Show epics from the management timeline in the epic panel on the development board

Guusje Evers March 14, 2024

Situation:

Management works with a roadmap created with the timeline function, where only epics & features are used. This is a seperate environment in jira.

The development team works in a scrum development project. The user stories in their backlog are linked as "children" to the epics in the management timeline roadmap. 

This means: backlog user stories of type XXX-300 connected to Epics of type ABC-20. No  epics present in the backlog to filter / prioritise / make a selection.

I will be the PO of the scrumteam and need to prioritise the work in the backlog based on the timeline in the management roadmap. It is impossible to manage the backlog without selection on the epics. 

 

What do i need:

I would like to show the epics from the management roadmap in the epic panel of the scrumteam board, such that I can easily structure & manage the backlog of the development team. 

Is this possible? If yes, how? If it is not possible, are there any other suggestions to try?

 

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Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 14, 2024

Hello @Guusje Evers 

Welcome to the Atlassian community.

You need to construct a saved filter for your scrum board. In that filter you need something similar to the parentEpic() funtion.

https://support.atlassian.com/jira-software-cloud/docs/jql-functions/#parentEpic--

I say you need something similar to this function because you want to get the Epics for multiple issues - the issues in your XXX project. However this function requires that an explicit list of the child issues be provided. What you really need is functionality that allows you to put in a filter to dynamically specify the list of child issues:

issue in parentEpic("project=XXX and issuetype in standardIssueTypes() and Parent is not empty")

Natively Jira doesn't have a function that does that.

To get what you need would require a third party app that extends the capabilities of advanced search JQL. Are you willing to buy an app to achieve your requirement?

Guusje Evers March 15, 2024

Hi Trudy! Thank you :) I dont think the company want another paid add-on, as the paid Jira itself was already a big thing.

I did try already to adjust the filter in the backlog last week. I did manage to adjust the filter in such a way that the epics from the management board are showed in the backlog.. however, they are not shown in the epic panel. They stay randomly in the backlog instead of the epic panel.

I did a test and created an epic in the scrum environment, and then it is shown in the epic panel. Seems like the panel only shows epics from the specific environment?

Is it possible to change the epic panel query or something?

Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 15, 2024

Hello Guusje,

What is the project type of the "scrum environment"? What is the project type for the "management board"?

You can find the type information for each project on the View all projects page under the Projects menu.

Can you provide a screen image of what you are seeing, pointing out an Epic from the "management board"?

Can you show us a screen image management roadmap that shows the full issue hierarchy, and point out one of their Epics?

Can you show us the Issue Type Hierarchy configuration? That is something a Jira Admin can access, but not a non-admin user.

https://yourBaseUrl/jira/settings/issues/issue-hierarchy

I have a suspicion that the "Epic" in the management roadmap is not the original "Epic" issue type supplied by Jira.

Guusje Evers March 18, 2024

Hi Trudy,

Both projects are business projects. I have copied the development board so i can play a bit with the filter without disturbing the development team. 

I think you are right with the hierarchy suspicion. Seems like some previous PO has manipulated features & epics. Anyway - some screenshots:

Development board with adjusted filter showing the management epics & features in the backlog:

Purple issuetypes are features, the pink issuetypes are epics from the managementboard. In the Epic Panel on the left (manipulated somehow as its called "feature panel") there is an original epic from the development board. When i click on "create feature in the panel, it creates an epic. So seems like only the name of the epic panel is changed to feature panel, as no features are shown there.

image.png

Management roadmap timeline:

Screenshot below you can see the management timeline board. Pink is the highest hierarchy and is the epic. Purple are features. Both are issuetypes from the same project-ABC. Below feature you can see different "user story" issuetypes from the development backlog. They are linked as children to the features of the management board. These user stories are of project-XXX, so different one.image.png

HIerarchy screenshot:

Highest hierarchy are the initiatives, called "projects" in our environment. Then there is "epics", the pink one.. but seems like those are not the normal jira epics? As the epics (legacy) the blue one is on the same level as the features (purple). The test epic shown in the epic/feature panel in the backlog is blue. 

image.png

Also it is not possible to create a pink epic in the development project environment. I think that is why they created a new epic, as they dont want everyone in the business to be able to create an epic in the management board.. However, I think its standard jira to onyl give specific people access to the management project right? 

image.png

Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 18, 2024

Hello Guusje,

Both projects are business projects.

Additionally are the projects Team Managed or Company Managed? What is the full information shown in the Type column on the View all projects page for each of the projects?

 

You also talk about "the scrum development board". The images of that board that you have provided are indeed a scrum board. Scrum boards are not natively available for a Business/Work Management project. Scrum boards are must often used with a Jira Software project. It is possible, though, to create a Scrum board for a Buisness/Work Management project by creating a Saved Filter and then creating the board from the Saved Filter rather than by specifying a Jira project as the source. That is another reason why I am asking for the full information from the Type column - to make sure I am clear on the types of projects with which you are working.

 

Issue Hierarchy

The native issue hierarchy in Jira is:

(1) Epic (a built in issue type named "Epic")
|-- (0) standard level issues (built in issues at this level have names like Task, Story, and Bug)
|-- (-1) sub-task level issues

The built in Epic issue type resides at level 1 in the Issue Hierarchy. In your environment that level has been renamed "Feature" and has two types of issues associated with it.

It is possible to rename the built in Epic issue to have another name. When that happens the name of the "Epics" panel that you see in the backlog screen gets updated to use the new name assigned to the built in "Epic" issue. So, at some point, a Jira Administrator renamed the Epic issue type to be Feature. I have seen that in some cases if the name of that issue type is changed back to "Epic", the name of the panel does not revert. I think that has happened in your environment and that they issue type now named "Epic (legacy)" is the original, built-in Epic issue type.

With the Premium subscription it is possible to add other issue types at the same level (level 1) where the built in "Epic" issue type existed, and to add more levels above level 1, as has been done in your instance. However, the only place those hierarchy changes will be visualized is in the Advanced Roadmaps Plans (available under the Plans menu). You can see that hierarchy in the "Management roadmap timeline" image you shared.

The issues added at level 1 are not handled the same way as the built-in "Epic" issue. Other issue types added at that level will not appear in the Epics panel. Those additional issues and the issue types added above will all show in the Backlog list and on the Board view of Scrum and Kanban boards, like the issues at level 0 (the "standard" level issues).

 

You said:

The test epic shown in the epic/feature panel in the backlog is blue. 

That is just the Card Color that you see next to the name in the panel. If you display the details for that issue, which issue icon do you see for it?

Screenshot 2024-03-18 at 1.04.05 PM.png

 

The types of issues you can create in a project can indeed be configured by Administrators so that not all issues types are available to every project. It sounds like your administrators have determined that you should not be able to create the additional issue types in your "development" project that are available higher in the hierarchy.

 

If your User Story issues are in the "Child Issues" section of the issue type now named "Feature" you will not be able to see the "Feature" issues display in the panel to the left in the Backlog screen. The only issues that will display in that panel are the ones that are made from the original, built in Epic issue type, which appears to be named "Epic (legacy)" in your environment. Instead, the Feature issues will display in the Backlog (and on your board) like the User Stories do.

Guusje Evers March 19, 2024

Thanks for the detailed explanation Trudy!

Company / teammanaged

In type column - both projects show the same information: Company managed software.

I cannot fully follow you in the second paragraph... if the scrumboard is built in the projecttype with company managed software - is that okay then?

 

Issuetypes / hierarchy

The test issuetype is indeed the original jira epic called Epic (legacy).

I did another test and I think it has solved the biggest challence! What did I do:

  • Add the Epic (legacy) issuetype to the issue scheme in management board
  • Converted one issue of issuetype "Feature" from the management board into the issuetype "Epic (legacy)"
  • Changed the scrumboard filter to also including the epic (legacy) issuetypes from the managementboard
  • Check if the epic panel shows the original epic --> YES
  • Check if the new epic (legacy) issuetype is still correct in the roadmap --> YES

image.png

image.png

So I have the following idea - do you think this is a solid idea or might it have impact on existing projects / issues on certain steps?

  1. Bulk conversion of alle issues of issuetype "feature" in the management board to "epic (legacy)"
    1. Assumption: As the hierarchy of "feature" and "epic (legacy)" is both on the same level, the hierarchy in the roadmap is unchanged after this bulk conversion. Same as in the the "unit test" above.
  2. Delete the issuetype "feature" in the hierarchy
  3. Change the name of issuetype "epic (legacy)" into "feature)
    1. Assumption: For the everyone other than administrators, nothing visible changed. Only the color of the issues. 
  4. Change the filter of the scrumboard to include issuetype "feature" aka epic (legacy)
    1. Assumption: All features (aka epic (legacy)) from management board are visible in my epic panel.
    2. All user stories within the feature are still connected to the feature and I can filter the backlog using the features in epic panel

 

Also last question;

I have created a test scrumboard to play with the filter. Using the following filter I would expect all issues of issuetype "Feature (2024)" in project ABC + all issues within project-XXX (regardless of the issuetype and or status).
For now I have changed the name "epic (legacy) to "Feature (2024)" for testpurposes, thats why looking for this specific issuetype in the filter.

image.png

However, when looking in the backlog it only shows 1 feature (as expected), but only 22 user stories.. also just 35 user stories in the sprint. In the real scrumboard, there are 61 issues in the sprint and 62 issues on the backlog....

Any ideas?

Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 19, 2024

Hello Guusje,

 

In type column - both projects show the same information: Company managed software.

I cannot fully follow you in the second paragraph... if the scrumboard is built in the projecttype with company managed software - is that okay then?

The second paragraph was based on your original statement "Both projects are business projects." Jira has different types of projects; Software, Service Management, and Business/Work Management. Each offers slightly different functionality and different types of boards. Since you have now confirmed that the projects are actually Software project, just disregard that paragraph.

 

 

With regard to your ideas about converting the Feature issues to Epic (legacy) issues, etc. ...

1. If the issue types use different screens, fields, workflows, etc. then there is more work needed than just changing the issue type of individual issues.

2. You can't delete an issue from the hierarchy. As long as the issue type exists in the Issue Types global configuration, then the issue must be included in the issue hierarchy somewhere. You would need to delete the issue type entirely from the global configuration.

2a. If the Feature issue type is used in other projects you won't be able to delete the issue type entirely without changing all issues that currently use that issue type.

2b. If the Feature issue type is used within filters (saved filters, quick filters, agile boards), used in Automations, used in Conditions/Validators in Workflows, then deleting it will break all those.

3. Changing the name of the issue type from "Epic (legacy)" to "Feature" may have impact in third party apps that have special functionality related to the built in Epic issue type. Also refer to point #1 - color may not be the only thing that changes.

 

 

Regarding your "last question"

What is the filter you are using in your original scrum board?

In one of your earlier message you provided a screen image of the original scrum board backlog with this statement:

"Development board with adjusted filter showing the management epics & features in the backlog:"

In that case "Epic" was another issue type (at level 2 in the issue hierarchy) in the Management project. 

In your new filter you are getting only one issue type from the management project - "Feature (2024)".

That could account for the difference in issues between the two boards.

Guusje Evers March 19, 2024

Thank you! I will look into the feature aspect tomorrow..

 

For the filter aspect - the import from management board is good, exactly as expected in this test. I also don’t need the hierarchy 2 epics, only hierarchy 1 in which my user stories are connected. 
There are missing many user stories from the development project when using the project combination filter..

 

the original filter of the production dev board now is just project = xxx 

Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
March 19, 2024

If you are working with a newly created Scrum board for your filter, double check the board configuration Columns page and ensure that all available Statuses are mapped to a Column. If there are Statuses in the Unmapped Statuses area, issues in those statuses will not be shown on either the board or the backlog.

Beyond that you need to look for commonalities in the missing issues. Are they all the same type, and are there other issues of the same type correctly displaying? Are they all of the same Status, and are there other issues in the same Status that are displaying correctly?

Assuming your are using ABC and XXX to represent the projects in the filter thus:

Screenshot 2024-03-19 at 10.48.37 AM.png

...then all issues from the XXX project should be included, except for issues that are already closed and not in a currently active sprint.

Guusje Evers March 20, 2024

Hi Trudy,

Thank you so much for your patience and help! It was indeed the column part in the basic board configuration. 

Created some user stories under the feature and it shows exactly as I hoped it would :) 

Will discuss the bulk change with the responsible admin to make sure to minimize the impact! 

Thanks again

image.png

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