On a Jira Scrum Board, in the backlog view, how do I get the epics show in the backlog pane?

Scott Grossman March 29, 2022

I have a Jira Scrum board, and when I am at it in the backlog view, I want to see my epics, in the backlog pane at the bottom of the screen.  I've checked and my board filter is showing them in the filter view, but they dont show up in the backlog pane.  

I dont want to see them in the sprint pane (I know I can filter there on epics), or in the Active sprint view, but in the backlog view, I should see all the items that my filter allows.  If I dont want epics to show I will use the filter to exclude them.  FYI the filter I'm using is:

project = SSCU AND "Team Name[Dropdown]" in (Customer-POBacklog, Customer-Alchemist) AND issuetype in (Epic, Story, Task, Bug, Subtask, Sub-task, "Work Order") ORDER BY Rank ASC

Any help in solving this would be great.

Thank you

Scott Grossman

 

 

 

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Trudy Claspill
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March 29, 2022

Hello @Scott Grossman 

Welcome to the community.

The Epics will not show intermixed with the child issues in the list of issues in the Backlog screen for a Scrum board. You can, however, display the Epics in a pane that will display between the navigation pane on the left and the issue list. 

Screen Shot 2022-03-29 at 2.33.03 PM.png

There is no support to change the location of this pane.

Does this not address your need? If not, can you provide more information about what problem you are trying to solve, and maybe screen images of where you are trying to see the Epics?

Scott Grossman March 29, 2022

No it doesnt answer my question.  I know I can see the epics by selecting the epics tab in the upper pane, but I EXPECT my tools to be consistent and the filters control everything else I see on a board.  I'd like to know the design decision that made epics a special case that the board users would NOT want to see them as part of the backlog.  

In the screen shot below, I have several epics that I would expect to show up in the bottom backlog pane.  Filter is good, but apparently Epics are  a special case, and I dont understand why.  

image.png

Trudy Claspill
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March 29, 2022

I am unclear what you mean when you say "the bottom of the backlog pane"

The Backlog screen on a Scrum board shows the list of issues that can be assigned to sprints. In the upper section of that list area you will see active (not yet completed) and not yet started sprints and the issues assigned to each. Below that in the Backlog section of the list is the list of all issues that are not complete and not yet assigned to a sprint.

Epics are generally scoped to an amount of work that exceeds a single sprint. As such it doesn't really make sense to assign them to sprints, and therefore does not make sense to include them in the issues list section.

Can you provide more information about your perception of inconsistency? 

Scott Grossman March 29, 2022

Trudy, 

First of all, I'd like to thank you for trying to help me with my issue.  The backlog is where all of the potential work for the team lives.  This includes epics, although one would never bring them into the sprint.  As I'm sure your aware, a large or complex story can become an epic during grooming with the team, and once its marked as such the team looses visibility of it being in the backlog.  

In my world view, which I do not believe is unique, all of the potential work that the team has, should live in its backlog, and should be visible.  

I for one do not understand why epics are not shown in the backlog.  Where do the epics live if not in the backlog?  

I mean everything else uses JCL filters to show what is visible on a board, why is EPIC such a special case.  What is Atlassian protecting us from?  Sorry just a little frustrated.  I was using Jira a couple of years ago on a different job, and at that point epics where definitely visible in the backlog if the filter allowed them to be.  

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Bill Sheboy
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March 30, 2022

Hi @Scott Grossman 

Jumping in to try to help here: earlier Trudy noted the setting for the Epics Panel in the backlog view.  When a team want to see the Epics listed with work in the backlog, you may disable the Epics Panel.  You may find that setting in ... > Board Settings > Columns

Kind regards,
Bill

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Trudy Claspill
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March 30, 2022

The Epics are visible in the Backlog screen in the Epics pane (vs. the issue list). They will show there if the filter for the board encompasses Epics and the "Epic Status" or the Epic is not set to Done (not to be confused with the "Status" field for the Epic).

I'm not grasping how this doesn't satisfy your need. How does the team not have visibility to the Epics if they are displayed in the Epics pane?

If the list of issues shown on the Backlog screen are things that could be assigned to sprints, and and you agree that Epics are not assigned to sprints, why would you want them shown in the issue list?

If a story from that list of issues is converted to an Epic, then it should become visible in the Epics pane.

Also, note that none of the issue types "live" in the backlog. Issues of all types exist in Epics. Agile Boards (with backlog screen, card/column view, and agile reports) are just a way to view and manipulate the issues that exist in Projects. You may already understand that, but I say that just in case you do not. 

Trudy Claspill
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March 30, 2022

@Bill Sheboy 

Trudy here. I don't see the option to disable the Epics pane in the Columns page of Board Settings for a Scrum board. I see that only on the Board Settings/Columns page for Kanban boards.

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Scott Grossman March 30, 2022

I dont see it either Trudy.  But if its an option on Kanban boards, why cant it be an option on Scrum boards?

Bill Sheboy
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March 30, 2022

Oops...my bad.  Thanks, Trudy and Scott!  Here is a suggestion to add that option for Scrum boards also: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-22865

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Scott Grossman March 30, 2022

Bill,

Thanks so much for the link to the suggestion.  That is exactly what I'd like to see implemented.  

I just want to thank you and Trudy for helping me on this.  I really appreciate the time and effort.

 

Scott Grossman

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4 votes
Tosha Liveoak January 10, 2023

This is so frustrating that it's not available on a scrum board's backlog just like the other containers/issue types.

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Martin Melka
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April 18, 2024

Just to weigh in here with our planning workflow -- when we do a future version planning, we do that from the Backlog view where we see all the issues (except epics, sadly).

Let's say we want to plan version 65 of a product. We enable a quick filter to only show issues with FixVersion=65, and then we may also filter just for Critical+Blocker issues, to get a look at the most important things assigned to the version. However, at the moment we need to have two views open - the backlog view for issues, and then another custom saved filter that pretty much does "show all epics with fixVersion=65" - to also see which epics are planned for the version 65.

At this point in time we may not have the epics broken down into individual issues yet. We are asking ourselves "do we want to do epic A or epic B in version 65?" without looking at the details yet.

The epics side panel does not help us here at all, because that side panel shows all the epics we have in Jira, not just the ones that have fixVersion=65.

 

So, to answer Trudy' above question:

Epics are generally scoped to an amount of work that exceeds a single sprint. As such it doesn't really make sense to assign them to sprints, and therefore does not make sense to include them in the issues list section.

That would be true if the backlog view was only used to plan sprints. But we use it to also plan versions (one shippable version being e.g. 4 sprints).

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