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When should I create a subtask ? Edited

Hi everyone, our team is applying Epic -> Story/Task -> Subtask workflow

Recently I got requirements from our Program Team to create the sub-task (even just a blank sub-task) for each story even the story is a small story point ticket (i.e. a UI bug fix). They said it is a good way for task tracking?

Based on my understanding, the sub-task usually is applied to a complex task (high story points) or a task that needs to be worked on by multi teammates.

It makes me confused about the definition of the sub-task function. 

2 answers

1 accepted

2 votes
Answer accepted
Jack Community Leader Feb 03, 2021

I don’t believe there are any rules. Personally I only create sub tasks if I feel the task story isn’t clear or the sub tasks will be done by different folks. Another example might be: document the story, implement the story, test the story. Keep in mind that if using scrum/sprints the story should be completed within a single sprint, otherwise the story should be broken into multiple stories not sub-tasks. 

1 vote

If your team uses Story Points and not Time Estimates (and of course enabling Time Tracking) then you should push back on creating Sub-tasks as a common practice. There are at least a couple of unsupported cases where Sub-tasks will not work as you'd expect with your time estimation efforts. Notably with Epics but also with the Sub-task itself having no relation to the estimation value of the "parent" Story/Task. I won't get into the details but it is explained through many links in this post which you should read all of the Accepted Answers.

In the end the teams I've worked with simply decided not to use Sub-tasks as they are not implemented the same way as Stories or Tasks when it comes to using Story Points. It is easy to remove the Sub-task as an Issue Type to avoid having to explain this subtlety to current and future Project Managers who want to estimate time in JIRA.

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