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JQL to get the issue hierarchy

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Oct 23, 2023

The JQL Parent link ="issuekey" only gives me child issues of the initiatives/business epics, but I need a JQL that will also give me data about the issue hierarchy i.e Initiatives>epics>stories>sub tasks. Is this possible in jira without any plugin , ?

3 answers

1 vote
Ram Kumar Aravindakshan _Adaptavist_
Community Leader
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Oct 25, 2023 • edited Oct 26, 2023

Hi @priyanka

To answer your question, Atlassian does not provide this feature directly.

If you are using ScriptRunner, this is doable very easily using the Portfolio issueFunction as shown in this ScriptRunner Documentation.

I hope this helps to solve your question. :-)

Thank you and Kind regards,


0 votes
Hannes Obweger - JXL for Jira
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
Oct 27, 2023

Hi @priyanka,

welcome to the community.

Unfortunately, this is trickier than one might think; as a hierarchical query, it would really require some kind of join or subquery, which isn't available in plain Jira/JQL. You'll need extra tooling:

  • As you are referring to a Parent Link field, I assume that you already use Advanced Roadmaps (a.k.a. Portfolio for Jira). Would you be able to create a plan that only contains the initiatives that you care about, and work on your issues in this plan?
  • There's different apps from the Atlassian Marketplace that can help with that. First, there's a number of apps that extend JQL by additional functions, including hierarchy-related functions. ScriptRunner, which has been mentioned before, is one of these apps.
  • Alternatively, you could try one of the more hierarchy-focused apps from the Marketplace. These apps typically have their own ways of figuring out parent/child relationships between issues, and provide more powerful ways of searching through issue hierarchies. I myself work on such an app, in which your use case would be easy to solve - I'll provide more details below.

Hope this helps,



Hannes Obweger - JXL for Jira
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
Oct 27, 2023

Just to expand on the last point, this is how this could look in the app that my team and I are working on, JXL for JiraPut simply, you'd create a sheet with all issues that are potentially relevant to you, model your issue hierarchy (that's just a couple of clicks), and then use JXL filtering capabilities to narrow down to the initiatives that you care about:


Once you have your list of issues, you can work on these directly in JXL (much like you'd do in e.g. Excel or Google Sheets), trigger various operations in Jira, or export them for further processing.

Any questions just let me know!

0 votes
Danut M _StonikByte_
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Oct 23, 2023

Hi @priyanka,

I'm afraid that this is not possible without a plugin. Also, displaying this hierarchy just by using JQL is not be possible.  

But if you still consider using a plugin, have a look over our Great Gadgets plugin. 

It offers a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) gadget that takes the issues from a specified filter and displays them in a tree structure, by their hierarchy, in form of Initiatives > Epics > Stories, Tasks > Sub-tasks, exactly as you want.


All you have to do it to have a filter that returns the issues to be grouped and to configure the gadget to use this filter. Then, the magic will happen.   

Please note that this app offers many other gadgets that you will find useful. Just have a look over the articles from our blog to make an idea. It can be a great asset for your team and company.

I hope this helps. 

Thank you,


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