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How can I create an Epic under a theme in Jira?

We have set up our cloud Jira with the necessary plugin to enable creation of Themes and Initiatives. However, we need the ability to create epics within a theme and that does not appear to be an option at this time. How do I fix this? 

1 answer

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Hello Lauren,

Welcome to Atlassian Community!

The way to map Epics under the custom issue type you created will depend on which plugin you have installed that provided the Theme/Initiative hierarchy levels.

If you used JIRA Portfolio, you can link Epics under Theme/Initiatives by performing the steps below:

1 - Click to create a new Epic

2 - While creating the Epic, click to edit the Parent link field and type the initiative the Epic should be linked to. P.S: The field can also be edited after the Epic creation.

If you are using a different plugin or these instructions have not make any sense to you, please provide us with the name of the plugin you are using and a screenshot displaying your Epic and Initiative create screen.



Thank you for your response! I was told we have Jira Portfolio. Here are screen shots of the Theme we have in place. Then another screenshot where I am not able to create an epic and parent link it to the the them (it says it doesn't exist). There is no option to create an epic within this Theme either. So I created one from the regular "+" create button and tried to link it as you stated with the Parent link field but that doesn't' seem to work either. The only success I've had is to link epics that are already created and move them to this theme but that doesn't help us much if we want to create new epics under this Theme. It seems far too complicated for a very normal function in Jira so I'm not sure what the issue could be? Jira Theme Screenshot.pngTrying to Parent Link Epic to Theme screenshot.png


Thanks again for helping- it is much appreciated! 

Hello Lauren,

Thank you for your detailed response and the screenshots. 

Indeed, this is a weird problem and the link between both hierarchy levels should not be that difficult. In fact, it seems that JIRA is not recognizing the Theme/Initiative as a higher hierarchy issue type than Epics.

Could you please confirm if the Theme and Initiative issue types were configured with the proper category as mentioned in the section "How to switch the hierarchy level view" of this documentation?

Basically, perform the two steps below to ensure the correct hierarchy of the issue types:

  1. Go to your plan > Scope.
  2. Click the current hierarchy level, checking if it is above the epic or not and choosing from the dropdown. In some cases, issues of hierarchy levels that live above the one selected in the switcher are shown in the schedule. 

Let me know if this information helps.

HI Petter,


Thank you for your response. I'm not seeing where I would find my plan at in order to confirm Step 1?

Thanks for your help! Much appreciated.



Is the fact that Epics not set causing issues perhaps? See Screen shot! Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 1.33.43 PM.png

Hello Lauren,

Per your screenshot, it seems the Epic is being considered at the same level as standard-issue types for Portfolio.

Could you please set the Epic with level 2 and map both Theme and Initiative at the same level (Level 1)? I believe it would fix the problem.

P.S: Setting the theme and initiative at the same level, you will not be able to link both in a hierarchical way, if you were doing before. If this would be a problem, please let me know how you want to set the hierarchy of all your issue types.



Thanks so much for your reply once again. We have made your change as recommended. Luckily I am able to create an epic and add this Theme parent to it, but still don't seem to be able to create an epic within the Theme. Is that just not possible? It seems strange because in other places where I've worked you could create Epics within an Initiative with no problem. I assumed the same would be true for Themes, no?

See screen shots attached. Hierarchy Levels.pngWhere to add an epic?.png

@Petter Gonçalves  Were you able to review this? It's still a need for us that we'd like to get resolved soon. Thanks so much!

Hello Lauren,

Sorry for my late response.

I must confess that I never saw any option to create an Epic directly in a theme issue type, however, I'm not a specialist in Portfolio for Jira.

That being said, I suggest you open an internal support issue under the link below, selecting marketplace apps > Portfolio for Jira in the menu:

I believe our specialists will be able to provide you with further details about the option you are looking for. Additionally, please share with us with any useful feedback they provide you.

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