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Epics without Greenhopper

Spundun Bhatt Jul 02, 2013

Hi all,

We have a JIRA account setup (hosted by atlassian), seems like we haven't bought the greenhopper license. The JIRA has options to create many different issues, Epic being one of them.

But when I try to find documentation regarding using epics, all the documentation seem to be centered around it's role in Greenhopper.

So my question is, is Epic a greenhopper specific feature? Am I better off without the Epics? Because Epics are confusing me. It took me a couple of hours to figure out how to move a "subtask to an Epic" to be an "issue linked to an Epic". What's the payoff for me?

Thank you for your support.

Update

The top-left menubar in my JIRA has the following links/labels "JIRA", "Dashboards", "Projects", "Issues", "Create Issue" . No label called "Agile".

4 answers

1 accepted

2 votes
Answer accepted
Harry Chan Jul 02, 2013

Epic is just an issue type - it probably has fields/screens associated with it. You can create such an issue type yourself. There's nothing special about it outside of Greenhopper.

Spundun Bhatt Jul 03, 2013

Thanks, I had the same feeling.

1 vote
Peter Van de Voorde Jul 02, 2013

Hi,

Epic is not a standard issue type in a vanilla Jira installation, so it might be that you do have the Greenhopper plugin (you can check this easily : if you have an Agile menu next to your Issues menu in the top menu bar of your Jira Instance then you have Greenhopper installed).

If this isn't the case then you can start using epics in the way the scrum methodology explains them here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_%28software_development%29 by just using custom issue types, fields and linking the issues together with the issue links and sub-tasks.

Best regards,

Peter

Spundun Bhatt Jul 03, 2013

Thanks, seems like I don't have Greenhopper. You might be right about Epics not being part of the default JIRA template. Maybe my boss picked a fancy template.

I'll be reading into scrum.

From the definition of Epics:

An epic is a group of related stories, mainly used in product roadmaps and the backlog for features that have not yet been analyzed enough to break down into component stories, which should be done before bringing it into a sprint so to reduce uncertainty. Epics can also be used at a both program and project level.

Based on the above, it is definitely possible to configure Epics in JIRA without Greenhopper. You can have the following setup:

  1. Create a new issue type call "Epic Task".
  2. Have a new issue link called "belongs to Epic".
  3. If required:
    1. configure the screens and fields
    2. configure a separate workflow for this issue type
  4. Add this issue type to your project(s).

Now, when you're reviewing your backlog items, you can group related item/stories into one epic issue using the Link Issue option. So, when you are viewing this Epic Task, you can also view related sub-components.

A bit rough, but it would definitely fit your requirement. :)

*do note that I gave the name "Epic Task" to this issue type just in case you would like to try GreenHopper in the future. If you have the name "Epic", it might pose a few problems.. Just a heads up!

If youre using JIRA 5.0.x and above, you can also configure the following within Administration > System > General Configuration > Advanced:

jira.view.issue.links.sort.order = key, type, status, priority

This would show the issue key, type, it's status and priority in the Issue Links sections.

0 votes
Justin Alex Jul 03, 2013

From the definition of Epics:

An epic is a group of related stories, mainly used in product roadmaps and the backlog for features that have not yet been analyzed enough to break down into component stories, which should be done before bringing it into a sprint so to reduce uncertainty. Epics can also be used at a both program and project level.

Based on the above, it is definitely possible to configure Epics in JIRA without Greenhopper. You can have the following setup:

  1. Create a new issue type call "Epic Task".
  2. Have a new issue link called "belongs to Epic".
  3. If required:
    1. configure the screens and fields
    2. configure a separate workflow for this issue type
  4. Add this to your project(s).

Now, when you're reviewing your backlog items, you can group related item/stories into one epic issue using the Link Issue option. So, when you are viewing this Epic Task, you can also view related sub-components.

A bit rough, but it would definitely fit your requirement. :)

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