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How to structure multi-levels waterfall projects?

Hi,

I have some experience in project management and I need to know how to best configure a project structure in Jira.

Normally, I handle about 100 waterfall projects per year, that can be gathered into 5 main groups.

My first question is: do I have to create all the 100 projects or only 5 "macro-projects" and create the 100 projects in a different way?

Take into account that a single waterfall project can contain some layers and the real tasks are indented into these layers, and a new project: how to do this structure and set the projects?

Other information: a new project starts usually with a structure similar to an existing one, so it could be useful replicate easily the extisting project by copying it.

 

2 answers

2 accepted

3 votes
Answer accepted
Jacob Vu Community Leader Sep 26, 2021

Hi @lucale

You'd create 5 Jira projects and then each project that you manage can be an epic. Big pieces of work can be stories and then smaller pieces of work can be tasks or sub-tasks. That's generally how I would structure the hierarchy. Check out our post on hierarchies here. 

If you're starting projects that are similar in nature and have similar tasks, you can always create a template so that these tasks auto-populate to save you work.

If you need more help, this is something that I provide as a service as I am a heavy Jira user and work as a Project Manager as well.

Hope this helps.

Jacob

Hi @Jacob Vu 

the structure you propose is interesting, but it arises more questions:

  1. how do you manage the Epic with 3 or more layers? Do you create a Story under a Story and finally the subtask?
  2. it turns out that the smaller chunk of issue is a subtasks: why I don't see it in my Jira project?    tasks.jpgCan I configure Jira in order to have the choice of subtask?
  3. in the configuration of the task structure, I saw the possibility to use version and components: I'd use them for other purposes, but do you have suggestions to use them in the task structure?

Regards

Luca

Jacob Vu Community Leader Sep 27, 2021

Hi @lucale

So this is an issue with using the base hierarchies in Jira - you only get 3 levels of hierarchy and sub-tasks don't necessarily show up in epics. You'd have to use labels and components to get them to show.

If you're looking to seriously manage projects in Jira, I'd suggest looking into Advanced Roadmaps, as it's a feature offered if you have Jira Software premium.

Jacob

Hi, @Jacob Vu   Note that @lucale is currently on Jira Server. Advance Roadmaps is only an option if their team chooses to migrate to Jira Data Center or Jira Cloud (or if they had previously purchased Advanced Roadmaps before it was bundled with the data center or cloud Jira enterprise versions).

Lucale: Your other option would be to consider Atlassian Marketplace apps that you can still purchase for Jira Server. Try this search to see what's available:

https://marketplace.atlassian.com/addons/app/jira/top-selling?hosting=server&query=hierarchy

(Full disclosure, I work for the company that make the top-selling Jira app for building extended/custom hierarchies - Structure for Jira. Our app is at the top of those search results, but there are others that you may wish to consider.)

Hope this helps, 

-dave 

0 votes
Answer accepted

@Dave Rosenlund _ALM Works_ 

I'm already considering an app to do it.

What it's not clear is: do I have to manage the task structure in Jira or in the app?

In Jira, is it wrong to create a Story under a Story and finally the subtask in case of 4 layers? (level 1: Epic. Level 2: Story. Level 3: Story. Level 4: subtask)

Hi, @lucale.  Let me take each question one by one.

 

> Do I have to manage the task structure in Jira or in the app? 

No, and yes. Structure for Jira (and the other apps like it) provide you with a convenient way to create and view your custom hierarchies of Jira issues at a higher level than the Jira issues. But, they are linked to the underlying Jira issues. They give you another window into Jira but the Jira issues can still be viewed and worked in the usual way. 

Here's an example of a custom hierarchy (built with Structure for Jira):

Sample Custom Hierarchy.png

Inside the Jira issue view, you would see the parents and children of the issue in question in the linked issues part of the panel, but all of the issues will be left-aligned and it would be hard to visualize the hierarchy.

>> In Jira, is it wrong to create a Story under a Story and finally the subtask in case of 4 layers? (level 1: Epic. Level 2: Story. Level 3: Story. Level 4: subtask)

Strictly speaking, yes, this is wrong. Jira is not designed to work this way and I and many others would advise against it.  But, you can do it if you wish using Jira issue links.  Just make Story 2 the parent of Story 3 which is the parent of Subtask 4. And, you could use a product like Structure to visualize that hierarchy.  IMO you'd be much better off creating a new, custom issue type (or two) — for example:

Epic
Feature 
Story
Subtask

or

Epic
Story
Feature
Subtask

I am using "Feature" here as a random example. You can name your new issue type anything you want. And, there is more than one way you might approach your use case. 

You might want to consider working with an Atlassian Solution Partner to help you tune Jira to your uses case.

Hope this helps,

-dave 

Like # people like this

 @Dave Rosenlund _ALM Works_ thank you for the answer, you've provided me a lot of information, and I realize that I don't know Jira deeply enough that it makes a sense considering an Atlassian Solution Partner.

For example:

  • I don't see parents and children of my issues in the linked issues part of the panel: why?
  • What are the Jira issue links? Where can I find them?
  • How can I create a new, custom issue type?

Kind regards

Luca

Hi, @lucale.  

  • I don't see parents and children of my issues in the linked issues part of the panel: why?

What looks like this in a product like Structure:

Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 9.58.05 AM.png

 

Looks like this in the Jira issue:

Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 10.00.50 AM.png

Like I said above, it's not easy to discern what is a parent and what is a child.  (Note that with Structure you can see the hierarchical view of the related issues right inside of the Jira issue panel if you choose.

  • What are the Jira issue links? Where can I find them?

You can read more about configuring issue links in the Jira documentation.

  • How can I create a new, custom issue type?

Covered in the documentation above.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good luck, Luca  thumbs-up

@Dave Rosenlund _ALM Works_ very clear!

Thank you so much!

Luca

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