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How to show Epics on a kanban board as cards and use the new Roadmap in Team-Managed Project

We have a roadmap process, in which roadmap initiatives are represented by Epics that go through a workflow of stages for analysis, business review, execution, release, etc. These Epics represent an initiative from the business' perspective.

When (and if) they reach the execution stage, user stories/tasks etc will be written and linked to that Epic (just as per normal Agile processes), which will be included in sprints. The stories hung off these epics may wind up in different projects/teams for execution, all tied together by the Epic. This works really well, except when it comes to visualizing the roadmap.

I'd like to give our business users a "Roadmap" project in JIRA to manage these epics, using a team-managed project with the roadmap feature/view, which lets them visually lay out the epics on a timeline. The other advantage to the team-managed project is that they can tweak the workflow themselves, and the fields. 

However, we have an issue with this in that it appears there is no way to have Epics show up on the board as cards. The whole point of this idea is to manage Epics through a workflow in a business-facing way, but it seems that the next-gen (or now "team managed") projects are hard-coded to never show epics on the board (other than as swimlanes).

If I use a classic (company-managed) project to build a board for this purpose, we lose (1) the nice easy Roadmap view, and (2) the ability for the product team to easily tweak the Epic workflow and fields. I missing something? If not, how about an option to show epics on the kanban board as cards, just like any other issue type?

1 answer

Hello @Matt Rogers 

Welcome to the community.

I don't think you have missed anything, but I work primarily with Company Managed projects. I experiment with Team Managed projects to try to answer questions in this community.

I have a couple of questions about your scenario.

1. Are you intending the Epics and child issues to be in the same or in different Team Managed projects?

2. Are you intending the Epics and the child issues to use the same workflow or different workflows?

At this time with Team Managed projects child issues must be in the same project as their parent Epic. You can't link child issues in one Team Managed project to Epics in another project.

Also at this time in Team Managed projects, Jira doesn't support having different workflows per issue type in a single Team Managed project.

This I believe will answer both of your questions: The Epics live in a project that is separate from the child issues that will be created for them. The child issues live in classic (company managed) projects that our development teams use.

The project the epics are in is called "Roadmap", and the only thing that project is intended to contain is Epics.

Have you been successful in linking child issues in a Company Managed project to an Epic in a Team Managed project? I just tried it, editing the Epic Link field in the child issue directly and entering the issue ID for an Epic in a Team Managed project, and Jira could not "find" the matching Epic so I couldn't save the change.

Screen Shot 2021-07-06 at 12.36.41 PM.png


As for adding a feature to the Team Managed projects so that Epics can be shown as cards in the board view, I think you will need to reach out to Atlassian Support directly to ask about adding that to the backlog. So far I haven't found that suggesting to be already in their backlog.

@Trudy Claspill 

Oh darn, you're right...Epics in a team-managed project cannot be linked to other projects. Well that torpedos this whole idea.

I would REALLY love to be able to (1) show epics on a board (as cards), and (2) use the timeline/roadmap view for them. Seems that's not possible.

Like ben_tweedy likes this

Plus 1! I've been searching all over to achieve exactly the same as what you're looking to do. Looks like it's a no go :( 

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