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. 

5 answers

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Accepted answer

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. 

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

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

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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.

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)

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? 

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.

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

@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

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. 

@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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Don't bother engaging with Nic, Max.  He is an Atlassian apologist who thinks he knows how to run your projects better than you.

What he (and Atlassian) needs to realize is that we are their customers and when we want functionality, it is to improve our own internal processes.  I don't need to hear how Nic, or how Atlassian thinks I should run my projects.  They should recognize a customer need and give it to us, especially when the feedback is so overwhelming (as it is in this case.)

Maybe they will recognize it when we move on to more flexible tools.

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