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Tracking tasks and subtasks individually whilst linked to a story

Hi All,

I am very new to SCRUM and Jira.


I have been playing around with the cloud software and I am facing an issue and I am not sure if this is how it should be or not.

This is my flow Epic > User Story > Sub task

My problem with this is that any subtask under story that comes into progress in a sprint cannot be moved to the in progress column. Neither when it is complete.

If I add user story and then Tasks instead of subtasks, they are individual items. I have to manually track which user story the individual tasks are linked to. Although I can then progress individual tasks through the process.


What is the solution to this or is this just the way it is?

3 answers

0 votes

Hi @Mudasa Khan 

Can you share the workflow which is configured for your sub tasks?

0 votes

It does not sound exactly right to me, but there are hints that it sort of is, in some ways.

The important thing to understand about sub-tasks is that they are a part of their parent issue (story).  They are not independent things you do outside the parent, they are 100% part of it.  But they could easily be handled very differently (often depending on why you've decided a sub-task is useful - different component, different people need to be assigned, different type of task from other bits - all sorts of good reasons to sub-task)

Note - Scrum does not care about your sub-tasks.  It is only looking at what you commit to on the Story level.

Now, this can lead to some oddities and I think this may be what you have run into.  As the sub-tasks are part of a story, they logically can't be in-progess until you've started on the story.  Equally, you may find a breakage at the end of your sprint, as it's nonsense to close a story when it has open sub-tasks.

However, Jira isn't quite that fussy about it, and will let you move things on the board if you want.  It does need to be configured to do that, and the other reason you might be having a problem is that the boards are not seeing the workflows right.

Imagine you have separate workflows for Story and Sub-tasks.  For example:

  • Story:  To-do -> In-Progress -> In-test -> Done
  • But that doesn't really work for your sub-tasks, so they have: To-do -> tinkering -> finished

When you defined your board, you probably just accepted the "column mapping", so your board has To-do, In-progress, In-test and Done.  But you have not yet told the board that "in the in-progress column, include "tinkering"" and "put the finished status in the done column". 

If you've not mapped the sub-task status into columns, you won't be able to move them across the board.

I don't know which one of these strictures you might be running into, but they're both worth thinking about.

I don't fully understand what i need to do. In the top corner it says "workflow for" and it lists everything. Stories, tasks, subtasks etc.

However when I open a task or story and select "to do" on any of the child tasks they status changes but they do not move to the next column. I cannot drag them there either.

Each task or story has multiple subtasks which I will need to track, if I have to open each task or story to track progress I will not be able to keep up.


Even if i open the subtask and using the drop down in the right hand corner and select one of the column headers (even a manual column I made shows in the list) the status changes but the item does not show in the corresponding column.

Ok, that rules out half of the possible problems.

It now sounds a lot more simple - your board has a load of columns that are not mapped to any status, and all your status are clustered into one column.

Could you check the board configuration?  Specifically the column settings.

0 votes

So the solution apparently was right under my nose.


All I had to do was in the board view in the right hand side open the drop down 'group by' and select subtask. 

The stories then expanded to show me all the subtasks within. I could then individually move the sub tasks across the board to any column without any issue.


Thanks all.

This view is so perfect for me as the stories are complex and need a fair few subtasks and I can so easily see which tasks are attached to which stories and their progress.

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