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I want to total either an estimate field or the number of related issues on a list of epics.

To forecast our releases, we count the stories then divide by the throughput (stories per week) to get weeks of effort. For the initial forecast, we assume all the epics have the average number of stories, For the second forecast, we estimate the story count of each epic (stored in the story points field).  Then as the epics are refined, the actual story count replaces the estimate.  As stories are removed or divided, the forecast just keeps getting better.

Question 1: How can a do an filter on epics and get a total on a field (the story points field with the story count estimate.)

Question 2: How can I do a filter on epics and get the total related issue count to count actual stories.

Question3: Is there a way to use the estimate if there are no related issues or the actual issue count if there are issues?

1 answer

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Hello @Tomo Lennox 

For #1, there is no native method to use JQL to sum up values in child issues of Epics. You could, however, create a custom field in the Epic Issue Type and then use Automation rules to update that field with the sum of the values in the child issues in the Epic. You could then create a filter to return a list of Epics and display that custom field in your output.

For #2, there is no native method to use JQL to get the count of child issues in multiple epics. You could, however, create a custom field in the Epic Issue Type and then use Automation rules to update that field with the number of child issues in the Epic. You could then create a filter to return a list of Epics and display that custom field in your output.

For #3, for these custom fields you could provide a default value to which the field will be set initially, and that field would subsequently be updated by your Automation rules.

What is the trigger for the automation rules to count issues?

I can create a field in the epic to store the issue count for associated issues, but where do I put the sum of the story count in all epics in a filter?

There is no automation rule trigger for counting issues. You would need to use a different trigger. A couple of options would be

- a Schedule trigger to run the rule periodically

- an Issue Updated (or Field Updated) trigger to run the rule when child issues are changed.

The other components of the rule would depend on which trigger you used. Some of the steps you would need would be

- identify the Epic you want to update

- retrieve a list of the child issues of that Epic (that can be done with the Lookup Issues action).

- get the count of issues returned

- update the field in the Epic.

When you then execute your filter to retrieve Epics, you can include the custom field in the Columns of the output of the search when the output is set to List view. You won't be able to get a single output for the total of all issues in all Epics in the search results. You might be able to get that if you use the filter in a Dashboard Gadget (there might be a built in gadget that will help you sum up a custom number field), or you can export the results to Excel and get the total there.

More information on Automation Rules can be found here.

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