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All links to child issues disappeared once parent ticket type changed from 'Epic' to 'Story'

One of our team members contacted me with that issue:

He created an Epic and a bunch of child issues in it (bugs/regressions/etc).

Once another team member changed the issue type of that Epic to Story, the linked issues section appeared empty and all the links between this ex-epic and created child issues disappeared.

The question: is it expected behavior in JIRA Cloud? And if yes, how this situation could be prevented in the future? Is there a way to auto-link issues/tasks in epic to a child on JIRA side or so?

 

Thank you in advance,

Maksim

2 answers

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Answer accepted

Hello Maksim,

Thank you for reaching out to us.

The short answer to your question is: Yes, the removal of the epic links from its child issues is expected when changing the parent Epic to any other issue type.

This happens because Epic issue types are the only ones that can have that kind of "Epic Link" to Story issue types, while stories can have this "Parent link" with sub-tasks. Basically, this is the hierarchy:

Epics -> Story or Other standard issue types ->  Subtasks

If you want to keep the link to the stories when changing the Epics to any other issue types, I would recommend you configure the default link functionality to link the Epic to those Stories before changing the issue type, however, keep in mind that this is not a hierarchical link but only a way to describe the connection between those issues.

That being said, I would like to better understand why your team member has changed the Epic to a different issue type. He was not using the related Stories to define small parts of the Epic as I described?

Let me know if you have any questions.

Hello Petter,

Thanks for your reply!

That's pretty clear, but I believe if there's an ability to convert an Epic to Story, the possibility to keep all the linked/child issues should exist as well.

Our PM's sometimes reviewing the Epics and converting them to Stories for different reasons, like relate the existing epis (converted to the story) to the new 'parent' epic/ etc

Hello Maksim,

Thank you for your answer.

Could you please provide us more details about how you expect to keep all the linked/child issues when converting Epic to Stories?

To better explain my question, it is known that Stories can not be linked to stories using the Epic hierarchy link, but only Epic to Stories.

Basically, If you keep the same link (Epic link) once the issue is converted to a task, you would cause a lot of confusion because that story would still be considered in a higher hierarchy, so other reports and other related features would not provide clear information on those.

With that in mind, what kind of link you would expect to keep when converting Epic to Stories?

Let me know what would be your suggestion so we can pass it forward to our PMs. :)

Hi Peter

 

The most obvious - parent-child links. When you will be forwarding this to PM please, mention, that it is a data loss - relations between Epic-Story is lost and can be restored only manually!

BTW, from user POV this duplicated hierarchy of links/relations

  • Epic-Story->Subtask
  • Parent->Child

is extra confusing. We still struggling to understand what should be used in our case.

Hello Nikolay and Maksim,

Thank you for your insights and perspectives.

I just would like to kindly mention that it's a little bit more complicated to achieve this goal than it looks like. For example:

Let's suppose we implement the parent-child link when converting the Epic to Story, as you suggested.

Once the Epic got converted to a Story, the Stories under that Epic would be also converted to a sub-task in order to allow the link to work, otherwise, the hierarchy would not make any sense.

But what if that Story also had sub-tasks? You cannot link sub-tasks to another in a hierarchical way, so you would still lose data there.

In fact, the change of issue types to different hierarchical levels in JIRA is only expected to work well when you don't have any linked dependencies under it, and it's hard to define what behavior would be better for most of the user cases, as different customers use JIRA in different ways. That's why we decided to simply remove the issue link, once you can still know which Stories were linked to the Epic under the issue history.

Anyway, please feel free to add a feature request directly in our portal with the specific details of how you expect the change of Issue types to affect the hierarchical links, so our developers and PMs could check and know better ways to handle it:

Atlassian Feature requests and bugs

Let me know if you have any questions.

Sorry to bring this one back up, but is it really too much to ask for Jira to automatically convert linked child issues to the appropriate types when the parent type is changed?

E.g expected behaviour:

Changing a Task with linked Subtasks to an Epic should automatically convert the Subtasks to Tasks and maintain the link

Changing an Epic with linked Tasks to a Task should automatically convert the Tasks to Subtasks and maintain the link (only if the Tasks under the original Epic don't have any Subtasks)

Like # people like this

This is really stupid behaviour! I've just converted a Task, with child issues, into an Epic and now all of the child issues have disappeared.

They've not been converted into Tasks and have lost their association to the (now) Epic, so they're now sub-tasks of a project!

Because they're sub-tasks they don't appear as unassigned tasks on the Kanban board, instead I'm having to create a filter showing sub-tasks and manually move each individual sub-task to a task.

I have experienced the same issue as above. How do you backtrack to the original state of the epic with the sub-tasks attached?

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