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Would something like Sub-Stories be useful?

And by this I mean the ability to add Stories to a Story, and then add stories to those stories, enabling a multi level hierarchy of stories.

I am developing a plugin that does just that and I think it will be useful for organising backlogs and decomposing stories beyond the Epic->Story->Subtask model.

I am interested in your opinions and suggestions around this topic to help shape the plugin, and I am also looking for early adopters in case you're interested.




Jorge Martinez
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May 09, 2022

I think that could not be really useful. Mostly within an agile context because standard issue level should reflect value by it self just as the product backlog. Organizing backlog around sub-tasks, sub-stories or something like that sound like micro management to me but could be useful to managers who are more interested in individual times and activities rather than value delivery. 

I would be more interested in native hierarchy but upper sense so you could associate parent links to Epics and upper like Initiatives, strategic themes or value streams. There are some addons like Structure for Jira that helps you to do that but you need to add new types of relations and configure the board to reflect the information just as you need it.

Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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May 09, 2022

Actually, no.  I've worked in a lot of places, some of which have tried to do sub-tasks of sub-tasks, and the best description of the place that did it best was "a micro-managed mess that never got anything done because everyone was forced to focus on fragments of work".

The definition of a story (something you can commit to and complete within a sprint" is about the right level.  Sub-tasks have a lot of uses for decomposing stories further, but sub-tasks of sub-tasks is almost always pointless noise or indicative of a broken process.

Having said that it's generally wrong to go down below sub-tasks, I welcome everything that lets us go up in the heirarchy - the most effective place I've seen had Programme -> Saga -> Epic -> Story -> Sub-task.  A decade later, they're still using that, and they're still highly productive.

Like Jorge Martinez likes this

Thanks Nic and Jorge for your input.

I agree with what you're saying about sub-tasks of sub-tasks becoming untenable and that going up the hierarchy is much more valuable.


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