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Extend the Hierarchy Above Epics

The following steps will guide you through building a top-down hierarchy with initiatives above epics: Initiatives > Epic > Tasks > Sub-tasks (if needed) 

In this example, we're using Initiatives above Epics. If you use another issue type, that's fine. These instructions should work fine - just make sure everywhere you see "Initiatives" below, you replace it with the issue type you're using!

Step 1: Set up the Issue Type in Jira

If you're currently working with the issue type, these steps may already be taken care of. If not, you may need a Jira Admin to assist you.

  1. Create an "Initiatives" issue type. See Add, edit and delete an issue type
  2. Create a new link type, connecting initiatives to epics. We recommend "implements/is implemented by". See Configuring issue linking
  3. Create a new project for Initiatives. If you already have all your initiatives created and they're part of other projects, that's. fine. But if you're starting from scratch, we recommend creating a new project specifically for your Initiatives. See Create a new project

Step 2: Add Initiatives to the Structure

If you created a separate project for initiatives, add a JQL Insert with the following JQL:  project = "initiative project"

If your initiatives are spread across multiple projects, you can use the JQL Insert to add initiatives from all projects: issuetype = initiatives

Insert initiatives project

To pull initiatives from only certain projects, add those rules to your JQL Inserter.

 Step 3: Add Epics under Initiatives

Once you've added your initiatives, next you want to use the Linked Items Extender to add your epics.

Make sure to select the link type used to connect epics and initiatives, and specify the correct direction so that initiatives are the parent issues and epics are their sub-issues.

Extend with epics

If you've already linked your epics and initiatives, the epics should appear below your epics.

If not, you can make those links right from Structure:

  1. Click on an initiative's name to open the issue details panel
  2. Click the Link Issue button
  3. Choose the appropriate link type (make sure to match the direction you used above)
  4. Select the epics to link

Link issues in structure

Step 4: Add stories and sub-tasks

This step will differ depending on whether you're working with a company-managed project or a team-managed project.

  • Go to +Add | Extend | Child issues. Under Add, select Issues below epics and Sub-tasks.

Scaled Agile hierarchy

Not sure which hierarchy is right for your team? Check out our blog post Epic-Feature-Story vs. Initiative-Epic-Story, where we cover many of the considerations when transitioning to a Scaled Agile Framework.

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