Subtask order on Agile work board with Assignee swimlanes

We use our work board as a task board for each user. When they come in each morning, they look at the list of things they need to work on and must respect the order (ranking) because other people's work depends on the completion of their task. For example, we may have an art asset that needs work done on it by 5 people. So, at the moment, we create a story with 5 subtasks.

Here is the problem. A subtask shows up on the work board based on its parent's rank. In some cases, this is fine. In other cases, I need Person1 to work on subtaskA from ParentX BEFORE subtaskA from ParentY. While I need Person2 to work on subtaskB from ParentY BEFORE subtaskB from ParentX. Because of the strict adherence to Parent rank, I can't reorder the subtasks from different parents for each user.

Is there any way around this?

1 answer

To my knowledge "no" - if you want to use sub-tasks.

You could take things a step up and use Epics per feature, and stories per task. Reserve sub-tasks for each individual's own prioritised list of things to do to solve the task at hand.

Here we use Epics as "feature stories" which are usually somewhat large entities. Stories are used for the feature work breakdown and prioritised and ranked for importance and interdependencies. Sub-tasks are used at the liberty of the individual designer to have stuff flying across the board and help communicate where in the solving process he/she is.

Epics can in turn be grouped in Themes (which is essentially a label) if you like.



Yes, that is how we have it set up for our Web team. However, on the game side, they would have 40+ epics. The agile board is anything but conducive to that given the UI. Looks like I will be evaluating addons to do this... again.

Indeed having many Epics on the left side panel is a "tad" unwieldy. We have in the range of 30-40 epics so I know. If this is too hard to manage (keeping in mind that only the top 'n' epics are actually important at any one time, so the team would never have to look beyond a screenfull of epics hopefully), maybe the User Story Mapping plugin can help visualise the temporal view of epics and stories:

Unfortunately, because we are developing games, all of the epics would be actively used. I have decided to look at the Structure plugin to manage the schedule. Allowing multiple levels of subtasks (that are actually just stories but are indented below a "parent") seems to be the right way to go.

Yes. We are also experimenting with that plugin. It seems well suited to create meta-hierarchies across projects. In your case this could be the cure if you have many active Epics at a time.

For others coming across this discussion, here's the link to the Structure plugin:

Any advice for an OnDemand setup? Unfortunately Structure is only available for non-hosted (download) versions.

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