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Using Initiatives in JIRA

I'm working on getting our company setup with using Portfolio, and I noticed that initiatives will be a huge part of that. Within JIRA should I have a project where my initiatives live or do they just live in Portfolio? If they live in a JIRA project do you recommend they are in a separate project from Epics?

I was considering setting up our JIRA projects this way:

- Product Management will hold Initiatives

- Agile teams will hold Epics

- Platform teams (i.e. iOS, Android, Web) will hold stories, bugs, tasks


3 answers

1 vote
Roi Fine Atlassian Team Aug 14, 2017

Hi Angela,


You are right, to use cross project intiatives you will need to create a new project for intiatives. See instructions in the second paragraph of this page:

The good thing about having a dedicated project for intiatives is that different epics from different projects can be linked to these intiatiatives. allowing your initiatives to span multiple projects.

Epics can live in thier own respective projects.

One last thing, if you want to view the intiatives in your Portfolio plan as well, you will need to remeber to include your intiative project as one of the plan sources.


Thanks for getting back to me! I'll go ahead and plan to create separate projects for initiatives and epics :)

Another question: 

Any recommendations on how to manage feature (agile) teams against multiple platforms? We are struggling with deciding if we should have projects setup by platform or by feature teams. Also, which would work  best for implementing protfolio?

Roi Fine Atlassian Team Aug 15, 2017

Hi Angela,


It really depends on your orgnazation needs and way of work. A good tip I can share is to try and think which project structure will have the least cross project dependcies.

There are quiet a lot community conversations about the matter that worth a check:



Deleted user Oct 10, 2018

Are Initiatives available only in Jira Portfolio?  Or is it available in Jira Core as well?  If available in Core, in what version was it made available?

Hello James,

Jira allows you to create different issue types out of the box - it's not something that comes with Portfolio or any other products. You can also start connecting Initiatives to Epics, for example, using standard Jira links mechanism - using Parent link from Portfolio has a number of advantages - for example, when you use Parent link you can only connect the issue to specific set of issues, which are defined as its possible parents/children - with ordinarily links you have more freedom. But you can use standard Jira links too.

The question is how to work with this setup. It will be difficult to get visibility with Jira out of the box and you may want to consider using one of the available apps to help you with that. Some of the most popular ones are

They all have their benefits and approach a similar problem from different angles. I'd definitely try them out before making the decision or perhaps work with some Solution Partner, who'll be able to analyze your requirements and recommend the best tool for the job.

Like Deleted user likes this
Deleted user Dec 21, 2018


Hi @Costin Soava 


Will you be able to share the screen to enable 'Parent Link'. I could not able to navigate to do below steps. 


Step 1: Enable 'Parent Link' in your Epic screen scheme so that when you create/view your epics you see a new attribute 'Parent Link' to the RHS.

Step 2: Link the Key of the initiative as the parent link for each of your Epics.

Hi @Amanda Htay ,

What I did is the following:

1. Choose the project you want to modify

2. Go to Project settings -> Screens

3. Open the project screens settings Screen breakdown.jpg

4. Open screen configurationScreen configuration.jpg

5. At the very bottom you can select new fields

6. Select Parent Link from the list

Parent link.jpg


Kind regards,


Hi Costin,


I have done above steps, however i have some issue to link to Parent to Epic.


I am sharing with you a few of screen shop from my advance roadmap plan.Screenshot 2021-12-06 at 9.21.14 AM.pngScreenshot 2021-12-06 at 9.21.06 AM.pngScreenshot 2021-12-06 at 9.15.24 AM.png

Like Costin Soava likes this

Hi @Amanda Htay ,

What I understand from the screenshots is that you have the option to set up parent linking in JIRA and that's good sign. But somehow it doesn't show up at epic level. You should review the project settings and make sure you defined a hierachy for it.



Hi Costin,

I am managed to solve this issue.


Thank you for your kind reply.

Like Costin Soava likes this


I've setup the following hierachy for one of our projects:

1 level: Initiative -> linked to Jira issue type INITIATIVE

2 level: Epic -> linked to Jira issue type EPIC

3 level: Stoy -> linked to Jira issue type STORY

4 level: Sub-task -> linked to Jira issue type SUB-TASK


When setting up a plan for that specific project with roadmap view, I am not able to see the breakdown by Initiatives. How is that possible? (see attached image).


I am following the Atlassian Agile Coach knowledge base:






Hi @Costin Soava ,


Even though conceptually an Initiative is a parent to the Epics, Jira doesn't ship it that way. You need a) create an issue type called Initiative b) Link initiative as the parent of Epics c) Update the advanced Roadmap hierarchy . It looks like you have done a) and c). You can follow below steps for b)

Step 1: Enable 'Parent Link' in your Epic screen scheme so that when you create/view your epics you see a new attribute 'Parent Link' to the RHS.

Step 2: Link the Key of the initiative as the parent link for each of your Epics.



@Gowtam Kamath 

Like Costin Soava likes this

Hi @Gowtam Kamath !


Awesome, thank you for the info, really appreciate it! That solved my question :)


Kind regards!

Like Gowtam Kamath likes this
Like Costin Soava likes this

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