We are looking to implement JIRA and Greenhopper. I have read numerous threads about how Greenhopper will not allow a sub-task to be assigned to a different sprint than the parent story.
Here's my dilemma - In order to fully estimate the story, a research task must be completed to identify the cause and come up with recommended solutions.
Our current Agile tool allows for tasks to be created, planned and worked but unfortunately there is no linking between the sub-tasks and the story.
How would you recommend we use JIRA / Greenhopper for this workflow? Converting the story to an EPIC and the tasks to stories doesn't look to solve the issue either as we are looking to use EPICs for maintenance releases, funded projects, etc.
I recommend creating separate R&D stories that have their own acceptance critiera that are seperate from the story. You can always link the two, even if you chose not to put them under the same Epic. You may work on the R&D in one sprint so you can better plan for the implementation story in the next. Stories assume planning and research has already happened before accepting them into a sprint.
have read numerous threads about how Greenhopper will not allow a sub-task to be assigned to a different sprint
unfortunately there is no linking between the sub-tasks and the story
You already know these limitations of the GreenHopper.
identify the cause and come up with recommended solutions
I'd assume that this process will create Stories/Tasks. Do you include the Research Tasks in the Sprint? I would recommend not to do that.
But overall, I don't think that having sub-tasks in different Sprints is the proper way. The best way to be to split them into different parent and sub issues.
Edit: Though issues that are not complete in the current Sprint can be pushed to to the next Sprint (unless you are running parallel sprints).
We see our customes use Structure plugin and GreenHopper to address similar cases - Structure can be used to organize Epics and Stories and other issues into multi-level hierarchy, with possible sub-Epics and sub-Stories - to provide an overall view, calculate total estimates, and do higher-level planning; while GreenHopper is used to manage Sprints with a flat list of stories and provide the main interface at the team level.
That said, Structure is a commercial plugin and with a bit of learning curve, so if the advice by Chris and Timothy works for you, that would be optimal.
Disclosure: I work for the company behind Structure
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