How to add story points to an epic / better way to estimate delivery for project


From reading the documentation (Configuring Estimation and Tracking) it seems to say I should be able to assign story points to an epic. I can't seem to do this, I can only assign story points to Stories.

I have a project that I have estimated will require 5 weeks of effort. At the moment I am writing the spec and it is unclear what the individual stories might be (if any). Is there a better way of estimating my project with JIRA?

thanks for any help


image2015-3-6 12:33:23.png

3 answers


what kind of estimation do you use? You told about 5 weeks and your estimation is about story points?

Well  we really like estimation by story points, but for smaller projects, this is not helpful, as story points just work in big scales, do you think that 5 weeks are enough to stabilize your velocity?

We do both, just that what matches, but we do not mix that up.

But back to your question wink

JIRA Agiles Epics aren´t meant to be estimated already, they shall be somewaht unspecific, thats why the boards do not work that way. The suggested workflow is: Epics are big Stories that have to break up into smaller estimateable pieces.

If you have to predict projects in the forehand and tell the customer when to get his defined results (by specs), things become a bit more difficult to be agile wink

Maybe a plugin helps you to get to your infos: Epic SumUp

this is our story to that point:

we were faced the same problems once, so we decided to be a bit less agile when its needed. In some cases we use epics as projects, because agile already ships a lot of cool features, that help us do the job that way, like putting issues into a project-issue, projects having a lifecycle(and so automation), use boards for project level (epic-Boads in kanban style). Then we found that there were missing some features like:

What is the progess of our project(which is actually an epic)? can we dsiplay that as a bar?

What is the summary of all estimated/remaining/logged time inside the project? same for Storypoints, Businessvalue and so on..

How are things spread over all issues inside our project(StoryPOints, Time etc)?

and so we once started developing a plugin for that use case (Epic SumUp)

Sorry for beeing epic in my explanation wink

Hope that helps






Hi Simon,

It is definitely possible to configure Story Points field as appearing on Epic as that is how my projects are set up.

However, that by itself won't solve your problem as the Agile Board backlog ignores the SP estimate on Epics. The 18SP you see in your screenshot is always the sum of the Epic's Stories' SP.

One workaround is to create a dummy story as a child of every epic and store the total Epic SP on that story.  As you decompose the Epic into genuine stories you keep the dummy story but reduce its SP by the amount of SP you allocate to the real stories.  When you are happy that you have completely decomposed the Epic you can delete the dummy story.

A second workaround uses the SP estimate on the Epic & avoids the use of dummy stories but it only works for some Agile reports (not the backlog view)

You first make sure your Epic workflow has a state that means 'decomposed' 

You then create a filter that basically says 'return all open Stories AND Epics that are not yet decomposed'

You can then make an Agile Board based on that filter.  The Version Report & Release Burndown should then show reasonable predicted delivery dates.

(My filter is fairly simplistic, so it can still double account partially decomposed Epics.  Either hold off putting SP estimates on your partially decomposed stories or come up with some more powerful JQL to weed these out)


Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Published yesterday in Agile

How Scrum works? It starts with training and education

To answer “How scrum works,” most of the teams I've worked with first addressed the question: “where to start?”  That question applies to both implementation and improvements on the Scrum framew...

167 views 3 5
Read article

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you