What do you do in JIRA with the points of a large story you break down?

Say you have an large story sized 21 points and you break it down into smaller stories. Later, you break it down and you end up with a three 5 point stories and a 2 point story (total of 17 points) and that accounts for all the work included in that large story. What do you do with that 21 point story afterwards? Do you delete it? Do you change the points to 0?

I know all about breaking down stories so my question is really about the best way to use JIRA to reflect what we're doing so our metrics are correct. 


3 answers

Ideally if you have a huge story then it should be classified as an Epic. So, iwould say you remove all story points from it and convert it into an epic. Assign all broken down stories to this epic.


I would take the 21 point story and change the story points to 0. Your epic should have your three 5 point stories and 2 point stories linked to the epic. This way, you can track the larger effort while still delivering value within your time box with the user stories. If you are doing scrum, as long as you don't put the epic in a sprint, it should not skew your metrics.

Thanks @Rahul Aich [Nagra] and @Jonathan Schneider. Jonathan, I was leaning toward your approach because I don't care for the way JIRA deals with epics. We're just starting a new project (and learning JIRA at the same time) and my backlog has ~100 stories in it that will be broken down into smaller stories at some point in their life cycle. If I made them all epics in the JIRA sense, I don't see how I could properly manage my backlog.

Follow up question, what would you do with that 21 pointer that is now it's a 0 pointer so it's not in your way when prioritizing stories and doing other backlog management stuff? Just move it to the bottom of the list? Seems like that's just accumulating clutter if so.

Depending on how your board is being populated, I would suggest this: I love populating my boards through queries, that way I can be very selective of what content is displayed. The query can be modified to ignore Epic issue types. This way, the user stories you created are displayed, and the epic will not be populated into the backlog.

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