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Portfolio | Can't nest story/task under initiative directly -- requires issue to be nested in epic.

bpohuski January 2, 2020

As far as I can tell, there is no way currently to nest a simple task or story into the initiative or hierarchy above epic for it to be included in the scope. There are a few bodies of work that are too small to be an epic, but are part of an initiative.

As seen below, Portfolio only gives the option of added epic when adding new issue under initiative. My current Issue Type hierarchy is: Initiative > Epic > Story/Task

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 11.29.51 AM.png


If this is true, Portfolio forces the user to have direct nesting as seen here :

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 11.17.40 AM.png

This forces me to either

  1. change that simple task into an epic
  2. nest it under an unrelated epic so that it will be included
  3. make a placeholder epic of no value and nest it under that


All of these are not incredibly helpful. Is there a workaround, something less clunky, or potentially something that I am doing wrong?

1 answer

1 vote
Petter Gonçalves
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 3, 2020

Hello @bpohuski

Thank you for reaching out.

I'm not sure of what kind of functionalities and dependencies you want to create between the initiative and the Story/task, but an option to achieve that "Connection" between both Issues would be to use the default Jira issue link:

Linking issues - Jira Cloud 

You could simply create a link type with the name that would better describe their relation and properly link both issues. Would that be an option for you?

Let us know if you have any questions.

bpohuski June 18, 2020

Hey @Petter Gonçalves, thanks for the response. For some reason, it got buried in my notifications. My response is better late than never I suppose!

Traditional linking unfortunately does not help me due to the portfolio view not reflecting the hierarchy. People routinely use portfolio to see the full scope of an initiative. Unless the issue is nested, it will not display in portfolio as part of the parent.

There are fringe tasks that are not part of any of my existing epics or stories that should be captured under the larger initiative umbrella. Imagine I have a simple task like "enable access to xyz" that is directly part of the initiative but at the same time does not necessitate adding an epic specifically for it. The current behavior would force me to make some generic epic to capture all the miscellaneous tasks, which is confusing for people looking at the plan.

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Davit Grigoryan
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March 26, 2021

this is such an important feature not sure why it has not been answered yet. We need better hierarchy from initiative to story/task 

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I'm New Here
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January 23, 2022

I want to state that the workflow described by @bpohuski  is identical to one we also are using. Without this feature we are likely to opt for work-around option 2 or 3 (from the OP) calling the placeholder Epic something like "Standalone Items"

Main issues with this are that our teams will struggle to easily check if the ticket they are working on is part of a larger body of work being undertaken. This can then result in things like

  • Unrelated Jira issues accidently being configured to share code and therefore becoming unnecessarily dependent on each other
  • Standalone items accidently missing a release target because it wasn't clear if they are still standalone or if they now have some unexpected dependency due to the previous point.
    • Delays are a best case scenario, Incidents are more likely to occur

@Petter Gonçalves it would be greatly appreciated if someone from the Atlassian team can review the above please.

Allowing users to nest issue types from all hierarchy levels under an Initiative (or some other hierarchy level above Epic) will allow us to mitigate the above concerns.

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