Situation

You want to build an advanced Agile hierarchy (Epics > Issues > Sub-tasks), without missing any issues that aren't attached to epics or adding duplicate issues to the structure.

Solution

Split the structure into two folders: one folder will house the Agile hierarchy, while the other catches any issues that aren't assigned to epics yet.

Step 1: Add Two Folders

Add TWO folders from the Add menu. Give them easily recognizable names:

  • "Agile Hierarchy"
  • "Issues without Epics"

Structure with Folders

Step 2: Insert Epics

Select the Agile Hierarchy folder. (It's row should be highlighted.)

Add a JQL Query Insert Generator:

  1. Open the Add menu, select Insert, and then JQL / Text Query
  2. In the JQL query section, enter the following JQL: issuetype = Epic
  3. Change the Place the generators on selection to Level below - this will add the epics under the Agile Hierarchy folder
  4. Click Create

Insert Generator for Epics

All your epics should now be placed beneath the Agile Hierarchy folder.

Structure with Epics

If the epics aren't beneath the Agile Hierarchy folder, your generator was probably placed at the top of the structure, instead of beneath the folder. Select the "Insert issues: issuetype = Epic" row and drag it to beneath the Agile Hierarchy folder (see the picture above).

Step 3: Insert Issues and Sub-tasks

Make sure the "Insert issues: issuetype = Epic" row is still selected, and return to the Add menu. This time, select Extend

If you are working with a Team-managed project, you'll add just one Extend generator:

  • Team-Managed Project Hierarchy

If you are working with a Company-managed project, you'll need to add two Extend generators:

  • Issues Under Epics
  • Sub-tasks

Structure with epics, stories, and sub-tasks

Step 4: Insert Issues without Epics

Next, we need to make sure we don't lose track of any issues that aren't linked to epics yet. That's what our second folder is for:

  1. Select  the "Issues without Epics" folder
  2. Return to the Add menu, select Insert, and then JQL / Text Query
  3. In the JQL query section, enter the following JQL:  issuetype != Epic AND issuetype in standardIssueTypes() AND "Epic Link" is empty
  4. Change the Place the generators on selection to Level below - this will add our issues under the folder
  5. Click Create

Insert Generator for Issues without Epics

Any issues that are not assigned to epics should now appear beneath the second folder.

Structure with stories without epics

If no issues appear under the Issues without Epics folder, make sure the Insert Generator is located in the right location - if not, drag the generator to beneath the Issues without Epics folder (see the picture above).

Step 5: Assign Issues to Epics / Reassign Issues

Now that you have all your issues organized and in one place, you can assign issues from the second folder to epics, or even reassign issues that already have epics.

Assigning Issues to Epics

To assign one of the issues in the second folder to an epic:

  • Drag that issues to the epic you want it assigned to.
  • While dragging, hold down the ctrl key - this copies the issue to the new location in the structure. Once the issue is copied to the new location, it should disappear from beneath the second folder (because now it's assigned to an epic). 

Don't worry: copying an item in Structure does not make a copy in Jira.

Reassigning Issues to New Epics

To reassign an issue from one epic to another, simply drag it from beneath its current epic to the new epic.