Need Help with Jira Swimlane Configuration

Ben Liow August 2, 2023

Hello everyone,

I'm seeking assistance with configuring swimlanes in Jira for our project. Our issues follow the hierarchy: Initiatives -> Epic -> Task / Story.

Currently, to display tasks and stories in their respective swimlanes, we assign a "component" to each issue and use a JQL query like this:

project = "ProjectX" AND component = "Engineers"


This requires assigning components to all Initiatives, Epics, Stories, and Tasks individually, which can be prone to human error and adds extra steps for each issue, considering we already assign parent-child to each of the issues.


Is there a way to set up a JQL query for swimlanes where we only assign a component to an initiative, and all issues belonging to that initiative will automatically appear in the swimlane? This would help simplify our workflow and reduce the risk of missing components for individual issues since they are already defined within the hierarchy.

I appreciate any advice or suggestions you can provide. 

Thank you in advance for your help.

Best regards,


2 answers

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Dave Mathijs
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
August 2, 2023

Hi @Ben Liow 

Are your initiatives created within each project (i.e. the Initiative issue type is part of the issue type scheme of multiple projects) or do you have a separate project created for your initiatives?

Are you trying to create an agile board (scrum?) with this issue level hierarchy?

As swimlanes can only be grouped by:

  • Stories
  • Queries
  • Assignees
  • Epics
  • Projects

you'll need queries indeed. But that would mean that you would have to create a query for each initiative. Isn't that a bit cumbersome?

Mugal Aukhan August 3, 2023

To set up swimlanes in Jira based on the hierarchy of Initiatives -> Epics -> Tasks/Stories without individually assigning components to each issue, you can utilize Jira's Automation feature. Automation allows you to define rules and actions to automate repetitive tasks, including setting up swimlanes based on parent-child relationships.

Ben Liow August 3, 2023

@Dave Mathijs Thank you for your response. To get the initiatives into the correct swimlane, I assign a component to it which will be captured by the query.

I am just trying to avoid assigning components to each chile issue (story/task and Epic) created under this initiative. 

Based on my team's role and work stream, we only need few swimlanes to help categorizing our issues. 

Thanks @Mugal Aukhan that sounds like a potential solution I could look at. I am not too familiar with this, so I will need to do more research on how to use automation feature. 

Ben Liow August 3, 2023

@Mugal Aukhan Thank you so much! I tried the automation and it worked! I am so pleased and delighted! So now, all I need is to define component for Initiative, and all components are automatically applied to anything that is under that initiatives! 



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Dave Mathijs
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
August 3, 2023

@Ben Liow Glad that Mugal's anser pointed you in the right direction.

@Mugal Aukhan This accepted answer is yours. Please do subscribe to the Kudos program so I can give you some kudos.

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Avinash Kumar March 7, 2024

Hi @Dave Mathijs , I am really sorry to ask question in this already accepted post.

But, I really need help in configuring my Jira Board swimlane based on Initiative. I understand, this option is not available at this point of time in Jira. So, I am writing as many JQL queries as the number of Initiatives. But in this case also, hierarchy is not coming.

In the swimlane, only Initiative is displaying. Epic(under that Initiative) and Story(under the Epic) are displaying in Everything Else swimlane.

can you please help me with the solution ?

I am writing the JQL as -> Issuekey = jira id for the Initiative.

I am expecting that, one Initiative swimlane should be displayed and epic and story should be displayed in that swimlane under the initiative.

** I don't have the automation enabled in my organization for Project Admin role so, I cann't explore the option with Automation feature.

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