Epic Status - what's workflow, when is this set, how's it used?

Peter Dittman February 4, 2013

I understand that Greenhopper is the layer/plugin that implements Epics as JIRA issues. There's a column called Epic status, where can I find doc on it's semantics? When is the field set, what are the possible values, is it an automatic or manual field, and how does it compare with the underlying issue status field?

thanks

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Renjith Pillai
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February 4, 2013

Epic Status was introduced to understand what state the Epic is in. A dependency on the JIRA workflow was not feasible since the boards can span across projects and the Epic workflow can be different. So it just depends on this custom field to decide what the status is. If the value of the field is the last option in the list, the Epic is considered as done.

It's not an automatic field, you change the status of the Epic using the board itself.

https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/GH/Completing+an+Epic

https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/GH/GreenHopper+JIRA+Configuration#GreenHopperJIRAConfiguration-Customfields

Peter Dittman February 4, 2013

Thanks for the quick comment! Understand about Epics that can span projects - of course... When I asked about Epic workflow, I was really asking about the Epic life cycle. I see in the Epic panel where I can mark an Epic as done, but what are the other values of the field and where do they get set?

Also, in your note you say:

"If the value of the field is the last option in the list, the Epic is considered as done."

not sure what list you're speaking of... perhaps you could clarify. thanks again!

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Renjith Pillai
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February 5, 2013

I meant that the custom field 'Epic Status' has three values by default

  • To Do
  • In Progress
  • Done

The last value in the list is used by GH to consider that it is actual done. When a new Epic is created it is in To Do state. There appears to be no automatic change from 'To Do' to 'In Progress' and it is just a manual change to 'In Progress' if you need to mark an Epic as in progress.

And marking as done is documented at https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/GH/Completing+an+Epic

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Peter Dittman February 5, 2013

Perfect! thanks for the clarification... My take-away: since there's no automatic changes to Epic Status, we need to change our internal practices (mark as in-progress, or done) if we want to use Epic status in a meaningful way...

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Thomas April 20, 2020

wow thanks

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Azfar Masut
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September 9, 2020

For my own future reference & understanding, compiling based on reading all the comments from multiple posts as well

Epic Status vs Epic's Issue Workflow

  • Epic Status is a representation of the Epic's status on the Board level, and useful when working in a board with epics coming from multiple projects with a variety of unique epic's workflows for each project.
  • Epic's Issue Workflow is a representation of the Epic's status on the Issue/Project level only.
  • For Board that has a single project in it, this field is rather useless
  • Eg: You have 2 epics, coming from 2 different projects, in your Scrum Board. The epic's workflows for those 2 projects are unique and different from each other. JIRA wont be able to interpret/track which status should be considered as To Do, In Progress & Done (on a board level)
    • So, by default, any newly created epics will be mapped to 'To Do' (Epic Status)
    • You can then, manually manage the Epic Status on the board level, no matter what JIRA workflow is tied to the Epic coming from Project A or B or C and so on.
    • Ideally, you can set a post function to automatically transition 'Epic Status' = Done on board level whenever an Epic is closed/resolved at the issue level.
Don Schillaci April 3, 2024

Really helpful, thanks for summarizing these concepts!

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Kramarics György June 17, 2013

Hey there,

I have read the documentation that you have mentioned, and I tried the same way like Nicholas with the transiton, so I had the same ideas. My problem is that I can not find the "Mark as Done" option. I made a test project with getting started function and also there isn't this option on the epics. I have the edit permission and no more ideas. Does anyone have?

Thank you,

Gyuri

Kramarics György June 17, 2013

I've got it. The list of the epic status filed was empty. So I added the three statuses, and it works.

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Nicholas Muldoon
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June 5, 2013

Hi @Peter Dittman, @Kramarics György,

We use a post-function to update the value of the Epic Status field on transition. That is then used to help us calculate the cycle time of the Epics. And it is available on Cloud too.

This is detailed in Understanding the cycle time of epics in Jira.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
Nick Muldoon
Product Manager, Easy Agile

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