How to link subsequent issues to 'master' issue?

Mark Martino March 6, 2024

I need help setting up an automation in Jira.  Functionality breakdown is below:

 

1) Issue # 1(Master issue) creates linked issue #1

2) Linked Issue #1 creates Linked issue #2 and passes on the linked relationship to Issue #1

3) Linked issue #2 creates linked issue and passes on linked relationship to issue #1

4) Linked issue #3 and so on creates linked issue and passes on linked relationship to issue #1

5) I do not want ALL linked issue relationships to pass on to newly created issues.  I only want 2; The linked relationship with the master issue AND the linked relationship with the issue that created it. 

This automation will allow me to keep all issues, linked to issue #1, updated with accurate field information via a separate automation.

It will also allow issue #1 to oversee all those linked issues.

 

 

 

1 answer

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Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
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March 6, 2024

Hello @Mark Martino 

What is the link relationship you are using when you create these linked issues?

Do you use that link relationship to link these issues to any other issues besides the master issue and the issue from which the linked issue was created?

Mark Martino March 6, 2024

When creating a linked issue from the master issue, I use whatever is default.

I'm trying to not use the link type as an automation variable because I want to require as little manual input as necessary when creating linked issues.  Mainly because if a user makes a wrong selection then most automations would not trigger as intended.

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 6, 2024

So, your scenario looks like this:

Master issue #1 "has some link relationship" to linked issue #1.

Linked issue #1

  • "has some link relationship" to master issue #1 and
  • "has some other kind of link relationship" to linked issue #2

And you want linked issue #2 to get linked to master issue #1.

And then you can repeat this if a linked issue gets created from linked issue #2.

 

Q1) Can the linked issue #1 (or linked issue #2, and so on) end up linked to any other issues besides the master issue and the newly created linked issue? For instance:

Linked issue #1

  • "has some link relationship" to master issue #1 and
  • "relates to" some other issue entirely that shouldn't be considered in this scenario

If you can have other links to the issue, then there must be some method to look at Linked Issue #1 and determine which of the issues linked to it is Master Issue #1. If you don't use a unique link type for that, what other information in Master Issue #1 is going to distinguish it as the master issue?

 

Q2) You say this applies when you are using the Create Linked Issue option. Is it a requirement that the rule run only when the Create Linked Issue option is used? When using the simple Create Issue option it is also possible to create a link between a new issue and an existing issue. Automation has no way to determine that the Create Linked Issue function was used vs. adding a link within the Create Issue dialog. 

Mark Martino March 7, 2024

Thanks for the response, Trudy.

 

For Q1) we would not want any other linked issues to associate to the newly created issue.  Only it's new relationship with the issue that created it and the master issue.  I had a relatively simple automation that would bring in all linked issues associated to the triggering issue but soon turned into a mess as the team needs to quickly identify only the linked issues that have value to them and by bringing in all linked issues of an issue, ultimately, creates a large list of linked issues that takes time to review.

 

Q2) I believe your asking if the trigger needs to be "Issue linked" or "Issue created"?  I don't have a preference either way.  As long as when an issue is linked to another, it passes on the link to the master issue.  btw that master issue would be a separate issue type.

 

Thanks again for the help!

 

 

 

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 7, 2024

Hello Mark,

For your Q1 answer, let us examine the scenario more. Let us assume that somehow the linking has been created correctly and you have achieved this state:

 

Master issue: ABC-1

  • has been successfully linked to many "linked issues" including...
  • Linked issue ABC-100

Linked Issue ABC-100

  • is linked to issue XYZ-333, and this link should be ignored in this scenario
  • is linked to issue ABC-150, and this link should be ignored in this scenario
  • is linked to issue ABC-1, which we know by looking at this scenario is the "master" issue
  • The Create Linked Issue function is used to create and link new issue ABC-200

 

The next step you want is to link ABC-200 to ABC-1, the "master issue"

You said that you do not want to use unique link types to identify which issue linked to ABC-100 is the "master" issue.

So, the problem is, how does the Automation Rule determine which of the issues linked to ABC-100 is the "master" issue that then needs to be linked to new issue ABC-200?

I see you mentioned that the master issue has a different issue type, will there only be one issue of that type linked to an issue? If so, then that could be the thing that is used to figure out which of the linked issues is the master.

 

Q2) The challenge here is that there are multiple ways in which an issue can be  linked to another issue, and not every one of those is going to be a scenario where you need to follow up with linking an issue to the "master" issue.

Additionally, if you try to use the "link created" trigger, the issue identified as the "trigger" issue depends on the "direction" of the relationship which is determined by which issue ends up showing the Outward Description of the issue link relationship and which one shows the Inward Description of the relationship. You can't write the rule assuming that the "Issue Linked" trigger is going to recognize that it is the newly created issue that is triggering the rule. Instead, based on the link that the users create, it may be the "source" issue that is the trigger issue for the rule.

By not imposing any standard on the type of Link to be used or the directionality of the link, the rule has to be more sophisticated to try to determine if this is a case where a link to the "master" issue needs to be created.

 

At this moment I can't commit to devoting time to trying to work out that rule, unfortunately. I will try to come back to this when I have more time, perhaps over the weekend.

Mark Martino March 8, 2024

Regarding Q1, yes only one 'master issue' type would be linked to any 1 issue at a time.  It is a way for our project managers to track all subsequent issues from the one master issue. 

 

Some background for clarity:

We want one issue, seen only in our project management board, to be able to track all subsequent issues.  For example the Project managers 'master' issue would create a design issue.  That design issue would create a linked issue for review.  That review issue would then create a revision issue and so on.  

We also wanted to have all field information transfer from the master issue to each subsequent issue as well.  This should be done at the creation of an issue and also could happen l later if a specific field is updated or the project manager initiates an automation via a radio button.

I mocked up a project where we used epics to do this and it functions as needed.  However, the deal breaker is that the epic contains fields needed for two separate work types(post launch requests and site productions).  The same teams handle both work types.  There is a drawback to doing this, though.  We have an abundance of fields that are not be used, depending on the work type being performed.

It is for that reason I am experimenting using custom issue types(Post Launch Request & Site Production) instead of epics, so I can create separate screens/schemes for each.

But that brings me back to my problem.  I could track and push field info to all the epic's children because it has that parent relationship that could easily transfer, via automation, upon the creation of an issue.  However, if I use custom issue types then I will lose that parent/child functionality and put the burden on complicated automations to identify a particular issue type as the one to link to.

 

No problem at all.  Your help is very much appreciated!  Enjoy your weekend!

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