How do I view all issues on a Kanban board when swimlane is based on EPIC

I am struggling to get all of my issues to appear on my Kanban board when I base the swimlane on EPICS.  If I change the Swimlane to be based on anything else other than EPIC all my issues appear.

Within the Board Configuration the filter for the board shows 5 issues.  When I remove the EPIC Swimlane configuration the Board shows the correct 5.

When I set the Swimlane (under Board Configure) to be based on EPICS and navigate back to the Board - I lose the one story that has an EPIC assigned to it (only 4 issues display).  It no longer displays.  I navigate back to Board Configure and run the filter - I still see the one story that has the EPIC assigned (the original 5 issues).  If I remove the EPICS Swimlane constraint the issues all reappear.  

Other configuration setup criteria:

  1. Under General - I do not have any sub-filters
  2. Under Columns
    1. My story is set to "To Do" Status and that appears under the To Do Column (configuration)
    2. I do not have any Column Constraints
  3. Under Swimlanes
    1. If I base swimlanes on Queries (or anything else) I am good
    2. If I base swimlanes on EPICS - work items do not display
  4. Under Quick Filters
    1. I have only "Only My Issues" and "Recently Updated" - neither are filtered on the board

Any ideas?


5 answers

Brenda, you saved my day. I was struggling with the same problem. Kanban would not work with "swimlanes by epic" setting, but worked with all the other swimlanes After reading this thread I realized the root issue. 

It can be formulated like this: Epics must be included in the board query!

Doesn't matter how exactly you include them, but what happens is while doing query it's easy to exclude epics. My query was pulling all the issues that had certian epics linked. But I didn't include the epics themselves, so the board didn't work. Same problem if you create a query pulling bugs or user stories only - you need to add epics to make sure it works.

Just wanted to highlight the root cause for others who got lost in JIRA internals.

Hi everyone!

I'm glad I found this thread, as I've tried everything mentioned here and my swim-lanes still don't work if I want to organise them by Epic.

This is the last query I've attempted: project in (BE, PROD, FE, TOOL) AND ("Epic Link" = PROD-3 OR "Epic Link" = PROD-4 OR "Epic Link" = PROD-5 OR "Epic Link" = PROD-6 OR "Epic Link" = PROD-7 OR "Epic Link" = PROD-8) AND ((type=Epic) OR (type=Bug) OR (type= Story) OR (type=Task) OR (type=Sub-task)) ORDER BY Rank ASC

Thank you for your help!

Hello, could you share your query? What do you mean by basing your swimlane on Epics?

Here is my filter to display issues from Project only on this board - 

project = PR AND (labels = Tesseract OR sprint not in openSprints() AND status != Done) ORDER BY Rank

Basing it on the following documentation -

In order to do this you go to Configure - Swimlanes - 'Base Swimlanes on' - choose Epics.

I expected to see each work item now display based on the Epic they are each associated with - with any work item not associated to an Epic appearing at the bottom, together.  When I use this swimlane view, my one story that is associated with an Epic disappears from the view.  If I remove this view option the story returns to the Kanban board.

Thanks - 


If you can use Scriptrunner, you can use this for your swimlane query: 

issueFunction in hasLinkType("Epic-Story Link") or issuetype = Epic

This will give you both the Epics and the issues connected to the, though I'm not sure if it will display them as being related. Give it a try if you can.

Hi Cristina - thanks for the info.  If I understand your thought process - you want me to determine if the story (or stories) appear or are associated with the EPIC, correct?  I see all of the issues within the backlog when I utilize the EPIC view (via the left hand side) - if that makes sense.  My company has not purchased ScriptRunner.  


Yes, I am trying to determine the Stories and issues associated with the Epic.

There is a free version of ScriptRunner that we use, 3.1.4, if you are interested.  It is a very useful tool.

Cristina - thanks for your help.  It ended up being by filter query for the board.  I had to add in 'Type = Epic' in order for the EPICS to display via the swimlanes.

0 votes
Jack Brickey Community Champion Mar 03, 2016

I use 'by epic' and looked more closely at one of my boards. It seems to check out. The only thing that is different in my counts between config and view boards can be accounted for by the epics. That is if I count the cards they add up less the #epics. Epics are counted in the config board but do not have cards (obviously) on the view screen. It might help me if I had some screen shots and ideally see which issues are not showing in the 'by epic' view specifically to understand what is different about them. For example, are some stories showing and not others and if so how are the two stories different. 

I'm certain intrigued given it appears to be working for me.

Thanks for your help Jack.  That makes sense.  I only have 6 work items on the Kanban board so it makes it easier to see what is missing.

  • 3 Tasks
    • none are associated to an EPIC Link or EPIC/Theme
  • 1 Bug
    • Associated to an EPIC/Theme and not EPIC Link
  • 2 stories
    • both have EPIC Link associated - different EPICS
    • one has EPIC/Theme associated

When I set the swimlane view to anything other than EPIC - all 6 work items appear.  As soon as I set to view by EPIC I lose both Stories.

Unfortunately I am not able to attach any type of screen grabs here (receiving either an internal server error if drag and drop or HTTP error when attaching a file).  

The problem seems to be within the Story level work item.  Let me know what other info I can provide.  

Thanks again,



Image of Kanban with Swimlane view set to Query (default query settings – Expedite/Priority = Critical/All issues with the highest priority and Everything Else)

Image when I change Swimlane view to EPIC

You can see the missing stories

Jack Brickey Community Champion Mar 04, 2016

Brenda, something obvious here i'm overlooking but can see it yet. sad You refer to Epic/Theme which, as i understand it is an older concept used in the older Classic boards. I haven't seen or used that so wonder if there is a smoking-gun there. However, you indicate that both stories aren't showing and one is the normal Epic Link so doubtful. I just added a new story to an epic and it shows fine. I wonder, if you could create a new epic in the project and a new story and link to the Epic and see if it is displayed. Maybe you have already done that so don't want to waste your time.

FWIW, here are some screenshots of my board. You will see a couple Epics displayed. The first one has the newly created story. The next to shots are from my configuration. Odd that you cannot drop your jpegs into this space.




Figured it out!  My Filter Query for the board needed to contain 'type = EPIC'.  When I set the swimlanes to display via EPICS the board was not able to display via EPIC if my query did not contain the type.  Adding that and my kanban board now displays all work items by the EPIC.  Thanks for all of your help.

Jack Brickey Community Champion Mar 07, 2016

AHA! Great sleuth work Brenda!

Thanks from me too! We were struggling to get the epic swimlanes to show on a Kanban board, and it's so much more user friendly to display it that way. Have now changed the query, and works a treat!

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