Ho to capture hierarchical work

Radek February 23, 2024

I am seeking advise / point of view on structuring our project in JIRA.

We have a team, which delivers business projects for various locations under one  program umbrella. The structure of the project is pretty standardized and there are approx. 30 steps, which need to be done, in order to complete a project. This relates to things like hotel booking, contract with a facilitator, booking a conference room, content preparation etc. For each story, there is a predefined due date. 

Now, it's very convenient to have the individual steps captured in JIRA as Subtasks, project like a story, and overall program like an epic. The problem is, that the story duration varies (from weeks to months) and then subtasks cannot be pushed into a sprint.  

Additionally, what is very convenient for us, is that if you clone a story, you also clone all subtasks underneath, so it's easy to add a new project to the program. Subtasks are completed by a single person only. 

As we are going to onboard new programs, I would like to have a sustainable way of capturing and managing them. 

So wanted to have your opinion on capturing the tasks/project/program/portfolio structure in JIRA. 

3 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted
Radek February 29, 2024

So for now, we have not restructured our project.

Instead we have kept our stories open for multiple sprints and in Kanban board, we are using a new column "SprintIn". So whatever subtask we want to complete during the sprint, we move from status Draft to status SprintIn during sprint planning. Then the other statuses remain the same (In progress, Withdrawn, Ready, Done ...) and represent the status of the subtask within a particular sprint. 

2 votes
Walter Buggenhout
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
February 23, 2024

Hi @Radek,

Take a piece of paper and write down your typical project (plan), in the hierarchy you think it should be. Don't think about issue types yet, just list what you need in the WBS that makes sense to you.

Once you're done, see how many hierarchy levels you have. And think about how you might call them.

Then, consider that Jira - by default and out of the box - offers you a maximum dept of 3 levels: Epic > Task > Sub-task. And be aware that - on a premium plan of Jira Software - you can add additional levels above Epics. See if you can add issue types in Jira to represent the hierarchy on your paper version of the project, add them to Jira and add them to the extended hierarchy. Try to avoid using sub-tasks for the reason(s) you mentioned yourself.

Potentially, set up a project with your default WBS-issues in it and use automation to clone the issues into a new project when you need one.

Hope this helps! 

Radek February 23, 2024

Hello Walter, thank you for the reply.

We have done the analysis reg. WBS and so far we need 3 levels. We have a premium plan, so we can use Initiatives and Themes if needed, but then

Can you please elaborate a bit more on the use of automation to clone issues ? Do you mean to clone a story with multiple tasks linked to it ?

0 votes
Uday Kiran Bhaviri
Rising Star
Rising Star
Rising Stars are recognized for providing high-quality answers to other users. Rising Stars receive a certificate of achievement and are on the path to becoming Community Leaders.
February 23, 2024



You can try Structure add-on, this add-on will help you to manage all your work in one place with different hierarchy levels.

Hope this will be helpful.

Radek February 23, 2024

Thank you for sharing. Unfortunately, we have company policy that does not allow us to install plugins so I've to use, whatever comes out of a box. 

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
AUG Leaders

Atlassian Community Events