I have searched for how to use a theme in Jira.  We have Epics, but we need to group epics into Themes.  I have not found any information on this so was assuming the functionality doesn't exist.  But in the advanced search I see that there is a field called "Epic/Theme" which is different from "Epic Link".  What is Epic/Theme and how can I use it?  And, is there "Theme" functionality in Jira?  (No we can't use labels).  Thank you in advance for your help!

4 answers

As mentioned in one of the answers to the question that Trevor linked to, our Structure plugin is a good way to group Epics into as many higher levels as you want. Epics > Themes > Features > Initiatives > etc. > etc.

It depends on how and where you want to use those Themes and Features - here's a more detailed answer to a similar question that should help understand whether Structure is right.

The Epic Link / Epic/Theme is really confusing, I've been unable to find guidance about what is the difference with these fields. Is it possible to clearly distinguish Epics from Themes in a future product.

Rename Epic/Theme to Theme, please. 

Please don't, it doesn't work.

Thank you for confiding your shared confusion. What I've been able to find is that the Epic Link pulls back all issues (stories) that are linked to the Epic that you specify in the filter. But the Epic Name will pull back the actual Epic ticket (not all the issues that are linked to it, just the Epic itself). Epic/Theme pulls back nothing. Which makes sense because I don't know how to even access the field and thus no info has ever been input for this field for any issue in our system. If it is to distinguish Epics from Themes, then I'm assuming there is functionality to link Epics to a Theme? If this is correct, how would one create a Theme and then link Epics to it? If it's not correct, how do I access this field at all?

From what I recall, the "Epic/Theme" field is a holdover from earlier JIRA versions and functionality. See this Answer. I've never used that option myself, instead using the "Epic Link" for my Scrum boards. In fact, you can go into the system administration and simply hide the Epic/Theme field(s) so they don't show up to cause anyone else confusion.

Can you please tell where the option to hide the Epic/Theme in the system administration is?

At least as of JIRA 7.0.5 (the version I'm using, can't say about earlier versions), the Epic/Theme field appears to have been removed entirely. However, I took a few screenshots that may help steer you to the right setting if you're using an older version of JIRA. 

Go to Issues settings via the gear icon in the top-right corner: 

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.26.55 AM.png


Then find the Field configurations link in the left-hand column: 

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.35.08 AM.png

Find the Field Configuration you wish to change, or whichever you're using, and select the Configure link on the right side of the page:

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.36.39 AM.png

Finally, scroll down until you see the Epic/Theme field (or any field, for that matter) and click the Hide option. In this example, the Due Date field is currently visible on Issues, so it has the Hide option. As an example, I've already hidden the Environment field from Issues, so it has a Show option instead:

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.40.11 AM.png


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