Using JQL, is there a way to filter issues related Epics in current sprint without a specific field?

Lucas Ferreira February 29, 2024

Hey everyone, hope you are all doing well!

Sorry about the poor title up there, but my characters are limited there.

Let me try to explain it better...

Well, I'd like to know if it's possible to check if any of the Epics whose stories are in my current sprint have the Assignee filter empty, but again I only care if its empty if there is a story associated to that Epic in my current sprint.


I have 3 Epics - Epic 1, Epic 2 and Epic 3.
In my current sprint I have 5 stories (A, B, C, D, E) - 3 of them (A, B, C) associated with Epic 1 and 2 of them (D, E) associated with Epic 2 and none associated with Epic 3.
Epic 1 properly has the field Assignee filled, however, Epic 2 and 3 have this field empty.
I currently do not care about Epic 3 not having an Assignee, because I don't have any stories associated to it in my current sprint, however, Epic 2 has story D and E associated to it, so I care.

Is there a JQL I can use to filter and find the Empty Assignee field from Epic 2 based on D and E stories on my current sprint? Or basing it on anything else?

*Note: We currently do not want to indicate Sprints in Epic issues.

Sorry if it was confusing, but it's quite difficult even to explain :S

2 answers

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Hannes Obweger - JXL for Jira
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
March 1, 2024

Hi @Lucas Ferreira

Unfortunately, this is trickier than one might think; as a hierarchical query, it would really require some kind of "join" or "subquery", which isn't available in plain Jira/JQL.

I'm afraid you'll need some additional tooling for this.

  • You might be able to use Jira Automation to propagate child information up to the parent epic, and then use the respective field(s) on the epics to include them into your filter. If even possible (I'm not an Automation export), this will add a fair bit of complexity to your system.
  • There's different apps from the Atlassian Marketplace that can help with that. First, there's a number of apps that extend JQL by additional functions, including hierarchy-related functions. Scriptrunner and JQL Search Extensions are popular, but there are also others.
  • Alternatively, you could try one of the more hierarchy-focused apps from the Marketplace. These apps typically have their own ways of figuring out parent/child relationships between issues, and provide more powerful ways of searching through issue hierarchies. I myself work on such an app, in which your use case should be easy to solve - I'll provide more details below.

Hope this helps,



Hannes Obweger - JXL for Jira
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
March 1, 2024

Just to expand on the last point, this is how this would look in the app that my team and I are working on, JXL for Jira. Put simply, you'd create a sheet with all issues that are potentially relevant to you, enable the default issue hierarchy (that's just one click), and then use JXL filtering capabilities to narrow down to the issues that you care about:


(This is showing all unassigned epics with children in sprint Fine sprint 1.)

Once you have your list of issues, you can work on these directly in JXL (much like you'd do in e.g. Excel or Google Sheets), trigger various operations in Jira, or export them for further processing.

Any questions just let me know!

Lucas Ferreira March 5, 2024

@Hannes Obweger - JXL for Jira that's awesome! I'll take a look at that app!

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Kalyan Sattaluri
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February 29, 2024

Hello @Lucas Ferreira 

Your explanation was quite thorough and clear, so you did great!

But do you know if you have any add-ons like scriptrunner etc available? 

Lucas Ferreira March 1, 2024

Thanks @Kalyan Sattaluri !

I don't think we have... Is there any one you would recommend? Preferably free haha

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