Issue creation is one of the basic actions you can make in Jira. People usually spend a big chunk of their working time in this software, especially if they have to recreate the same Epic over and over again. Here's the detailed guide on how to avoid repeating this task with Issue Templates for Jira Cloud and Server - the solution for automating issue creation.
An Epic is an issue type that accumulates stories or tasks on the same subject. This is a way to divide your larger piece of work into smaller ones. It also makes easier for the particular tasks' assignees to see the wider context of their tickets. Let's take the New product strategy as an Epic example. You can add to it stories, like Product positioning strategy, Pricing strategy or Creating an ideal customer profile, with sub-tasks inside. Such structures are possible to build both in Jira Cloud and Server.
The view of an Epic in Jira Cloud with the stories assigned to it
Probably there are bigger activities that you and your team perform on a regular basis, like preparing marketing campaigns, planning business trips, or arranging onboarding for new employees. To speed up your work, you can prepare an Epic issue template and create tasks (components of that larger action) under it. But before doing it, you need to configure your templates project.
In the Configuration section of Apps → Issue Templates for Jira, choose a project where you will store all your templates or create it right from this screen if you haven't done it beforehand. Bear in mind that when you change the repository project here, the configurations will be cleared, but the issues themselves will remain inside the project. It means that recreating the issues which you'd like to restore won't be necessary. However, you'll have to provide the specific parameters (like name and scope) once again for every template to have them clearly visible on the list while creating an issue.
For your template repository, you can choose either Business, Software or Service Desk project type. Keep in mind that they have different predefined issue types. If you'd like to create Epics and Stories, you'd need to add them manually to a non-software project. Also, note that Issue Templates for Jira Cloud hasn't worked for the next-gen projects yet. We recommend you to work with a classic Jira project, Software type.
However, if you've already chosen a non-software project type, you need to add the Epic Name field to your Create Issue screen - otherwise, you won't be able to create an Epic in this project. You can do it in the Screens section of the Project Settings. You should also add the Epic Link field to the same screen to have your stories properly linked to your Epic. If not, the stories won't be linked because the Jira mechanism can fill with values only the fields which are visible on the screen.
Basically, templates look just like regular issues. The only difference is that the first ones have the Template configuration section. Let's see how to use it and prepare the right issue template. To create a template:
A Scope is a set of fields that defines which values will be copied from your template to the target issue. The default Scope consists of a summary and a description only, but custom Scopes can also store values from non-text fields, like Assignee or Priority. As its name states, the Copy Subtasks toggle allows copying the added sub-tasks altogether to the target issue. The sub-tasks fields' values will be autocompleted.
If you need a more complex structure for your repetitive tasks, you can use our Create issues from linked templates feature. Thanks to it, your linked templates will turn into issues in your target project.
Issue Templates for Jira Server looks and works a little bit differently than the Cloud version of the app. Before creating an Epic issue template, you need to configure a few settings.
Note that your templates have to be of the Epic issue type to make this work. To create such a template, click the Create button, choose Templates as your target project and Epic as your issue type, provide a summary, the Epic Name, description, and the rest of the needed fields and click Create. Now open the freshly created issue and add stories or tasks. You can also create sub-tasks inside of them which will be later copied to the target issue, thanks to Copy from Epic post function. As the last step, unfold the Issue Templates Details section. Here in the General tab, type your template name in the Template name field. We also recommend you to limit the template's availability to Epic issue type. You can set it in the Availability tab by selecting Epic under Issue Types Context Type. This way your Epic template will be possible to select on the Create Issue screen only if you choose Epic as the issue type.
You can also turn a preset template into an Epic template. There are three different categories of ready-to-use templates available in Jira Administration → Manage apps → Issue Templates → Get Started. Once you choose the set that you need, the templates will appear in your repository project. Then open a template you'd like to use and change an issue type from Template to Epic with the Move option. After that, you can add stories or sub-tasks to your Epic template.
You don't have to spend time on creating the same Epics with Stories and sub-tasks again and again. You create needed templates only once, adjust their settings and you're able to create target issues in less than 10 seconds, both in Jira Cloud and Server.
Dzmitry Hryb [Deviniti]
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