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Can stories have tasks?


I'm just starting to play with JIRA.

I selected a Scrum board, team-managed.

I created Epics in the Roadmap view, and added child stories from there as well.

Within the story, I clicked on "Add a child issue". I expected it to be a "Task", but it's a sub-task.

Also if I manually create a task, and click "add parent", I only get offered Epics, not stories.

Does it make sense? What's the difference between task and story if they both seat at the same hierarchy?

Is this something I could tweak?

4 answers

1 accepted

3 votes
Answer accepted

Hi @Nathan Hazout 

Thanks for posting and welcome to community and sharing your observations.

I will try to summarise and give you an overview along with details.


  • Initiative - Collection of EPICs that drive to a common business goal.
  • EPIC - A large body of work that can be broken down into number of 'issues'/ features known as Stories. Please go through this Atlassian Article - .
  • Story - Feature Requirement written from a user perspective that would add values to customer. I would recommend this Atlassian article to read and let me in case of any further queries -
  • Task - Not directly feature request but the work needs to be done to build the feature. Yes, the fall at the same level with Story.
  • Subtask - Nested under Story, Task. It is use to track the the entire piece of work under Story/Task to split and so that the individual can be tracked separately.  
  • Theme - Large Focus are that spans across organization aka High level Organisation goals. Please go though this Article for details - .


I hope that clarify your doubts.

Please feel free to ask else accept this answer if it responds your query.

Stay safe and heathy.



I don't see "Theme" nor "Initiative" in my JIRA, are those actual types or just concepts?

Depends on the app you use to implement them!

With Advanced Roadmaps, they are Concepts more than issue types.

Thanks @Nic Brough -Adaptavist- for pitching in and explaining. Much appreciated.

@Nathan Hazout  - I tried to give a bigger picture with summary of related stuffs as you have asked some fundamental things. I hope this would help others in community too.

You can have a look at this if you want to know more about Advanced Roadmaps

Entire Advanced Roadmaps Documentation -

Note - All these discussions are based to Cloud type,

Please let me know incase of any further queries or accept the answer. Thanks.



Like Nic Brough -Adaptavist- likes this
Jack Brickey Community Leader Jul 12, 2021

@Nathan Hazout , you won't see on Free version. I didn't include in my response based on your declared subscription. 

Like Suvradip Paul likes this

I’m planning on upgrading to a paid plan once I’m done investigating. 
note however I’m leaning towards “team-managed” and not “company managed”

Advanced Roadmaps don't really work with team-managed projects yet, I would stick to company-managed ones for now.

Like # people like this

@Nic Brough -Adaptavist-  thanks again mate, spot on. I saw mail notification on this and was just about respond now but you have already answered.

Thanks @Jack Brickey also for confirming about the subscription.

@Nathan Hazout  - My personal recommendation would be to pause here(accept the answer(s) that helped you so far) and put the other queries i.e. Advanced Roadmaps with team-managed projects in anew thread because it would help other community members to respond. learn, share inputs. This thread was all regarding Stories, tasks and hierarchies etc. Please let me know in case you have different thoughts.

Stay safe and healthy. Have a wonderful day.#



Like Nic Brough -Adaptavist- likes this

@Suvradip Paul I appreciate your answer but for anyone else that comes on this solution, I would advise you to clarify that these articles do not provide any insight, agile application for work management or business projects. 


Ideally in business project, stories should have child "task" issue types to consolidate business work items that contribute to feature requirements or user stories. The community could benefit with clear instructions on how to build that change in Jira Work Management instead of Jira Software. 

So what about Bugs?  Where do Bugs fall in the hierarchy?

@Stacey Campbell how do you want to handle bugs?  

There is no way there can be a "wrong" answer to that question.  The "right" answer is "what works for you?".  Jira can handle bugs as sub-tasks, or bugs as new issues, but what do you want to treat them as?

I mean there is an actual issue type that is called a "Bug" and we use it to document bugs.  It seems that bugs fall nowhere in the hierarchy, or they are on the same level as Stories, but we could not make a bug fix part of a story.  If a bug fix was required to accomplish the goal of a story, it could only be associated to it as a link.  The swim lanes view would not show the bug as part of the story.

There is no one "right" place for bugs.  The question is how you want to handle them.  Broadly the two main approaches are

  • Not agile - add them as sub-tasks to an issue, hence blocking the completion of the issue, or forcing a "re open"
  • Agile - add them as stories in their own right, so they can be planned into the next sprint, or drawn into the board.  Most people who do this rank the bugs right at the top of the backlog, so the team knows they've made a mistake that needs to be looked at before new work.  The issue link is for keeping the bug description short (This doesn't work right, see story X for the description of what is should do).  It also allows bugs to be raised without any particular story attached!

There is actually a way to work with this.

If you for example want to add tasks to a story, these are the steps I always take:

1. Create a story.

2. Add sub-tasks in the story under 'add a child issue'.

3. Add story to a sprint.

4. In your sprint board, select 'Group by: Sub task' in the upper right corner.


Then you will see an overview of all your stories including the status of each sub-task. Works like charm!

Jack Brickey Community Leader Dec 21, 2021

Hi @Sjoerd van Hoof , to be clear this doesn’t present “tasks” under “stories” which was the primary inquiry of this post.

True, I tried to give an answer on the problem rather than the exactly formulated question. I ran into this issue myself and found several questions related to this issue that were too outdated to respond to.

This doesn't seem to work for Jira Work Management. There is no sprint feature for business projects. 

Correct, JWM projects are not intended to be Software projects.

Epics are like a major grouping

Stories are parts of business value

Task is general ticket to describe something that is not a story

Sub-task is the way to divide Stories to sub pieces 


If you are more visual person, I have created this pretty popular video describing Epic vs Story vs Task with example in Jira, it might help:

To be careful here, that is not always the right terminology.  Task is a very generalised word, just "someone needs to make some effort to do this".  

Jira Software's hierarchy is

  • Epic
  • Standard Issue Types (Story for example, but Bug, Improvement, and a couple of others are created by default in Jira)
  • Sub-task Issue Types (Technical task and sub-task are the ones you'll see off-the-shelf in Jira)

But you can set up whatever names you want for many types on the issue and sub-task levels.  (You can only have one Epic type)

You'll note that I specifically did not mention "task" in the examples.  This is because some people will create and use Tasks at the issue level, and others will set them up at the sub-task level.

I've worked on a lot of Jira systems, of the five I remember looking at last week, two had tasks at the issue/story/feature level, two had sub-task level tasks, and one had got rid of "Tasks" completely because it was too vague a term and no-one could remember what level they were at.

Like Jack Brickey likes this

It's strange that all the community discussions focus so much on Jira Software when its clear that an increasing number of users are using Jira Work Management to coordinate business projects and organize agile work process. With that said, stories need tasks underneath it so that subtasks can be within that - it's a natural way of building work projects and assignments.


We need a threat that organizes all the community members who want to learn how to build their own issue type hierarchies for grouping work tasks versus work requirements/user stories.

Like Duncan Smith likes this

So the logic ist not that of a hierarchy

Epic >Story > Task > Subtask (which I though it to be) but Story and Task are more on the same level

Like either ...

Epic > Story > Sub-Task

... or ...

Epic > Task > Sub-Task

Jack Brickey Community Leader Nov 18, 2022

@Gunnar Wagner , yes precisely.

0 votes

Your observations are accurate. The supported hierarchy in Jira…





story and task are at the same level and the only child option is subtask for both.

Is this an oversight of how Jira Work Management is used versus Jira Software? In a business project, you may have work tasks that are grouped by a user story or business driver. Then the subtasks are the checklist or independent smallest assignments that can complete that work task.

No, it's because JWM and JS are for supporting different processes.

But, if you look at the hierarchy in JS, you'll see it's the same as it is in JWM.

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