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Portfolio Issue Sources - Issues without parent out of scope

In my portfolio plan settings I explicitely excluded issues without parent from the scope. However when I add an issue, which doesn't have a parent, in one of the issue sources for this plan the issue is taken into scope. I would expect that once I configure to exclude issues without parent, it will filter out those issues forever.

When I reconfigure the issue sources after I added the issue, the issue is filtered correctly out of the scope . How can I avoid issues without parent to sneak into my plan without reconfiguring every time?

My issue hierarchy config:

1 Initiative - RFC
2 Change - Epic
3 Story - Story

RFC issues come from project 'RFC'
Epics and Stories come from projects A, B & C

The issue sources for my plan are


So I want only have issues in scope from A, B and C which have a parent issue RFC

2 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted
Thomas Atlassian Team Aug 30, 2017

Hi @Zephyr_Admin,


What could work is setting up a JQL filter that would look like Project = RFC OR (PROJECT IN (A, B, C) AND "Parent Link" IS NOT EMPTY) and using that JQL filter as the issue source.

This would solve most of the cases but not the case of a story belonging to an epic that does not belong to an initiative.

For that you would need an addon like scriptrunner to allow you to query in a recursive manner.

Hopefully that will point you in the right direction!




Thnx @Thomas. The JQL works but indeed not for the stories. I will try scriptrunner.

Keep finding it weird that portfolio plan setting is ignored once configured

Has there been any progress on this portfolio issue? It doesn't make sense to need an addon or use JQL filter to keep new issues and stories from entering into a project plan. 

Thomas Atlassian Team Sep 03, 2017

Portfolio issue source boils down to a JQL filter one way or another. A JQL filter is not a one point in time issue list but a dynamic list of issue that will include anything new that comes up.

If you are interested with a non-changing list you could consider adding to the JQL filter something like "AND createdDate <= '2017-09-04'" to ensure that nothing new makes it to the list.

Bottom line, the plan issue source is not ignored once configured but it's just a filter rather than a list of issues.




Where can we modify this JQL? When I go to issue sources, I don't see this option.


@François Eric

Not possible to directly input JQL in portfolio issue sources.

You need to write your JQL in  'Issues > search for issues' and save it as a filter.

Then you can select this filter in portfolio issue sources


If issue source boils down to a JQL filter why having then 'Include issues without parent' option?
This looks like a subfilter, but only applied once.
Makes no sense. Either the choice to include issues without parent should persist otherwise drop the feature, it's useless and misleading
I favor the first option, because keeping a plan's scope clean and stable is a must for all projects.


PS: I haven't yet encountered your issue but that will definitely be a problem for me too. 

Thomas Atlassian Team Sep 04, 2017


"If issue source boils down to a JQL filter why having then 'Include issues without parent' option?"

I think there is a misunderstanding here and I will follow up with the Portfolio for JIRA Server tech writter to clarify the documentation if necessary.

There is no such option in the first place, but thanks not giving up on what you believe does not make sense, as I finally understood where the confusion happened.

When confirming what's in Scope when creating a Portfolio plan or editing its issue sources you have the possibility to Exclude some specific issues from the plan.

If you are at the Epic level and some stories do not belong to an epic then they are categorized under "Issues without parent Epic". Unselecting this would mean excluding all the issues in that list, alternatively you can un-check all those stories one by one to acheive the same result.



Hopefully this clarifies the situation, thanks for the feedback!





Thx for clarifying. I had indeed another understanding of the concept.

Nevertheless the requirement to exclude orphan issues remains. I ll go with scriptrunner plugin. But a pity I have to use and pay for a 3th party plugin. Would be nice if this kind of JQL function would ship with Portfolio. Current Portfolio JQL functions are a bit poor I find. 

Hi @Thomas, I have the same problem as mentioned by Jasper in the original question.  Would you be able to give an example of using scriptrunner to solve this problem?  Or point me somewhere that I can find one?


Thomas Atlassian Team Jul 01, 2018

Hi @Amanda Cleaver,


If you are using Portfolio for Jira Server I'd suggest looking at the Portfolio JQL functions available detailed here:

Especially the childIssuesOf JQL function which was not available at the time of this thread.




@Thomas are there any plans to make these JQL enhancements on Portfolio for JIRA Cloud??

Hello @Charles Connelly

regarding the JQL enhancements - yes, there are plans to make these available in Portfolio for Jira Cloud, we are looking into this currently but please understand that I cannot provide a specific date for when this will become available. We need to prioritise new features based on different criteria, this page provides more details on our process. Please monitor this feature request ticket for updates.

Best regards,
Albert Kavelar | Portfolio for Jira Cloud

Unselecting "Issues without parent Epic" has no effect for me. Perhaps because they're stories?  When I get the final plan, all stories that have no parent are included. This is incredibly frustrating. 

In all I think 2 things should have filtered these issues out:

1. I select a specific version when specifying sources

2. I filter what is "in scope" in the screenshot you provided @Thomas  and specifically unselect "issues without parent". 

I get all of the "correct" issues, but then I have a huge list of stories that are not assigned to a parent.

What am I doing wrong?

Hi @wkjl

As mentioned above, this step is here to exclude individual issue(s) manually rather than any "category of issues".

In your case I suspect that the current hierarchy selected might not have been set to Epic. You can exclude those unwanted issues from the plan itself by selecting them and using the exclude button.

We are also actively looking at a new plan creation experience, taking into consideration a lot of the feedback received here, especially on the confusion with this exclude step.




@Thomas That is not the case. I had Epic chosen in the hierarchy. I can include additional screenshots if that helps. When you create a plan, it takes you through several selections including versions and what's inscope. When I select a specific version, and a select a specific epic as "in scope", the expected behavior is that anything not in that version as well as anything not in that epic is not included. That _almost_ happens. Indeed, if I add new tasks to that epic with that version, they show up, even if I did not manually select each one individually as being in scope. And, indeed, if I add a ticket to that epic, but I do not put it in the selected versions for the plan, it shows up, but it's grayed out (I have to add it to the correct version to not be grayed out). The one exception to expected behavior is that all tickets without parents are pulled in. This does not make sense. They should have been filtered out, along with all of the other tickets that were filtered out, as not belonging to the epic of interest, or the version of interest. And yes, I have the hierarchy set to start at Epic and go down to subtask. 

I had to go in and create a filter that said "exclude tasks not in this version" to get rid of those tasks. That should have already been accomplished, by selecting the versions associated with that plan. It did not. I should not need this filter, albeit it solves the problem in the short term. And yes, I can go and manually select tickets to exclude. That's great. 

I can provide screenshots if that is helpful. 

Posted this on another thread as well:

Had the same issue where Epics have children (Story) and in various stages of completion, yet Portfolio would not pick any of that up, After much looking around, I noticed it was happening on a filter was using labels. 

Anyone else?

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