It's not done, it has parts that are not done, so by definition it can't be.  Once re-opened, it will be able to go into the next sprint, taking all its sub-tasks with it.

javiercab I'm New Here Jul 31, 2022

Hello Nic,

I am trying to understand the fix.

I have a Sprint to close with Subtasks that are parts of User Stories; some subtasks are To-Do status, some of them In Progress, and the rest are Done.

What you are sugesting is:

1. Before closing the Sprint; move all the Subtasks and Stories to the status Done

2. Close the Sprint

3. Reopen the Stories and Subtasks

Is that correct?

No, absolutely not.

Your stories are not done if the have open subtasks.  Reopen the story to correct the mistake and then close the sprint.

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