How should story points be handled at the Epic and story level?

Jeff Bluemel October 16, 2018

With our Teams model we are currently only putting story points at the Story level and that is working really well. We are using Epics to basically breakdown a bigger project with multiple stories.

Currently we do not add Epics to our sprints just the story because it has the story points. I need to build a 2 year project plan and I am looking at Jira Portfolio and Big Picture.

What I am starting to wonder is if I should start putting story points at the epic level as well and add those Epics to Sprints?

A major question that I have is will this duplicate my story points in my sprint, for example if I have an epic with 2 stories that are both 8 pointers and at the same time I put 16 points for the epic and all 3 are in the sprint will that be 32 points when it should only be 16.

As I look at building my two year plan it feels like I should be adding points at the epic level. How should I handle this? How can the story estimate field help with this setup? Also are there any plugins for cloud that will add up all of the story points for an epic automatically.

Sorry for the long details, but my theory for planning is that I need a field at the epic level to add up all story points under the epic that will not effect my total sprint points.

What am I missing, is what I am asking for possible or is there another approach?

Thanks in advance for any input.



3 answers

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lee_runyon November 1, 2023

I am having this issue as well. The program clearly need some new features to avoid double counting. 

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January 27, 2020

Hi Jeff,

Have you managed to find a solution to your case?

Actually I'm struggling with the same issue. I'm trying to use Release Burndown report in Jira. But the point is that I have in my release Epics estimated in Story Points, and some of those Epics are splited into stories which also are estimated in Story Points. And as a result, I see duplicate values in Release Burndown report, and it seems that the only approach is that when you splitting an epic to the set of stories you need to zeroed the epic's story points. But in that case you cannot use epics any more in other high-evel reports to represent how many story points your epics are because some of them are zeroed due to splitting into stories.

What do you thin about it?

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Scott Theus
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October 16, 2018

Hi Jeff, 

It sounds like you may want to use Swimlanes to help manage your epics in a board. For more information you can review this tutorial: could tag each epic as part of a release with the Fix Version field, a version report will roll up the story points for you. (You may also need to tag the stories to the version.)

Let us know if that doesn't help.


Jeff Bluemel October 16, 2018

I appreciate your response and I think I understand what you have explained. Going through the info you provided I wonder why the completed, unestimated and estimate are not visible from the Epic only appear to be visible from the Backlog epic view. That summary of info would be helpful at each epic.

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