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Rename ‘epics’ in your company-managed projects

Hi Jira Community!

We want Jira to be able to reflect the way teams work, no matter what framework you may or may not use. That’s why we’re looking at providing you with the flexibility to shape our tools to the way you work, starting with the name of your epics in your company-managed projects.

Why start here? We know many teams using Safe Agile Framework (SAFe) struggle because they’re unable to reflect their issue hierarchy in Jira Software Cloud, namely Features as the parent of stories, rather than epics. Non-software teams can also benefit from terminology that better reflects their work, e.g. campaign, candidate, etc.

We hope that these changes will be valuable for all teams, providing you with more control of your issue hierarchy and the epics in your Jira site.

Manage issue hierarchy in your admin settings

Issue hierarchy configuration will soon have a new home in the global Jira admin settings. This means that teams using Free and Standard Jira will now have the ability to manage their issue hierarchy, up to the epic level.

You’ll be able to access this new settings screen by heading to: ⚙️ Settings > Issues > Issue hierarchy.


What does this mean for you? On this screen, you’ll be able to rename and add issue types to the epic level in your site’s issue hierarchy.

And, changing the name of your epic level is easy! Just click the level name (by default, this will be Epic), type in a new name, and hit Save changes.

Once you’ve changed the epic level name, head over to the Issue types settings screen, and update the name of the Epic issue type to reflect your new level name.


Changes you make to your epic level will be reflected throughout all company-managed projects in your site. For example, if you’ve renamed the epic level to Feature, your backlog will now contain a Feature panel, rather than the existing Epic panel.


Note: As part of these updates, only issue types on the base-level (that’s the default level for stories, tasks and bugs) can have an epic as their parent.

If you’re an Advanced Roadmaps user that has epic links for issues above the epic level, you’ll need to update these epic links by Feb 1st, 2022 April 1st, 2022 to ensure this relationship data is not lost. Visit our guide to find out if you're affected and learn what you need to do to maintain your data.

Changes to epics on your board and backlog

Alongside these updates, we’re making additional changes on the board and backlog to more closely align epics across company-managed and team-managed projects:

  • The epic color on the board and backlog will now use the epic’s Issue color.

  • The name of the epic on the board and backlog will now use the epic’s Issue summary.

What does this mean for you? Well, depending on how they’re set up, your epics might look a little different when viewing them on the board and backlog.

For example, issues on your board and backlog will now use the epic’s Issue summary in their lozenge. If the name of your epic and its issue summary are different, then these lozenges will be updated when we roll out these changes.


Updates to your issue view

We’re improving the way you associate epics with your bugs, stories and tasks in the issue view. Currently, this is done via your issue’s Epic link field – we’ll soon be replacing this with a new Add parent feature.

We’ve heard from you that the location of the Epic link field in the issue view can make it difficult to add epics efficiently, so we’re adding the ability to add a parent directly from your issue’s breadcrumb, consistent with how you work in team-managed projects.

You’ll also be able to add a parent from the Actions (...) menu or using keyboard shortcuts.


To reflect these updates, we’re also making some small changes to our JQL functions. The parent() JQL function will extend to incorporate the functionality of the “epic link, “parent link” and “parentEpic” functions.

While these functions will continue to work and new ones can be created in your JQL searches, we’ll be removing them from auto-complete and encouraging teams to use the parent() JQL function.

What’s next?

We’re currently working at building out these new experiences in your company-managed projects. Our updates are scheduled to begin rolling out from mid-2022. Keep an eye out here on the Atlassian Community for more news closer to our release date.

In the mean time, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these updates, so let us know your feedback and suggestions in the comments below. Thanks!


Thank you for the heads up @Rohan Swami ! I'm curious, with all these changes are you also planning to introduce the ability to create issues above epics in the hierarchy?

For example:

- Initiative
-- Epic



Like # people like this
Rohan Swami Atlassian Team Dec 12, 2021

Hi @Nikki Zavadska _jexo_ these levels above Epic can be created now in Premium.

Like Nikki Zavadska _jexo_ likes this

Hi @Rohan Swami,

I have 2 questions about this:

I have a dozens of automations based on epics. How will this change affect their perfomance?

I'm already using roadmaps and its hierarchy:





but currently I can't edit the levels below epics, I'd need to be able to link subtasks to user stories in different Jira projects . Is this contemplated with this new change?


Thank you!

Like # people like this

Hi @Maite Rodriguez

If you use the "Epic Link", "epic", or "Parent Link" fields in Jira Automation’s smart values, you may be affected by this change.

Atlassian plans to migrate the affected smart values by 31 May 2022 so that existing Automation rules won’t break, meaning you shouldn't need to make any changes on your side. If there are any edge cases we're unable to migrate, we'll communicate this closer to the time.



Like Maite Rodriguez likes this

Hi Charlie,


Thank you for your response. I have a question about it:


You said that: "Atlassian plans to migrate the affected smart values by 31 May 2022 so that existing Automation rules won’t break " but this implementation will be released on Feb 1st, 2022. 


Therefore, during that month, our rules will not work?


Thank you very much.





This was very much needed. Thanks for the update. 

@Maite Rodriguez Automation for epic links, parent links and epics will continue to work between Feb and May. It is only invalid epic link data that is affected from Feb 1, more details are here


In response to your other question, levels below Epic are unaffected.

Like Maite Rodriguez likes this

Hello @Rohan Swami ,

first of all thanks for these exciting news. Now to my question:

Where can I find the hierarchy levels in Premium? Or is this feature solely for Free and Standard plans?

I'm pretty sure I've already set hierarchy levels (with Initiative above Epic), but right now I can't find it the way you showed it.

Thanks in advance and all the best,


Hi Rohan Swami,


Thank you for your response.

When you say "levels below Epic are unaffected."  Does it means that we'll not have the functionality to modify the hierarchy below epics (I think about subtasks in several projects linked to the same user story) .


Thank you!

@Maite The subtask issue type can not be moved to another level and will not after these changes are rolled out. Sub-tasks can be moved to another project but the parent must be in the same project.

@Sebastian Mühleis The hierarchy levels can be found by navigating to Plans (in the top nav) > SettingsAdvanced Roadmaps hierarchy configuration. The screens on this blog show the future state after the changes are rolled out.

Like # people like this

Hi @Rohan Swami ,


Thank you for your response. I have a question about it. You said: 


"Sub-tasks can have a parent in another project and will continue to be able to after these changes are rolled out."


But currently,  I haven’t be able to linked a sub-tasks with a parent in another Project. I only can related a sub-task with a task in the same Project. Can you confirm this and tell me how to do it?


Thank you very much.





Rohan Swami Atlassian Team Dec 19, 2021

@Maite Rodriguez I've corrected that: Sub-tasks can only have a parent in their current project.

Like Maite Rodriguez likes this

@Rohan Swami 


Hi Rohan, 

Great News!

Will it be possible to Rename ‘epics’ in Jira Server as well? 



How will this functionality work on importing? Both to create the Epic (Feature) as well as creating the relationship child relationships between base items under Epics.

Also, is there a reason that the items like Epic Name, Epic Link, Epic Status, and Epic Color fields wouldn't just translate it to say Feature Name, Feature Link, Feature Status, and Feature Color respectively? 

I'm also a little curious in how it works in regards to utilizing JQL for searching for the Epics. :)



Rohan Swami Atlassian Team Jan 10, 2022

@Christina Robinson We've chosen this approach because it allows us to support multiple issue types at the Epic level in the future. Hierarchy config settings apply to the collection of issue types at that level, and Issue Types config applies to the Epic issue type specifically. The parent JQL function will replace the current functions for searching for Epics, though the current functions will continue to work.

@Karim Yahiaoui-Krueger please find details here on implementation in Data Center:

Am really looking forward to this feature.
I would have liked to see the free/standard tiers support a hierarchy above Epic as managing hierarchies is currently a weak area of Jira.  I do understand that this is mostly needed by larger companies and that those are most likely to have Premium, but I think it would make consistency between your tiers easier if the hierarchy could be configured on all tiers.

I would also like the AR hierarchy and Issue hierarchy to be combined, it wasn't clear to me whether AR hierarchies would also continue after this feature is rolled out.

@Rohan Swami Thank you for the great summary above. Where can I find more granular release info for Jira Cloud beyond the Q2-Q3 date given for "Flexible naming of Epics" in the Product Roadmap for Jira Cloud?

There are smaller changes you detailed above which are not mentioned on that high level roadmap that my team needs for a near term change we making using Forms in a Work Management project. The particular update I am interested in is the consolidation of the epic's name and summary into just the epic's summary since the epic name is not a supported field in Forms.

Rohan Swami Atlassian Team Jan 13, 2022

@Nigel Budd Thanks for the feedback on our edition-gating. The AR hierarchy and Issue hierarchy will indeed be combined as part of this work.

@Kelly McConnell we'll be sharing details on our plans for the Epic name/summary fields well ahead of the release. For now, I can say that we'll reduce the usage of the Epic fields in Jira experiences, and no data will be lost from those fields.

Like # people like this

Hi @Rohan Swami

Thinking about this topic, I have a new question: will the function portfolioChildIssuesOf be working after the change? I'm using it to know all the issues in a Initiative,  and my link between Initiative and task is  the epic.


Thank you. Regards.

Rohan Swami Atlassian Team Jan 20, 2022

@Maite Rodriguez portfolioChildIssuesOf will be unaffected by the changes.

Like Maite Rodriguez likes this

I don't understand what you mean by the statement below.  If the field Summary != Custom field (Epic Name), will the Summary field or the Epic Name field be retained?  (According to, a lozenges is a diamond shape)

For example, issues on your board and backlog will now use the epic’s Issue summary in their lozenge. If the name of your epic and its issue summary are different, then these lozenges will be updated when we roll out these changes.

Like Maite Rodriguez likes this

Hi @Rohan Swami 

You said that the parent() JQL function will incorporate the functionality of "parent link". However there is a bug with "parent link" in that certain usages of it time out and are impossible to use. See 

Will parent() solve this problem? 

Like Maite Rodriguez likes this

That is great news!

How will this impact queries and reports?

Hi @Rohan Swami ,


I have another question about this change. In the configuration board, there is the option to configure Epic panel.  What will be the behavior of this after the change?


Thank you very much! 


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