How to create subtasks in Jira for a project?

A subtask is granular piece of work required to complete a story, task, or bug, for more information check: What is an issue. In this article we are going to show how to create a subtask.

Since the scope of the subtask is within a story, task, bug or any custom issue type at the same level of hierarchy, defined in your Jira instance and available in your Jira Project. In order to create a subtask you need first get into the content of the parent Jira issue (issue screen). For example in the following screenshot you have several options to create a subtask:


You can click on Create subtask action and it will show up the Subtasks section with the default subtask type, where you can enter the summary. Once you enter the summary the Create button will be enabled. After you click on it the subtask will be created with the summary you specified. The created subtask will be unassigned and the status will be the initial status based on the workflow defined for subtasks, usually TODO. For example, after clicking on Create subtask you will see the following:


If your Jira instance has defined more than one subtask issue type, then you have the option to select the specific subtask type you want to create, you need to click on the arrow after the subtask type name (ˇ). If that is not your case, then that option won't be available.

You can define subsequent subtask by clicking on the plus (+) button. Keep in mind that Jira will recall the last subtask type selection so once you click on on the plus sign another line will be created with the same subtask issue type of the previous selection. 

If you change your mind you can click on Cancel and the subtask won't be created.

After you hit Create button the Subtasks list will show the created subtask:


Once the subtask has been created, then you can modify the assignee and transition it to the next status according to the subtask workflow and another line is added in case you want to add an additional subtask. Keep in mind that if your Jira instance has defined more than one subtask type, Jira recall the last subtask issue type selected.

Once the first subtask has been created, then the Subtasks section will show every time you open the parent issue and also instead of clicking on Create subtask button, you can just click on the plus sign (+) to create additional subtasks.

Lets say in your Jira project you use another type of subtask. For example a subtask that emulates the sign-off process to be assigned to the Product Owner or to any external stakeholders. Then you can select this specific subtask on creation. For example:


If you select this subtask type, then you can create this specific subtask for your project:


Another less intuitive way for creating a subtask is to click on ellipsis icon (see first picture), then select Actions menu:


an emergent window will pop up and then select: Create subtask:


as you can see it requires more steps, but the result will the same.

Lastly, if you parent issue doesn't have a subtask created, and you change your mind and now you consider it should be a subtask, then you can convert it. Then you click on the ellipsis icon, then select convert to Subtask. This option is only available if the issue doesn't have any subtask created before. For example:


Obviously you need to have the corresponding permission to convert issues from one type to another. After you click on Convert to subtask, then you need to specify the parent issue and then follow the wizard by clicking on Next>> button:


I hope it helps to understand better how to create subtasks in more details.


1 comment

Christa Parrish
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
October 16, 2023

Super helpful piece, @David Leal. Thank you! 

Like # people like this


Log in or Sign up to comment
AUG Leaders

Atlassian Community Events