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Creating structures of linked issues from templates in Jira

linked Jira issues from templates.png

Our daily routine consists of a lot of actions. We cook meals, read or watch the news, go to work, drive kids to and from school, work out, and so on. Just like in daily life, we also have to do many repetitive tasks at work. Looking from Jira perspective, we need to create not only the repeated issues but usually also tasks and subtasks which they have to contain. Since these issues are (almost) the same every time, why not use Issue Templates for Jira? Having this app, we can create our recurring task (with subtasks) from a template we've prepared before. What's more, after our latest release we can create issues from linked templates in Jira Cloud. Both the main template and linked templates, together with their children tasks, melt into regular Jira issues. Sounds complicated? In this article, we'll explain step by step how to build such a structure and benefit from it. 

Composing Jira issue templates

We don't need much time and effort to start using templates. Once we install the application, we create our Templates Repository in a classic Jira project. 

  • Go to Templates Repository project and click on a plus icon. 
  • On the Create Issue Screen, provide a summary and description and fill the rest of the needed fields.
  • Our last step is to open the issue and adjust some settings in Template configuration.

Once we have our template filled with all the needed data, the issues and their structures are created in no time!

creating issue from template.gif

Linked issues in Jira

During our work in Jira, we often see the relations between issues. For example, a software tester has to test a feature so that the developers' team could release a new version of the app. In this situation, one task blocks another, which is worth highlighting in Jira. For this reason, we choose a link type and add the right issue in the Linked Issues field on the Create Issue screen.

types of issue links in Jira.pngThere are several types of links, and we can also create our own ones. This option is available for Jira admins in Settings → Issues → Issue Features → Issue linking. But what about creating a link between templates? 

Issues from linked templates

Right from the beginning, linking templates was possible in Issue Templates for Jira Cloud. When we created a new issue from a template including links, those links were copied. However, instead of creating linked target issues, they were still directing to templates. Since our latest release, linked templates turn into issues in our target project.

To allow linking, we need to add the Linked Issues field to our template's Scope. How do we do it? 

  1. Open the Templates Repository project.
  2. Head to Project settings and click Issue Templates at the bottom of the navigation sidebar.
  3. Go to the Scopes section and choose the right scope.
  4. Select Linked Issues field and press Add.

Although we can freely link our templates with any objects in Jira, we can't link to a Subtask template which doesn't have a parent in the structure.

Epic structure 

Our new feature comes in handy especially when we need to create templates for extended Epics. We start building the structure by creating an Epic. At this stage, we can already link some epics and story templates to it. When the Epic is created, we continue building the structure so we add some tasks and subtasks.

Once we're ready to proceed, we go to the target project, click Create from template on the navigation sidebar, set Epic as the issue type and choose the template we've just made. Then we write our target Epic name and fill in the variables (if there are any). Scrolling down, we see that there aren't any issues linked. We don't have to worry because the links we set while composing the Epic template are invisible on the Create Issue Screen. We'll surely see them when we already create our target issue. However, at this point, we can add some more links. The links added on all stages of our Epic creation will generate a structure based on the parent template configuration.

Let's see how we can use and benefit from such structures in our work. 

Use cases 

Planning a business trip is a complex task. Because we and our colleagues travel to trade shows, conferences and workshops quite often, it's convenient to have an Epic template instead of wasting time on creating similar issues again and again. Then we create a universal Business trip Epic template in our repository. Before every journey, we need to arrange different details like flight tickets and local transportation. After that, we can start searching for a hotel and choose the best place for our delegates. As you see below, this process is reflected in the Travel details story which blocks the Accommodation story. 

Travel arrangements are not the only ones we have to do by the time we go on a business trip. Since we'd like to promote our products or services during the event, we need to organize marketing-related details. Our marketing team is in charge of fulfilling such tasks, so we link their Business event template to our Business trip template. This way, we'll know what we have to ask them for help before going on a trade show or conference.     

The time has come to plan the business trip. Then we open our Business travels project (BTR), proceed through Create from template process. Below on the right, we can see that our templates turned into issues in the target project, and the links remained the same as we set while creating the Epic template. 

creating linked epics structure from templates.png

The previously mentioned marketing team can have different sets of repetitive tasks in their daily work. For example, a new product launch campaign each time consists of pretty identical tasks and subtasks. Let's take a further look into using Issue Templates for Jira in this case. The team starts with creating an Epic template called New product launch campaign. Now they add stories under it, like initial planning, a social media campaign, a content campaign, a PPC campaign and the product's landing page. Every story contains a couple of subtasks which the team has to accomplish for a successful product launch. They can also set relations between the templates inside the Epic as well as link some of them with other Jira objects.

The whole Epic New product launch campaign is blocked by another Epic New product's visuals. The marketing team can't prepare the campaign without having proper graphics for social media channels, PPC banner ads, blog and landing page. The latter can't go live without coding, so the team sets that the Copywriting - landing page subtask causes the Landing page coding story (an already created issue). 

extended epic structure with linked issues from templates.gif

Our new feature will be also useful for IT teams implementing software systems like Jira in big companies, which also requires physical infrastructure. Such activities consist of many repetitive tasks. Then the teams can create two Epic templates: Software system implementation including tasks like Planning and coordination of the implementationTarget departments' trainingPreparing manuals, and the New hardware Epic with tasks such Purchasing new server and Data migration. The Epic templates are linked with each other.

More efficient work 

Sets of repetitive activities exist in every type of work. Fortunately, we don't have to create them from the very beginning every time we need to. Building large linked issues structures with Issues Templates for Jira Cloud solves this problem. Once it's ready, we get an organized workflow at one click. Then, instead of worrying about planning tasks, we focus on cooperating with our team and meeting the objectives. 

If you’d like to learn more about Issue Templates for Jira, read more articles about the app in the Community:

 

1 comment

I am new to Jira and the Template tool.  I have created an Epic template and put in assignments, dates, story points and comments.  When I create the Epic, all of the stories are assigned to the project owner.  The story points, priorities, and both start and due dates are not transferring over.  I have about 90 stories with detailed info that will be used for several similar epics.  I was hoping to fill the info in once in the template and build it into all the Epics.

Thanks for any help.  I could be just missing a switch in the build.

 

Joe

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