Filtering out a specific epic also removes sub-tasks of other epics

Tim McDonald March 18, 2024

Is it true that all sub-task issue types are automatically removed anytime an "Epic Link"!= is used? Why would Jira do this? Just because I want to exclude one epic from a list doesn't mean I also do not want to see any sub-task issue types.

 

Example:

We have a "backlog archive" epic (call it 'ASK-123')to dump issues into that we no longer need.

If I perform any JQL query, for example, a simple list of issues resolved within a date range like this:
project = "ASK" AND RESOLVED >= 2024-03-15 AND RESOLVED <= 2024-03-18

The result is a list of 9 issues, 2 tasks and 7 sub-tasks. None have a parent of "backlog archive". This is working as expected.

When I try to exclude our "backlog archive" epic using a simple AND Epic Link"!=ASK-123"

The result is a list of 2 issues. This is NOT expected because none of the resolved issues have any relationship to ASK-123, and I should still see the sub-tasks like above.

 

Try it.

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Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
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March 18, 2024

Hello @Tim McDonald 

Welcome to the Atlassian community!

Yes, if you apply a filter based on "Epic Link" that will exclude subtasks because Epic Link is not directly relevant to subtasks. Subtasks can never have an Epic Link value because subtasks are not directly children of Epics.

The only issue types that will be included in the results set are issues types that are considered "standard level" issue types. Issues Types in the "standard level" include everything except the built-in Epic issue and any issue type in the sub-task level.

Note that if the issues in the "standard level" have no value in the "Epic Link" field then those would also be excluded, because Jira cannot compare the value you are excluding to an empty field.

There is a special case when working with a Premium subscription, if you have added issue hierarchy levels above the built-in Epic. 

Tim McDonald March 19, 2024

Thank you.

I don't understand why there is no inheritance of hierarchy in Jira. Sure, sub-tasks are not direct children of epics, but they don't have to be in order to understand their relationship to epics if they are nested inside "standard level" issue types.

So how do I exclude an epic and ALL of the "standard level" children within that epic (stories/tasks/sub-tasks nested in the epic/parent) and still return all of the "standard level" children of all of the other epics?

The only way I can think of, which is really inefficient, is to create a filter that individually excludes every single story/task/sub-task of that one epic. There must be a better way!

Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 19, 2024

With the Premium subscription you have access to some addition search functions.

https://support.atlassian.com/jira-software-cloud/docs/search-for-advanced-roadmaps-custom-fields-in-jql/

I have not had time to run a detailed experiment but it might work to do this:

and issuekey not in portfolioChildIssuesOf("ASK-123")

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Tim McDonald March 19, 2024

Nailed it!!!

That worked! Thank you!

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