Multiple Epics for a story/issue

In the scrum board, in planning mode, I use Epics for all my stories/issues to get a feeling on functional areas and/or technical areas. I then get a great overview of the upcomming sprint and the affected areas. THe best thing about apics is that they are displayed in the planning mode with their colorful "label" with the epic name.

I would like to be able to use more then one epic for a story, why is that not possible. Is there another way to mark issues so that they are visible in the planning mode in the scrum board? I use the coloring of the story-tab to mark the status of the stories so that wont work for me.

6 answers

1 accepted

3 votes
Accepted answer

If you want to sort stories into functional/technical areas I would suggest you use the component feature.

The thing with versions and epics in the scrum board is that drag'n'drop will wipe any multiple epics or versions.

If you can live with assigning epics and version s from the issue view then you can assign as many versions and epics as you like. In the scrum board they will however just show up as "several epics" colorful label. So probably not what you want.

The components can be seen in the issue detail view (shortcut 't') and quick filters will help you out to get that extra level of detail visible.

I would not use labels as they are global things and other projects might take over your labels even though you want to get rid of some entirely.

So all in all: You cannot have more colorful labeling in the scrum board as it is now.

Organise around single epic (big feature), version (release date), and component (area of work) and use quick filters to help you.

Great explanations. At the moment though, we use component to select which team that should do the work since we have multiple teams (with seperate scrum boards but same incomming board).

I guess we have a rather complex situation and of course Jira can't support everything :)

I'll have to manage with just one epic (even if it is not best practise to use it as I do)


Tanks!

I think you can use the components for your purpose because it is no problem to have multiple components assigned for each issue.

So you could have components like:

Team Tiger

Team Whale

Team Pretzl

UI

Database

Customer Documentation

etc..

Then assign an issue components like:

Team Whale, UI

Filtering will then help you get the information you need. Even on team specific Scrum boards. (JQL: project in (XDF) and components in ( Team Tiger)

Feel free to accept any answer to get it out of the list of unanswered questions :-)

"If you can live with assigning epics and version s from the issue view then you can assign as many versions and epics as you like. In the scrum board they will however just show up as "several epics" colorful label. So probably not what you want." - I am not sure that is accurate unless it was written on an older version then resides now on the Atlassian cloud. at the moment the epic drop down box allow a single select only , therefore you can not select more then one epic, which is a missing feature to me. if somebody claim that components and epics are redundant then here is a significant place where they are not ;-(|

Hi Pablo. Indeed the possibility to associate more then one Epic to a story seems to be gone from the default setup. I cannot find any custom field allowing Epic link manipulation and the field is "locked" in the custom field setup as well. Epics and Components are by no means redundant - especially now, I agree. One thing to consider maybe is to use "Themes". You probably have an "Epic/Theme" label field. Use this to group related Epics. One catch though: This a just a label field, so it goes across projects meaning that filtering on themes need to have the project included. This is a minor thing, just good to know before someone goes ahead and created the "epic/theme = "my_very_big_feature" which someone else also used in another project..

Hi, Kim, you write that "... with assigning epics and version s from the issue view then you can assign as many versions and epics as you like." However I don't manage to do this. the dropdown only lets me select one epic, and when I try several epic names separated ba coma or semicolon, I always get a field error "Epic with key foo, bar does not exist." (We have Jira 6.1.7 with Agile 6.6)

Hi Heiko Please observe my comment right above yours :-) That possibility is no longer available in Jira/Agile.

Hi Johan,

In Scrum a Story can only be part of one Epic, it's actually not ment to be used like you do.

You could replace your epics with versions, you can add an issue to several versions. The problem with versions is that they are project specific, so you can't use them cross project. Versions are also visible in the planning mode.

Maybe a combination of both would help you out?

Best regards,

Peter

Yeay, but I use versions for...which version the storie belongs to (v1.1 or v1.2 etc...).

My second solution would be to use labels, but those are not shown in the planning mode.

How am I supposed to group the stories together? I could use labels and make quick filters but that is not as visible as having the colored labels that I get with Epics in the planning mode...

Best regards,

Johan

Yeay, but I use versions for...which version the storie belongs to (v1.1 or v1.2 etc...).

My second solution would be to use labels, but those are not shown in the planning mode.

How am I supposed to group the stories together? I could use labels and make quick filters but that is not as visible as having the colored labels that I get with Epics in the planning mode...

Best regards,

JOhan

The Behave for Jira Plugin (paid) might alleviate some concerns (though not all of your stated goal). It makes your outside-in specification (in particular "features" & scenarios/acceptance tests) orthogonal to the implementation-tracking issues, i.e., the Epics, Stories, etc. However, it does not integrate directly with the Jira Agile boards. Features & Scenarios show up in an "Acceptance Tests" section on the Jira issue detail page.

Hope that helps!
-Johnny

Thanks for the tip!

I ended up using components instead and will move on to our own defined field "Functional Area" and then use filters and quick filters to get an overview of the issues/stories.

Still not any beautiful colors but I have learn to get use to it and it does support my need so it is good enough.

Thanks,

Joahn

I am struggling with this same issue.  My organization is by no means an early adopter and addition of plug-ins, add-ons, etc is totally out of the question.  This would be a prime target for JIRA Portfolio, but Portfolio doesn't seem to be ready for prime time.  I am managing the backlog for a large project (A), being implemented by teams with their own projects (B,C,D).  We're using Features to identify broad business needs and Epics to break those down into plan-able, hopefully release-sized chunks.  The development teams create their own backlog structures, using Epics, User Stories, etc.  When I started trying to figure out how to track changes across these projects I could link a User Story to multiple Epics, one in project A, one in project B.  Since the last system upgrade I can no longer do that and my whole scheme has fallen apart.  We seem to have hit a brick wall of JIRA limitations.  I really need to be able to roll up status/progress from projects B,C,D to project A and I can't figure out how to do it.

I think this question is getting off-topic: There is no support for multiple Epics on Stories in Jira. Use Epic/Themes as also commented above. (And create boards with swimlanes filtering out the themes)

@Ed Guy I would propose the "Structure" plugin for your purposes. I have created a "Meta" issue type here, and let the top project managers (those collecting several projects into one) use a meta-project (for meta issues), and collect the projects below in the structure.

 The advantage is that you can collect issues from anywhere in Jira, and sort, layer and relate them in any way you like.

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