How to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (2023)

Jira is all about getting work done, and Epics is a valuable way to contribute to that goal. And in general, epics are for jobs that, as the name suggests, won't be done in a day, but will be... epics.

In this guide, we'll break down what epics are, what they are (and aren't) for, and how you can create and use them.

What will be covered in this blog post:

  • What are Jira Epics and what are they used for?
  • How to create a new Jira Epic
  • How to add issues to a Jira Epic
  • How to manage your epic
  • Tips and best practices for Jira Epics

Let's begin!

How to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (1)

What are Jira Epics and what are they used for?

Epics are at the top of the Jira task hierarchy. They cover several specific tasks and allow you to group a group of problems. For example, this could include work that is completed over a long period of time or over multiple sprints.– and to an extent that is entirely up to you.

Epics allow you to split your project into one or more blocks of work. These then run parallel to each other and can work together towards the end goal of the project. Splitting projects into multiple streams makes it easier to track progress and provides clarity by explaining the different building blocks that contribute to the project to people on and off the team.

All this makes project management easier and more efficient and brings more agility to the team.

From an agile perspective, an epic would represent a single goal or deliverable that contributes to a topic and consists of the separate tasks or user stories required to achieve that goal.

While Epic was built with Agile in mind, there are no limitations for teams using other processes.— and Epics continues to be a very effective tool for scheduling and tracking tasks.

(Video) How to Create Epics and User Stories in Jira

An alternative use of epics is to connect multiple user stories or related issues. This means tasks can be viewed in context and can help address the backlog and prioritize work.– Easily use Epic as a container for tasks.

You might be wondering if epics are so epic, what makes them differentprojects? The key is that Epics should compartmentalize projects - if all of your work fits under a single Epic umbrella within the project, it's unlikely to do you or your team any good. While some projects run forever (e.g. when used to manage ongoing processes or maintenance tasks), epics must have a defined purpose and eventually terminate; otherwise they become bulky and unwieldy.

componentsjCharacteristicsThey are similar general problem types that can act as containers for different tasks. However, both are below the epic level in the hierarchy and can therefore be used to split epics for greater transparency and accountability.The versionthey are also comparable, but not intended for continuous use. If you are interested in simply using epics to group tasks, you should consider ithang tags. This allows you to connect keyword issues across projects. However, they are less structured than epics, do not have their own admin screen and are not managed by admins.- so chaos can quickly arise. That means they're a great way to jot down tasks, but they're not ideal for directing project management.

How to create a new Jira Epic

As with other types of issues, there are multiple ways to create a new epic.

How to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (2)

Create an epic as a new issue

You can create epics directly from the navigation menu.

  • On the bar at the top of the screen in Jira, click Create
  • Then simply select Epic as the issue type

How to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (3)

Add an epic script:

  • With the script open, select "More" (...) in the top right corner, then select "Dash Settings"
  • On the Roadmap tab, click to enable epics for your project
  • Click on "Roadmap" in the left sidebar and select "+Create Epic" (if the roadmap is not complete, just tap to add your first epic)
  • In team-managed projects, go to the roadmap screen and click the "+" to create a new epic.

How to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (4)

(Video) Jira Epics 101 - Learning the Basics

Add an epic to the backlog using the epic dashboard

  • When viewing the backlog, click the Epic Dashboard
  • Then click Create Epic


After you click create for your epic, you need to fill out the following fields:

  • epic name- this should clearly identify your epic and perhaps briefly describe its purpose
  • epic summary- This can be used for a more detailed description of your epic

It's best to provide meaningful and specific names while staying concise and to the point.- to make it clear what Epic is for without leaving a complicated or unwieldy title.

You can also adjustStart and Due Datefor your epic This dates can be edited in the backlog or in the roadmap (where you can just stretch the epic bar to the desired dates). These fields aren't required, but they help set expectations and help with long-term planning.

How to add issues to a Jira Epic

With your Epic setup now, you want to start adding issues (or stories). There are several possibilities for this.

How to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (5)

When creating a new issue:On the create issue screen, you can link the new issue to your epic using the Epic Link field (provided this custom field is enabled). All you have to do is select your epic and the issue will now be linked to it.

How to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (6)

When using the Epic panel- In the "Epics Backlog" section there is an option "Create issue" which creates a new issue in the epic. In team-managed projects, when viewing an issue on a board or in the backlog, click More (...) and choose Add Parent.


from the script- While viewing the roadmap, hover over your epic name and click +Add child issue. Then select the problem type and you're done.

How to manage your epic

How to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (7)

To review your new epic, go to the backlog and then to the epics dashboard to see a list of all epics associated with the project. This screen is where you can view and manage all of your epics. To view issues related to Epic, just click on their name.

You can also divide your backlog into tracks based on your epics.In order to do this:

  • Ve a tu residue
  • Click the More button (...), then click Board Settings, then click Lanes.
  • Here you have the option "Base rails on". Select epics and the swimlanes in the backlog will be populated based on your epics
  • To do this for team-managed projects, go to the dashboard and select "Epic" from the "Group by" menu in the top-right corner.

How do you remove an issue from your epic?You may want to unlink an issue from your epic without deleting it. You can do this in the backlog or by viewing active sprints. First open the respective topic; then you will see that there is an "x" in the epic name. Clicking here will remove the Epic issue.

Alternatively, to remove an epic issue from the backlog, drag the issue onto the non-epic issues tile displayed in the epics dashboard.

Track the progress of your epicHow to Use and Create Epics in Jira: The Definitive Guide for 2023 (8)

Jira also makes it easy to check the progress of your epics. The best way to do this is withepic report. This provides a comprehensive list of closed, incomplete, and unappreciated issues associated with Epic.

This is especially important for epics with a large number of associated tasks and/or epics that span multiple sprints. The report makes it easy to see how much work Epic still has to do and how the team is moving to complete it.

To access the epic report, go to the relevant project, select "Reports" and "Epic Report" and click on your epic in the dropdown menu. From here you can also access a list of all issues attached to the epic by selecting "View in Issue Browser". The report is based on the dashboard column mapping, with issues going from left to right from To Do to Done.

(Video) Jira: How To Create an Epic Tutorial 2023

Evolutionsdiagrammethey are also very useful- Visualize the remaining work in a sprint or epic and compare it to your previous estimates. The chart is a great way to visualize the progress of the team and internal stakeholders. It's also a powerful management tool, showing if the team is on track to meet goals or if time and resources need to be reallocated. Additionally, providing clarity and transparency can help bring the team together.

Close your epic

When all tasks attached to your epic are complete, you should mark it as complete and close it.although the epic can be closed if desired even if there are uncompleted tasks associated with it.

To complete the epic, go to the backlog, open the epics dashboard and select your epic from the drop-down listand then on "Mark Complete". To close the epic in the roadmap, simply select the epic and click "Mark Complete" from the status drop-down menu.

Tips and best practices for Jira Epics

define your requirements- Before creating epics, it's important for your team to define how epics will be used and what scope and duration are appropriate for them. While epics can act simply as task containers, they are most useful when used to track tasks in the medium term (and it will be very detrimental to use epics for both purposes in a single project). Likewise, the Epic Dashboard becomes less and less useful as it gets more and more crowded over time, while the Epic Report loses its usefulness as it gets crowded. This means that in general you should only start epics if you intend to complete them.

Assign an admin– While epics are likely to be managed by project managers and/or administrators, an epic can also be managed by a specialist who handles tasks associated with a specific element of a project or technology. Of course, to avoid confusion, it's important to state upfront who will be responsible for managing, maintaining, and updating Epic.

Using unique workflows- Epics can get their own unique workflows. However, consider whether they really add value to your team, or whether they just add chaos and confusion to your instance and prevent tasks and reports from aligning with other projects and epics.


Epics are a very powerful tool for dividing workflows in Jira projects. They make it simple and easy to track tasks on large projects and forecast the amount of work remaining and the resources needed to meet deadlines.

All of this makes Epics a crucial part of the Jira toolset that brings teams together and helps them manage and get their day-to-day work done on time and on budget.

Suggested reading:

(Video) How to update story points in JIRA - JIRA tutorial 2023

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  • How to Use Jira for Non-Software Projects (The Pro Guide)
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  • Jira Automation: Get the basics right


How should epics be used in Jira? ›

An epic is a large body of work that can be broken down into a number of smaller stories, or sometimes called “Issues” in Jira. Epics often encompass multiple teams, on multiple projects, and can even be tracked on multiple boards. Epics are almost always delivered over a set of sprints.

What is the difference between stories and epics in Jira? ›

Stories, also called “user stories,” are short requirements or requests written from the perspective of an end user. Epics are large bodies of work that can be broken down into a number of smaller tasks (called stories).

What are the six steps of an epic? ›

Six Elements Of The Epic:
  • Plot centers around a Hero of Unbelievable Stature. ...
  • Involves deeds of superhuman strength and valor. ...
  • Vast Setting. ...
  • Involves supernatural and-or otherworldly forces. ...
  • Sustained elevation of style. ...
  • Poet remains objective and omniscient.

What are the 5 characteristics of an epic? ›

List the characteristics of an epic
  • The hero is outstanding. ...
  • The setting is large. ...
  • The action is made of deeds of great valor or requiring superhuman courage.
  • Supernatural forces—gods, angels, demons—insert themselves in the action.
  • It is written in a very special style (verse as opposed to prose) and uses epic similes.

Should epics be in a sprint? ›

An epic is a large user story which is too big to fit into a sprint. This high-level story is usually split into smaller ones, each of which can be completed within a sprint. In that sense, an epic is a collection of user stories with a unified goal. There is no standard form or template to use in writing epics.

Can a Jira ticket have 2 epics? ›

Description. In current implementation of Jira Software, a single Epic can support multiple projects as needed. This means that only a single Epic issue type is used for all boards available by default.

What are the two major types of epics? ›

There are two main types of epic—the folk epic, created and developed through the oral tradition, and the literary epic, a story attributed to a single identified author.

What are the three types of epic? ›

Types of Epic

Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are primary epics. Virgil's Aeneid and Milton's Paradise Lost are secondary epics. A primary epic is a type of epic through which the epic tradition was evolved. The secondary or literary epic is the epic which followed the tradition of the primary epic.

Do all user stories need an epic? ›

A user story can stand on its own. There is no mandatory approach that requires an epic first and then deconstruction into specific levels. The basic rule of thumb is user stories should be detailed enough for the team to start development with minimal discussion and a clear expectation of the outcome.

Can I create an epic template in Jira? ›

To create such a template, click the Create button, choose Templates as your target project and Epic as your issue type, provide a summary, the Epic Name, description, and the rest of the needed fields and click Create. Now open the freshly created issue and add stories or tasks.

How do I use an epic template? ›

Open the visit that you wish to apply a template to. Click on Other - Apply Template, then choose the template you with to use. You will be prompted with a warning message, press Yes to apply the template. The Warning message will disappear and the content of the template will be applied to the Chart.

How many sprints is an epic? ›

I have heard from colleagues that a best practice for the size of epics is that 1 epic can be done in 1 sprint.

What is an epic workflow? ›

A Workflow is the process through which Epics move, from creation to completion. Workflows are set by you, and can be customized to be as simple or as complicated as you want. Epic Workflow States. By default, Shortcut has three workflow states for Epics: To Do, In Progress, and Done.

How long should it take to complete an epic? ›

An epic takes longer to deliver than a user story, but make sure that it doesn't take too long either. As a rule of thumb, two weeks is considered a good amount of time for epics.

Can you put an epic into a sprint in Jira? ›

Essentially, an Epic is part of a greater work, so it's not likely you'll be able to finish an entire Epic in the given time for the Sprint. That said, you can include the stories from within the Epic that you have capacity to work on during your Sprint. You can add all of them if you have the capacity.

What are the 4 epic conventions? ›

Iliad – Greek. Odyssey – Greek. Beowulf – English. Mahabharata (Best of Bharata – his descendants) and The Ramayana – Indian.

What is an important element of an epic? ›

The word "epic" comes from Latin epicus and from Greek epikos, meaning "a word; a story; poetry in heroic verse." The elements that typically distinguish epics include superhuman deeds, fabulous adventures, highly stylized language, and a blending of lyrical and dramatic traditions, which also extend to defining heroic ...

Can an epic be in a backlog? ›

An Epic is a Backlog Item that contains at least one Story, even if the Story is just an investigatory one. Usually, a functional Epic contains analysis Stories that produce functional Stories that also belong to the Epic.

Do epics go in the backlog? ›

Epics can be prioritized in the Product Backlog, along with all the other Product Backlog Items. A theme is a coherent set of user stories – Often the resulting user stories from an epic.

How many user stories per epic? ›

How many user stories should be in an epic? There is no exact number because every project is different. But we would recommend adding no more than 10-15 user stories to an epic. This will allow us to complete it within 3 months and proceed with other development stages.

How long should epics last in Jira? ›

To be honest there is no set or recommended length of time for an epic. In jira terms, an epic is a collection of work items (stories, tasks, etc.). So if you have a lot of work items it would take longer.

What is higher than epic in Jira? ›

Solved: Higher than Epics. Legends, Initiatives.

What is the parent of an epic in Jira? ›

Parent Link is a field used to establish a relationship between an Epic (child) and an Initiative (parent). This is meant to be used by the Advanced Roadmaps. It sounds like your admin set the Parent Link field to be required on creation of Epics.

What is the most popular epic? ›

Popular Examples of Epic Poems
  • Perhaps the most widely known epic poems are Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey, both of which detail the events of the Trojan War and King Odysseus's journey home from Troy. ...
  • The Mahābhārata is an ancient Indian epic composed in Sanskrit.
Aug 16, 2021

What are two modern examples of epics? ›

Now that you've studied what an epic is and what its characteristics are, it's time to put the knowledge to use! Your job is to pick a modern epic, such as ​Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, ​and ​The Princess Bride​.

What are epics give two examples? ›

Epics are grand, long compositions about the heroic deeds of men and women. They include stories about gods as well. Example -Mahabharata and Ramayana.

What is 1 example of epic? ›

In literary usage, the term encompasses both oral and written compositions. The prime examples of the oral epic are Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.

Why is it called an epic? ›

The word “epic” comes from the Ancient Greek word epos, which simply means “word, narrative, or song”.

How many story points should an epic be? ›

An epic is a story that is larger than 8 story points. An epic is a story that can't be completed in one sprint.

Who should create epics? ›

A product owner is responsible for writing Agile epics. They will liaise with key stakeholders, such as clients and investors, to ensure it satisfies the required needs. Unlike a user story, an epic cannot be completed in one Agile iteration.

What is the difference between epic user stories & tasks? ›

Tasks. Tasks are decomposed parts of a story that get into HOW the story will be completed. Tasks can be hour estimated if desired. Tasks are usually defined by the people doing the work (developers, QA, etc), whereas stories and epics are generally created by the customer or the product owner on behalf of the customer ...

Who can create epic in Jira? ›

To create your first epic, you'll need a Jira account with the Roadmap enabled. Make sure to log in to your Jira account and either create a new development project for testing or open a previous project that includes a Sprint. That's all you need. Let's get epic.

Can you convert Jira story to epic? ›

Select the story needing to be converted to an epic. Click the ellipses at the top of the story. Select Move. Complete the fields to move to an Epic - *Name is required.

How do I link an epic to a story in Jira? ›

Go to the story that you wish to add to the epic and follow these steps:
  1. Edit > Epic Link > Click the drop down and select the Epic Link that matches what you want.
  2. If Epic Link is not showing on the Configured Fields, follow these steps: Edit > Configure Fields (top right) > Select Epic Link.

Can you copy paste into epic? ›

The EPIC Pasteboard. It's Copy/Paste, but 10 things can fit on the clipboard, which "remembers" all of the copied snippets you chose (even if they contain images). Then go to your note, hit Ctrl+E in blank space, the board pops up, and you can sequentially paste 📋multiple items into your note.

How do I create a smart list in epic? ›

Users can create their own SmartLists by accessing the SmartList interface from the main Epic menu in the upper-left hand corner of their screen or by using the search bar in the upper-right hand corner to “Jump to” SmartList.

How do you make a smart phrase in epic? ›

Click on the red Epic button – Tools – SmartPhrase Manager. 2. In the SmartPhrase selection box you can filter your choices by user or phrase to edit a phrase that has already been created or you can create a new phrase. Create, edit or share your SmartPhrases in My SmartPhrases.

What are the 3 C's in an agile story? ›

These 3 C's are Cards, Conversation, and Confirmation. These are essential components for writing a good User Story. The Card, Conversation, and Confirmation model was introduced by Ron Jefferies in 2001 for Extreme Programming (XP) and is suitable even today.

What is a good example of an epic in agile? ›

The theme, epic, and user stories share the same strategic goal at different levels of the focus area. Consider the example of building a house. If an initiative is like building the ground floor, an epic is like creating a kitchen and a user story is like building a wall, with each brick being a task.

Who creates epics in agile? ›

Epic Owners are responsible for formulating and elaborating the epic and analyzing its cost and impact by collaborating closely with other groups in the portfolio. An Epic Owner can only be effective by collaborating closely with other groups.

How do you create an epic and what is it? ›

How to Write an Epic?
  1. Step 1: Name the epic.
  2. Step 2: Write a narrative explaining the epic.
  3. Step 3: Establish the scope for the epic.
  4. Step 4: Define completion for the epic.
  5. Step 5: Break the epic down into stories.

How do you create an epic in agile? ›

With agile epics, you can break down your work into smaller tasks and ship value to your customers regularly.
How To Create an Agile Epic
  1. Refer to your quarterly goals and OKRs. ...
  2. Structure the specs. ...
  3. Involve the whole team. ...
  4. Set a timeframe. ...
  5. Select a metric for the epic. ...
  6. Find a way to visualize progress. ...
  7. Identify any blockers.
Apr 22, 2022

What is epic vs feature vs story? ›

An epic is the highest-level goal of a project, providing direction and context to allow teams to effectively plan out the development process. Features provide more detail on how a product should be built, while user stories provide further detail on what needs to be done by each team member.

What are two examples of a epic? ›

Popular Examples of Epic Poems
  • Perhaps the most widely known epic poems are Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey, both of which detail the events of the Trojan War and King Odysseus's journey home from Troy. ...
  • The Mahābhārata is an ancient Indian epic composed in Sanskrit.
Aug 16, 2021

Is epic difficult to learn? ›

Epic is also difficult to learn, and the certification process can be very challenging. Vast amounts of data need to be logged for every patient visit and procedure. Other reasons why it was found to be bad were the low-quality training, unfair pricing, poor customer support, and insufficient data entry.


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