How do you order tasks in an epic?

Mike Henry April 21, 2020

My company uses Jira Cloud and we concentrate mostly on epics, tasks and subtasks. We need to change the order of tasks in an epic so that the project managers can manage them more easily. When the tasks are out of order, it's harder to see what needs to be done next.

I believe I did this on an earlier epic, because I have tasks that are not in numeric order listed under one of my older epics.

But now, we can't re-order the tasks. We can drag subtasks within a parent task. Why can't we drag tasks in an epic? Any ideas or workarounds would be helpful.

3 answers

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Valerie Palmer April 21, 2020

There isn't a way to order the tasks in Epics; however, when looking at your backlog you can see the Epic name and can easily drag and drop to view prioritization.  If this doesn't satisfy what you are looking for you there are plug-ins that could help in the Marketplace.  I've personally used Structure before.

Josh_Kochelek__Modus_Create
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April 22, 2020

@Mike Henry Hey Mike. Just wanted to echo what Valerie shared. You can't re-order tasks from within the issue view of an Epic.

This may be frustrating, but it also highlights how the tool is designed to be used. I wouldn't recommend using the issue view to plan and/or prioritize work. The agile boards (Kanban or Scrum) allow for a backlog (which has an included Epics Panel), which is built for planning and drag-and-drop prioritization of work. 

If that doesn't meet your needs, there are countless plugins to enable different planning views for issues. Additionally, Cloud Premium will soon include Advanced Roadmap functionality, if that's something you are interested in. :) 

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Mike Henry April 22, 2020

Well, using the issue page is the way I figured it out so far. I'll try using a Kanban board or a Scrum board but there are so many simultaneous tasks, it seems like it would be easier to just arrange the tasks underneath the epic.

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April 22, 2020

That's fair. Jira is a complex application with multiple ways to attack an issue. While using the issue view might make sense for Epics with fewer issues, as teams grow and issues multiply, using the issue view for an epic that spans multiple sprints and teams becomes untenable.

These agile boards have a slight learning curve, but offer a TON of capabilities. Do some research around board customization, quick filters, and swim lanes. Atlassian Documentation has a TON of content.

Here's a starting point: https://support.atlassian.com/jira-software-cloud/docs/create-and-plan-work-with-scrum-and-kanban/

Also, I'm sure Valerie would appreciate it if you accepted her answer above.  :-) 

Mike Henry April 22, 2020

Thanks to you and @Valerie Palmer.

1 vote
Hugo July 15, 2020

You can change the order of the issues by selecting the epic and dragging/dropping the sub items in the right panel.

It is also possible to reorder the issues in the backlog (you can also show all the epics and filter by them when selecting "Epic Panel" in the "Epic" filter).

Mike Henry July 15, 2020

I agree I can re-order the issues in the backlog. And I can reorder sub-tasks on a task. But I can't re-order tasks underneath an epic. Each has a check box for an icon as opposed to a handle like a sub-task has. The two images I attach show the difference. The icon changes for a sub-task allowing the user to change the order. But the icons don't change for Tasks beneath an Epic.

Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 11.25.04 AM.pngScreen Shot 2020-07-15 at 11.24.26 AM.png

Hugo July 15, 2020

You need to open the right panel by selecting the epic item, then the sub item (issues) will be available to drag and drop.

You cannot change the order of issues directly in the roadmap, just the epics.

Check my screen capture, you can see the handle to move a task (sorry, capture is in french but I'm sure you can still understand).

Capture d’écran, le 2020-07-15 à 12.43.36.png

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Andrew Kengeter
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July 22, 2021

This works. Nice find.

Stephen Wrathall
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March 7, 2023

Reordering in Roadmaps didn't work for me. However I got it working in the Kanban Backlog. Although in my Project, originally only 2 statuses were there (BACKLOG and TODO), so it was a bit useless. 

So I simply:

  1. Created a new Board (called "Epic Ranking Board")
  2. Made the filter for the Board be equal to every issue in the Project, order by ranking
  3. Edited the board settings to have a backlog
  4. Edited the board settings -> columns -> And mapped all statuses (except 1) to Kanban Backlog
    1. Also ticked "Epics Panel"

Now, I can easily reorder any issue, for any Epic, of any status using drag and drop on the Kanban Backlog. I can filter to the Epic I care about using the Epics panel.

radka_koudelova
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November 27, 2023

Hello @Hugo - Can you please be more specific how you got that sidebar to open within the Jira Roadmap? In my case it is opening in a new tab, the side bar does not show and I don't see it in the Settings either. Thank you Radka 

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Isaiah John April 3, 2024

Hello @Mike Henry

I know this was sent years ago but it looks like there is a solution now.
They recently fixed the list view for Jira Work management with hierarchies.
You can now do a drop-down and reorder the tasks below the Epic in the list view.
This should also sort the issue in the Epic view.

Hope this helps,
Isaiah

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