What makes an issue an epic and what makes an issue a user story?

I'm configuring Jira to use the new Epic regime. But I have my user stories shown as Epics and vice versa. Now I understand that based on the issue configuration of fields and workflows GreenHopper determines where to put the issue.

I don't have the default 'Epic' type in my Jira configuration, so I created one myself.

Does anybody know the constraints for Epics and User stories?

As you can see, it has quite some priority for me, as I put all my karma points on this one ;)

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Hi Jorre,

If I understand correctly at the moment your Greenhopper is showing User Stories in the left column as epics? If this is correct then you are likely being affected by This Bug in Greenhopper.

To resolve it you will have to create a Support Ticket and the OnDemand team can adjust the database so that Greenhopper will read the correct Issue as the Epic type.

This is related to how Greenhopper is configured in the database so somebody from Atlassian will need to adjust the database for your OnDemand instance.



Hi Jorre,

I would say the gap is in the expactations that you put on the Epic concept. Epics are deceptively simple and the are only an utility to group stories under some concept useful for you, then you can filter by that Epic/concept to deal with very large amount of data (stories).

Really, you could use JIRA issue lables or links to get a similar effect.

As Epics are implemented as Issues (by GreenHopper or in your custom solution too) they can have states, so you can mark they as "done" when all the children/related stories are done: Epic = label with status.

Relax. Some people see "Epics" and think "I need implement Epics in my system to get a decent Agile approcah". False. In fact, Epics were missing in GreenHopper for many versions and GreenHooper was a very good Agile tool without supporting Epics.

As well as Epics are implemented on GreenGoper (6.0.6+) are very flexible. You can create, rename and destroy them as you need, without problems.

The key is the Story concept, don't worry about Epics by now. When you want/need to filter your stories you will say: Oh! How much useful would be apply filters. The will be discover Epics in an natural way.


This is mostly because of the fact that you might have renamed the Issue Types in the JIRA instance. GH stores internal configuration data in tables that specifies which issue types are used as the Epics and Stories.

Refer to this article which shows steps to verify this: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/GHKB/How+to+Fix+the+Duplicate+GreenHopper+Custom+Fields+After+Upgrading

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