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How to Display Sub-Task below the Parent Task in the Backlog?

This question is in reference to Atlassian Documentation: How to Display Sub-Task below the Parent Task in the Backlog?

Does this not work? 

The information provided is not correct. Enabling Ranking in the board configuration does not show sub-tasks in Backlog-View. They do show in Sprint-View, but not in the Backlog. 

Is there a way this can be achieved yet? * 

* In a way that each sub-task gets it's own card. 

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I think that article refers to JIRA Core's business board functionality.

You mention Sprints, so you're looking at a Scrum board, which is JIRA Software, and the sub-tasks will not appear (because they're of zero use in planning a backlog)

Yes, we're indeed using an agile board where the client wanted to also view subtasks. 

Like Deleted user likes this

Ah, good, that makes sense.  I'm afraid you can't get them on a backlog board (without coding), because they're useless there

The whole "useless" part seems to depend on ones way of working, I guess. 

Like # people like this

Mmm, the backlog is for planning, by ranking and estimating.  As it's nonsense to rank outside a top-level issue, and estimate should be done at story level too (even if JIRA did roll-ups, which it doesn't, you'd still be working at story level in this view), there's no use for them there.

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I personally agree. I usually add Subtasks later on (when already working on the story or planning it in more detail).

How does that JIRA Core business board look btw?  

Same here, it makes more sense to do sub-tasks when looking at that story as a whole.

The Core boards are pretty much Kanban boards, but there's no constraints or release button (the done column simply drops anything that landed in it over 14 days ago)

Like Maxim Potapov likes this

Ah, I see.Thanks for your answers, Nic.  

I know this has been hashed time and time again, but I must be missing something. I know the Backlog is for planning, but I was hoping to organize the story to include more than just development. I was planning to include, UX, Dev and Test in order to fulfill the story. Sub-tasks work great for this, since it's all contained in a nice neat package. This would be ideal for planning because we would love to be able to manage the various aspects and resources of the story. How do you guys manage the various aspects of a story like this? 

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Guys suddenly this poped up in my backlog. But it's not functioning. Does anyone know how to get this functionality?


subtask in backlog.png

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Kote, were you able to figure out how to get the sub-task to appear beneath the story as in your screenshot? I noticed this in a coworker's backlog, but I cannot recreate it in my own.

Like hackers.b likes this

You have this drop-down arrow showing sub-tasks, if you started with a kanban board and used the backlog feature in it; where you have a status (usually Open ot To-Do) mapped to the backlog viewKanban backlog.PNGKanban backlog view.PNG

Like Aleksey likes this

@Kote Khutsishvili, You are using Kanban board are you not?

What you are seeing works only in Kanban boards. NOT in Scrum boards. See this post here>>

In Scrumboards you can 'play-around' with Card Layouts to have existing Sub-tasks within Stories show up in the backlog. Or even in active sprints

Like Derek van Neuren likes this

Pretty basic thing here, Atlassian. Orgs and Teams may or may not want to show sub-tasks at the backlog or scrum kanban board, and Jira making it so difficult and then stating that it shouldn't be needed is, indeed, an anti-pattern to teams' agility. Any view for work being done, getting done, or doing should be able to be viewed as the team desires. Not having the ease and ability to show sub-tasks on the backlog, iteration board, etc. is purely an architectural miss in your design. Get it done so that teams can stop fussing over process and tools and get back to getting shit done via people and conversations. Simple Simple Simple. Your tool is not!

We ran our Scrum team on TFS up until now, and we're transitioning to Jira, and I must say that I'm pretty disappointed with the fact that I can't have vision on sub-tasks on the backlog.  In TFS, you can expand or not to see your sub-tasks.  So default view of your backlog is user stories only, but if you need, you can either expand the US to see its related subtasks without having to check the detail, or see all the subtasks at once.  It is much more convenient for a PO.

Agreed. TFS view is much better. The point above about 'they're useless' suggests you only use a backlog to prioritise which is clearly plain wrong. Any new joiner to the project, client etc who needs to understand the product and it's composition and it's scope 'at a glance' needs the hierarchy view somewhere. At the moment there is no other place than the backlog screen. I'm therefore having conversations with clients along the lines of 'this is what we're doing and why' that used to take 10min with TFS. With Jira it's a nightmare to give them this simple view. 

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Go back to TFS, now Azure Dev Ops. Jira is an anti-pattern to business agility. Trust me!

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I was also using TFS earlier and many things were so easy to see and report are very difficult and time consuming in JIRA to show. As you dont see parent story and sub-task in one view to see complete picture of it. For Ex: in TFS I can just expand a story and can see estimates and sub-task and assignment and sub-task and it in same view I can assign that parent story to that person in TFS.

But in JIRA I need to open multiple screens to see complete picture. I hope JIRA brings this feature this will be a great help.

As a PM/PO, this would be an incredibly useful feature. I am currently exporting from Jira to Excel and doing Pivot tables to be able to properly estimate and plan stories where the estimates are on the sub-task level. 

FWIW, there are a LOT of other community posts requesting this.

~I searched for a Jira enhancement request but couldn't find it. If someone has it, please post here.~

Found the feature request here Please vote it up if you find it useful. 

I'm trying to solve this same situation. PM/PO, implementation, and even QA need to plan outside of the Sprint window... yet Jira insist that you shouldn't. The claim that it's non-sense is just pure dogma.

Actually, I strongly believe that this should be a decision on the user side and not a restriction on the Jira side. That restriction makes the system less flexible and the user a little more confused.

I really would like to see this implemented.

It's not a "restriction", it is a "UI trying to go for simplicity".  Sub-tasks in a backlog are mostly useless there, so why confuse people by displaying them?

Maybe we are stupid, we like complex things and we have fun being confused. Please, hear your customers and make it optional.

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@Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ Could you please hear us? You can still be "simple" with UI, but just add a button that enables SAME feature that we already have in KANBAN.
I don't understand why I'm reading so many posts about it starting from 2016 (!!!) year and this is still not resolved issue.

@Anton KhvorovCould you please hear us?  Those of us who have read what has gone before at least?

The issue here is that in order to understand a story to properly rank it...sometimes you need to know and think through what rolls up to it so you can properly do so. Having related sub tasks display in an “expand/contract” fashion could be the move. Otherwise you end up doing even worse noisy hacks of elevating tasks and big bugs to that same level which completely defeats the pristine ivory tower vs practice approach you’re clinging to. I wish I could @ your CEO on this as this is the most ridiculous “telling the customer they're wrong” fiasco I’ve ever seen and belongs in a dictionary of how to NOT run a community!

Just want to point out that Jira allows you to add story points to tasks and sub-task when using portfolio. The tool even adds the story point assign to each sub-task to its parent task automatically

Story points.png 

So it is inconsistent of the software to allow you to plan with sub-tasks in one view and then in the backlog you don´t see your plan reflected. This is an issue if your team goes into the backlog and sees only the tasks assigned to them and not the subtasks (that are also part of the plan).

I have seen multiple threads about this topic and I am surprised that Atlassian has not reach the conclusion that there are clients that want to be able to see sub-tasks and other that don´t, so It probably makes sense to add that option into the scrum board configuration. 

Jira was designed for teams using Agile/Scrum and Kanban principles, but teams are now using it that don't follow Agile practices, they just want the tool to replace how they planned using MSProject or some planning method they have made up.  It's not wrong, but it's not what Jira was designed for.

Granted, having a check box for "show children" would be ideal, however there is a workaround for this. 

You can utilize labels for this and then configure the JQL for your swimlane to filter your label[s]. 

For example: project = MyProject and labels in (myLabel_1, myLabel_2)

If your child and parent issues have the corresponding labels, the child will be nested under the parent task.

@Jan Mueller2 if you are still looking for the solution then follow below steps


1. Go to your project board. --> Board settings.  --> Select card layout.

2.  Select Sub-tasks from Field Name drop down and click on Add button.

3. Do same for Active sprints.


Now all your subtasks will be displayed below parent task on Backlog

That really just lists the Issue ID's - I'm thinking that people want to see the individual sub-tasks on the board as if they were tasks.

The only way I've found to do this is via a ScriptRunner filter. 

Use or issueFunction in subtasksOf("\"Epic Link\" = Epic-01") alongside your current filter.

Like cnhe NA likes this

this seems like an awesome solution, but I'm a newb and need more guidance on how to implement.  can you map it to where it actually needs to be input and how to make it work in general instead just with a particular epic?

Thanks. This is what I wanted. I had set this up on a previous project and for the life of me couldnt figure it out.

Like Maxim Potapov likes this

Hi Eric, 

where should I enter the script runner code to view subtasks in Back log view 

Hi Eric,

I want to see the count of sub-tasks along with the stories on board. Could you please suggest some solution.

And where to add this the below filter to get the to see the individual sub-tasks on the board


The only way I've found to do this is via a ScriptRunner filter. 

Use or issueFunction in subtasksOf("\"Epic Link\" = Epic-01") alongside your current filter.


I see the whole story is simply a debat between JIRA(Scum team) VS. JIRA(Kanban team), while scrum team uses kanban board in active sprint, while kanban team propose to use backlog feature. and yes botton up solution is always more user freindly....

A brutal and simple solution: JIRA only propose one board, Kanban based board, and ask user if he wants to activate backlog feature like it does today.

problem solved, and scrum team cries

It's not between Scrum and Kanban.  It's between those who see subtasks as pointless noise in the backlog (it's nonsense to rank them there, so why bother), and those who want to see them.

Solution - accept that they are of no use in the backlog, and use the "links" field to display them if you still want to see them.

Like Dave Liao likes this

Nic - I've been hunting for hope on these community pages that we can display subtasks on our scrum boards and have noticed that you persistently pop up like some kind of Defender of the Dogma to tell everyone that their plans are "nonsense" or "irrelevant".

You are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Of course I agree with the principle that it doesn't make sense to rank subtasks, but that's not the reason I want to display them. I want to be able to set design a subtask that can be pushed into a sprint ahead of the sprint that the Story itself will go into (once the design work has been completed).

True, I could have a separate Design task that I issue-link to the Story, but the Subtask relationship is more apt and more elegant - much easier for the user to manage. 

None of the downsides relating to ranking that your cite - irrelevance, noise, nonsense, support questions - are reasons to eliminate an option that would be useful to a lot of people for an entirely different purpose. 

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My anti stance is born not of dogma, but of experience.  The number of times I've seen this done and complained about.  It's not quite as simple as "they're useless", I've oversimplified.  It really is because when they are there, people try to rank them and can't, and then find them noisy and pointless.  Or just noise.

In fact, this is something I used to be on the other side of.  But over the years, it's just become clear that it's (mostly) a bad idea.

Like Vanessa van der Ploeg likes this

So how do we show sub-tasks on the active sprint board?

I love the irony of Atlassian product owners telling their customer their request is stupid and have fought it for what seems like 5+ years of multiple customers asking for the same thing instead of just doing it and making it optional.  I know where i'd be if i told several hundred customers their request was pointless.  (In the unemployment line)

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Love is not the word I would think of using, and I get the irony. :-)

@Max Richardson thank you so much for summing up thoughts what we -- as end users -- want from the product for which we are paying money and getting instead of the service we want, the service which saying that we are wrong. Can't believe that Atlassian are so mean to their end users.

@Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ here is another example for you proving that it is not "useless" to have sub-tasks displayed in Scrum Backlog (although I doubt that you even listening to us):
In my team and my processes we are estimating sub-tasks in SP, and for that we want to use tool named However, the tool working perfectly fine only with Kanban board since only on Kanban board you can extract sub-tasks, but when it comes to Scrum board -- the tool can extract only User Stories. The support team told me that since JIRA is not displaying it in Scrum backlog, they not retrieving in via API, thus we can estimate them. And funny thing that you are not able to extract certain sub-tasks in that tool since they have 200 sub-tasks limit, so you cant even use "hack" by trying to estimate these sub-tasks via Kanban board integration.

I don't understand your point. You have end users who are literally DEMANDING for this feature for more than 4 years (!), you have this features IMPLEMENTED and TESTED in your Kanban board, but you are resisting to add an OPTION to turn it on on Scrum board. That doesn't make any sense.

Ah, ok, so you're expecting a Scrum tool to support you not doing Scrum.

Could you listen to what you've been told earlier about why they're not there?

Like Marc Koppelaar likes this

The big difference here is SCRUM v Kanban boards.  I was able to get the nested sub-task view in a Kanban board, but not in a SCRUM board.  Hoping the above Feature Request will resolve.  I can see the value in having this view for BOTH Kanban & SCRUM.

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