The sub-task parent ordering in KanBan prevent ranking

Hi

I have a KanBan board with a backlog column and then a ToDo column etc. In the backlog column we have many Stories with sub-tasks and if for example 3 out of 5 sub-tasks are moved to the column ToDo they show up under the Parent Story's greyed square. This totally change the Ranking we had in the Backlog column and it prevents us from Ranking in the ToDo column. Why? Can this be changed like hide the parent story view?

4 answers

1 accepted

Option 1 - Backlog and To Do, seem to be very similar categories.  Both of them are prioritized work that has not been started yet.  Maybe just combine these into a single column so you can keep your priority until you are ready to work the story.

Option 2 - If you move a sub-task into the To Do column, does it make sense to move the story along with it?  In other words the story should have the same status as the most progressed sub-task.  Once the story is in the To Do column you regain the ability to re-order stories in that column and the sub-tasks will move with them.

Option 3 - If the To Do column represents a chunk of work that will all be done at once, maybe an agile scrum board would better match your process.  You would have a prioritized backlog and additionally you can create a sprint list of stories equivalent to your To Do list that can be prioritized as well.  This keeps the backlog list separate from the sprint list but they both have the same "Open" status which sounds similar to your two Kanban columns.

To: @Niles Plante

hi Niles

I'm late to this thread (noticed you last commented on 24 april 2015 and today's November)

"My suggested fix is to allow me to grab the grayed out main task and let me drag that up or down. This will ensure that subtasks are grouped together as needed and let me prioritize the backlog. Right now that gay parent bar is totally inert and the workflow of moving a ticket from In Progress back to To Do and then back to In Progress again just to prioritize the to do column adds significantly more steps than should be needed to prioritize my backlog."

  • the only place that allows (in JIRA (up to v6) out-of-the-box; I've not explored plugins) re-ordering of a parent is in the Sprint rendering of the JIRA Agile boards.  The Sprint version contains the "Backlog" view (greyed out in Kanban) and in "Backlog" you can additionally re-order Epics.   I've not experimented, but thinking creatively I wonder if you can just have a very-large-Sprint so it appears like Kanban in the main Work in Progress view (i.e. the view that displays the Active Sprint).
  • I've not yet played with JIRA 7;  it brings with it some additional flavours in addition to the "Kanban" and "Scrum" flavours of JIRA 6.

 

Out of interest:  what method did you settle on in the end?

Hi

I realized that moving the Stories in the backlog column actually move the related sub-tasks accordingly in the ToDo column BUT there is a delay or refresh problem. If I click somewhere or refresh they will move.

That explains it and your reasoning make sense.

I have this same problem but Scrums and Sprints do not make sense for my organization. We do want kanban and we do want the roll up that subtasks provide. I don't want a subtask to show as in progress when it isn't in progress but I do want the main task to show that it is in progress when it is... and I still want to be able to prioritize against the grayed out main task in the To Do column.

I totally understand why we shouldn't be moving other items between subtasks and get the value of keeping subtasks grouped under their parent, but I can't see a reason why, respective of kanban, we shouldn't be able to move subtasks up/down once they're parent moves to another column. I think this is more of a bug as I can drag and drop anything I want above or below these tickets, I just can't drag the tickets themsevles.

My suggested fix is to allow me to grab the grayed out main task and let me drag that up or down. This will ensure that subtasks are grouped together as needed and let me prioritize the backlog. Right now that gay parent bar is totally inert and the workflow of moving a ticket from In Progress back to To Do and then back to In Progress again just to prioritize the to do column adds significantly more steps than should be needed to prioritize my backlog.

I'm actually getting quite frustrated by this at the moment. We have sub-tasks on issueTypes other than stories and those other issueTypes aren't prioritised in any way at all, yet I am unable to rank sub-tasks on my agile board...

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