Organizing Sub-Projects with Components and Epics

I am trying to set up JIRA after switching from an overly customized Redmine install and am looking for some advice on how to best organize our projects and sub-projects across various business units and development teams without too much customization. Our product team is relatively small (25 people) and most of us are using scrum.

I am thinking about creating a master project called Product, and using components to organize sub-projects that do not have defined start or end dates (e.g. API, Mobile App, Website, etc.), and using epics to organize sub-projects that do have defined start and end dates (e.g. Holiday Campaign, Supply Push, etc.). I would then create an agile board for each scrum/kanban development team, filtered by assignee and relevant component, and swimlaned by epic to show what teams need to be working on.

Is this crazy? Are we preventing a more useful usage of epics in the future by using them to group our sub-projects now? How should we organize larger epics that could be broken up into smaller chunks (e.g. Holiday Campaign Frontend vs. Holiday Campaign Backend)? And finally, could we accomplish the same thing without using epics at all with an add-on like Structure?

Any advice would be very much appreciated!

2 answers

Hi Kyle! It's cool to get in touch here :)

From the Structure perspective, here's what you can do - and we know people are doing something like this:

  • Create a separate issue type that represents a project. The issues could be in your "Product" project. The benefit of having an issue for the project is that you get custom fields and search.
  • Organize projects hierarchically in the Structure Board.
  • Define your Agile boards by using a filter with S-JQL conditions (with structure() JQL function) based on the structure -- for example, you can select all stories under a specific "project" issue in the structure. See details here:

Then you'll have Epics freed for any other purposes. If you use epics to group stories in the structure, you can also use Agile synchronizer to translate that into epic-story relationship in the Agile board.

Hope this helps!

Thanks, Igor! I installed Structure and the team is giving it a look. I really like the visibility it provides but we are trying to avoid creating too many custom issue types and fields unless we absolutely need them. Let me see if we can accomplish the same thing without a custom "Project/Product" issue type.

Sounds reasonable. Btw, we're now starting working on Structure 3.0, which will let you have other things in the structure besides issues - such as projects. So you'll be able to set up a project hierarchy made of projects. (No ETA yet)

To make this even more complicated, we have some Scrum teams and some Lean teams (using Kanban boards), so if we go down the epic route, those teams won't be able to view their workload by epic swimlanes without a lot of JQL queries.

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Published Jan 08, 2019 in Jira

How to Jira for designers

I’m a designer on the Jira team. For a long time, I’ve fielded questions from other designers about how they should be using Jira Software with their design team. I’ve also heard feedback from other ...

1,179 views 5 10
Read article

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you