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What happens when you add a new hierarchy level between existing Epic and Initiative levels?

My organization currently has these Jira Advanced Roadmaps hierarchy levels:

  1. Initiative
  2. Epic
  3. Story
  4. Sub-Task

We are considering adding a "Strategic Release" level above Epic and below Initiative.

The question is...what happens to all those Parent field values on Epics that currently contain Initiatives.

This is a pretty jarring change to make, but we are trying to figure out how complicated it will be for folks to migrate to the new schema (intellectually speaking).

1 answer

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Answer accepted

Hi Jimmy,

The parent link relationships for those levels that are changing will be broken, but not for those levels that remain. In my test project I already had both Legends and Initiatives, but after shifting in a new Strategic Release level between Initiatives and Epics, the Parent/Epic Links at the other layers (ie between Legends and Initiatives, or between Epics and Stories) remain the same. The links between Epics and Initiatives do get detached.

With our add-on Move and Organize for Jira you can select multiple Epics in one shot and drag-n-drop them to their new parent location to quickly re-organize your project after the change if the cleanup feels daunting. It can also recursively promote Issues to a new level automatically if the new parent is at a higher layer than before (ie if your Epic's new parent is a Legend it will roll-up as an Initiative), or you can just slot in a new Strategic Release under your Initiative before you move your Epics if thats the structure that you prefer.

You may give it a go here:


I have attached a few screenshots and a video for your reference on the hierarchy type change process - I used the existing Bug issuetype for the quick test to represent the Strategic Release layer. Its pretty straightforward to create the new issuetype - the main challenge and time consuming task as you raised up will be the cleanup effort after the unlinking.


Before Level Change - Legends, Initiatives, Epics



Before Level Change - Epic has Parent Link Set

Before - Issue Details.png


Changing Issue Hierarchy - Bug Issue Type was Used for the Quick Test

Change Levels.pngChange Levels Confirmation.png


After Level Change - You Can See the Epics without Parent Links but Legends and Initiatives Remain Intact



After Level Change - Drag-n-drop re-linking

Video here:



Hope this helps!



With kind regards,


Thanks for the explanation. It sounds like our best bet is to create Strategic Releases as a sibling to Initiatives, have everybody create them and shift their Epics into the new parents, then when we shift Strategic Release DOWN between Epic and Initiative, the only cleanup will be to connect the new Strategic Releases up into Initiatives. That will require the least number of breakages, I think.

I'm afraid trying a new plug-in isn't in the cards for us at the moment.

Like Erik Unemyr likes this

Hope it works well for you and the team in the end!

I could have misunderstood your reply above, but I would guess you wanted to convert the Initiative UP one level, after shifting the Epics to the new Issuetype "Strategic Release" which you created at the same level, so that the Epics wont get detached when you change the levels later. Ie Epics stay at level 1, Strategic Release now stay at level 2 (and their linkages intact), and you move Initiative up to level 3 (whose any old remaining linkages to Epics will now be broken). I guess it all depends on the quantity of linkages you want to keep between Epic and Strategic Release vs. Initiatives.




Like Jimmy Rogers likes this

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