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Sub-task issues are useful for splitting up a parent issue into a number of smaller tasks that can be assigned and tracked separately. This can provide a better picture of the progress on the issue, and allows each person involved in resolving the issue to better understand what part of the process they are responsible for.

All the sub-tasks related to a parent issue are summarised on the parent issue's main screen (see 'Working with Sub-Tasks' below). Sub-tasks always belong to the same project as their parent issue.

Sub-tasks have all the same fields as standard issues, e.g. Summary, Description, Reporter, Assignee, Status. Note that sub-tasks have a different set of issue types from the standard issue types.

Sub-tasks cannot have sub-tasks of their own. However, if you need to break up a sub-task into smaller sub-tasks, you could achieve this by first converting the sub-task to a standard issue. You would then be able to create sub-tasks for it.

On this page:

Creating a sub-task

To create sub-tasks, you need to have the Create Issue permission in the parent issue's project. There is no option to set security on a sub-task, as sub-tasks inherit their parent issue's security levels if any have been set.

(info) Sub-tasks can only be created if your JIRA administrator has enabled sub-tasks and added the sub-task issue type to the project's issue type scheme.

To create a sub-task:

  1. Navigate to the issue you would like to be the parent issue of the sub-task you are about to create.
  2. Select More > Create Sub-Task. You will see the Create Subtask screen.
  3. Fill in the details as needed, and then click Create at the bottom of the page.

Tip: You can customize the Create Subtask dialog to show fields you use most often. To do this, click Configure Fields at the top right corner of the dialog, and use the All and Custom links to switch between the default screen and your custom settings. Your changes are saved for future use.

Working with sub-tasks

If an issue has sub-tasks, the issue screen displays a list of all the issue's sub-tasks:

  • Show open sub-tasks only – The sub-task list has two views: Show All and Show Open. Show All lists all sub-tasks, regardless of status, while Show Open only shows sub-tasks that have not been resolved (i.e. do not have a Resolution ).
  • Time Tracking – The colored bars show the time-tracking data for the issue and its sub-tasks.
  • Perform actions on sub-tasks – Click on the right side of the sub-task in the list to display the Actions dropdown menu:

    Tip: You can also type a period ' . ' to access issue actions.
  • Quickly create sub-tasks – Once an issue has one or more sub-tasks, you can quickly create additional sub-tasks by clicking the '+' icon.

Searching for sub-tasks

When sub-tasks are enabled, two extra entries appear in the Issue Type dropdown list in the search form.

  • To search standard issues only, click All Standard Issue Types.
  • To search sub-task issues only, click All Sub-Task Issue Types.
  • To search for one specific type of issue or sub-issue, select just one Issue Type or one Sub-Task Issue Type.

If no entries are selected from the Issue Type list, the search returns all the standard and sub-task issues that meet the search criteria.

Converting a standard issue to a sub-task

  1. Navigate to the issue you would like to convert.
  2. Select More > Convert to Sub-Task.
  3. In the Step 1. Select Parent Issue and Sub-Task Type screen, type or select the appropriate parent issue type and the new issue type (i.e. a sub-task issue type). Click Next.
  4. If the issue's current status is not an allowed status for the new issue type, the Step 2. Select New Status screen is displayed. Select a new status and click Next.
  5. In the Step 3. Update Fields screen you will be prompted to enter any additional fields if they are required. Otherwise, you will see the message 'All fields will be updated automatically'. Click Next.
  6. The Step 4. Confirmation screen is displayed. If you are satisfied with the new details for the issue, click Finish.
  7. The issue will be displayed. You will see that it is now a sub-task, that is, its parent's issue number is now displayed at the top of the screen.

Note: You will not be able to convert an issue to a sub-task if the issue has sub-tasks of its own. You first need to convert the issue's sub-tasks to standalone issues (see below); you can then convert them to sub-tasks of another issue if you wish. Sub-tasks cannot be moved directly from one issue to another — you will need to convert them to standard issues, then to sub-tasks of their new parent issue.

Converting a sub-task to a standard issue

  1. Navigate to the sub-task issue you would like convert.
  2. Select More > Convert to Issue.
  3. In the Step 1. Select Issue Type screen, select a new issue type (i.e. a standard issue type) and click Next.
  4. If the sub-task's current status is not an allowed status for the new issue type, the Step 2. Select New Status screen is displayed. Select a new status and click Next.
  5. In the Step 3. Update Fields screen you will be prompted to enter any additional fields if they are required. Otherwise, you will see the message 'All fields will be updated automatically'. Click Next.
  6. The Step 4. Confirmation screen is displayed. If you are satisfied with the new details for the issue, click Finish.
  7. The issue will be displayed. You will see that it is no longer a sub-task, that is, there is no longer a parent issue number displayed at the top of the screen.

82 Comments

  1. Quick question, is there anyway to make one subtask dependent on one another. So one is not able to start one task until another finishes, and also make tasks that are able to be completed at the same time. And also produce a project plan / Gantt chart from that data?

    Thank you

  2. 2 questions:

    1 . Is there a way to have a default assigne to a sub-task based on the sub taks type? We often have our tasks split into subtaksk that are almost always "design" and "implementation" and they are always assigned to the same person.

    2. Can the sub-task section of the edit task view be shown even if there are no sub-task created for the issue yet?

      1. Sorry, no — automatic assigning is done via Component only
      2. Yes — please set "jira.view.issue.show.quicksubtask.when.no.subtasks" in jira-application.properties
      1. Great!

        Thank you very much.

      2. Thanks!.

        The #2 is very useful for heavy subtask user.

        It should be an option that Admin can enable/disable from Config screen.

  3. Question:  As part of the workflow for a issue type, can I have subtasks automatically created for this issue when it transitions into that step?   So for exampe, let's say I have the issue type  New Client and when it gets to the step Requirements Approved, it would create subtasks where those subtasks relate to subsystems of the product that need to have changes made.  Could you please tell me if this could be automated and how?  THANKS

    1. Anonymous

      bump

      Wondering if this is a planned or current feature (yes have searched the FAQ high and low and couldn't find anything on this).

    2. Anonymous

      This plugin that is maintained by Bob Swift will provide the functionality you're looking for.  Sure would be nice if it was part of Jira by default.  Maybe one day...

      https://plugins.atlassian.com/697735

  4. Anonymous

    Is it possible to have custom fields displayed in the Add Sub-Task form to facilitate rapid entry of subtask including populating my custom field?

    1. Seems what you are looking for :

      http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA/Configuring+Sub-tasks#ConfiguringSub-tasks-Choosingwhichfieldstodisplayinthe%27AddSubTask%27form

      Choosing which Sub-Task fields to display on the Parent Issue

      • To customise the Sub-Task columns that appear on the parent issue's View Issue screen, edit jira.table.cols.subtasks

      Choosing which fields to display in the 'Add Sub-Task' form

      • To customise the Sub-Task 'Quick Create' form, edit jira.subtask.quickcreateform.fields (for a list of available fields to include, see Displaying Search Results in XML)
  5. Anonymous

    My problem with sub-tasks is that the parent task still has to be tracked separately. For example in a Greenhopper view, the parent task needs to be dragged between swimlanes along with its subtasks. Once a task is broken into subtasks, it's progress should be tracked solely by it's subtasks. Maybe I'm just missing something since I'm still new at this Greenhopper and Jira 4 thing :)

  6. Anonymous

    I would like to have a 'story' be a task and a sub-task. Sometimes a story is part of an epic (e.g. subtask), sometimes it stands-alone (standard). Is this possible?

  7. After creating sub-tasks, is there any native feature to ease the management of their relationship with their parents?

    Typically, Auto-adjust parent issue on sub-task status
    as submitted here http://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JRA-13012

    and discussed here : Parent issue state change based on Sub-task progress

    http://forums.atlassian.com/thread.jspa?messageID=257242728&#257242728

    Especially that we dont' find yet  a way to filter Issues that have their subtasks started or all closed.

    So far, our feature writers have to scan regularly their issues to detect which features can be closed.

    (current workaround is to filter all issues and display column subtasks... and scan visually...)

  8. Hi! How many levels of subtasks can be created? Thanks.

    1. Hi Alexander, only one level of subtasks can be created. There might be external plugins which could give you that function.

      1. Anonymous

        Hi,

        Do you know any of those plugins? We are using Jira heavily and we need desperately several levels of subtasks.

  9. is there a good plugin to have subtasks cross-projects.. so that we can create subtasks in a different project than the parent issue? i only asking for the solution or the plugin, not if it makes sense to have this function.

  10. agreed, I have an immediate need to add technical tasks to user stories within Jira.  What is the plugin that would allow me to create a user-story (sub task) and then would allow me to create tasks or technical tasks under that user story?

    Please advise, thanks!

  11. Anonymous

    We are running JIRA version 4.2.4 with the agile plugin installed and are not seeing the options to create a sub-task. The other agile features are all here, but no sub tasks. Is this a feature that is only available in a later version? Do we need to be on 4.4?

  12. Anonymous

    Is it possible to have a SubTask linked to another project? 

  13. Anonymous

    Hi,

    Is there a way to bulk change the parent user story of sub tasks?

    Thank you,

    Chinthaka

  14. Anonymous

    Hi, Is there any way to do a bulk "Convert to Sub-task" operation? We are heavy subtask users and we waste a lot of time adding subtasks to existing tasks manually.

    Thank you.

  15. Anonymous

    Hi All, just wondering if there is a way to change sub-tasks from having their own pre-fix which doesnt relate to the parent issue to one that does?

    for example if i have an 'issue' called "xyz Company" and it gets prefix C-1 is it possible for all sub-tasks for this Company/'Issue' to have a pre-fix along the lines of;

    C-1-a - first sub-task
    C-1-b - second sub-task

    or

    C-1-1 - first sub-task
    C-1-2 - second sub-task

    1. Anonymous

      I was going to submit this as a suggestion but saw it here.

      It is very frustrating when doing a bulk search on issues but not having sub-tasks appear immediately under their related issue.

  16. Anonymous

    emphtedHi,

    I'm also interested to know if a task of project x can be made a subtask of project y.

  17. Anonymous

    One good idea is to not allow parent tasks to be closed unless all subtasks are completed. Another nice option would be to allow a setting to automatically mark the parent as complete if all the subtasks are complete.

  18. Anonymous

    Hey y'all,

    I'd like to assign my co-worker to a sub-task. However, the only dropdown options I get are "Automatic" & JIRA Admin (that's me). I wonder how I can make her the Assignee?

    Thanks a lot!

    Cheers

    1. Anonymous

      Solved it myself. Thans anyway!

  19. Anonymous

    Hi all,

    I was wondering how can I make a subtask inherit all or some of the pre-defined values from it's parent (story in my case). For example, if i create a sub-task, i would like to already have the components and the versions inherited from it's parent. Is that possible? In Greenhopper, when adding a sub-task all these fields are inherited but not when you use "Create Issue" screen. I have another problem with Greenhopper and I can't use that screen either.

    Thanks!

  20. Anonymous

    When I size an issue, and later make that issue a sub-task, I lose the sizing information and it is marked 'N/A' on the Planning Board.  The sizes don't roll up into the parent story or epic, either.  Is there a way to do that?

    Thanks.

  21. Anonymous

    Hi!

    Is there a way to customize it the time tracking on the task/sub task relation. For example, the default, after we enter a new sub task and that has an estimate of 2h, then 2h are added to the original estimate of the parent main task. Is there a way to change that so that the estimated time on the sub task does not add to the main task? We want to keep our main task with a defined original estimate, but be able to add sub tasks with its own estimates, but without raising the original estimate for the main task/story. 

  22. Anonymous

    Hi,

    I'd like to have the process steps (such as Write Cunit test, iImplement, integrate to trunc) included when creating storys Is there a way to do this? One way would be to automatically create sub-tasks for each of those process steps but can not see that this is possible. Any ideas?

    Thanks.

  23. Anonymous

    Hi,

    I'd like to convert a "task" (which was already closed) to a "sub-task".

    I could not convert it as "convert to sub-task" option is not available under "more actions" menu for closed tasks

    I then re-opened the task and tried again, but result was the same.

    I would be very pleased if you could inform me whether this is possible.

    Regards,

    Eregun Seray

     

  24. Hi

    I don't have any subtask option in my menu. How come? Can anybody help?

    1. Anonymous

      As the JIRA documentation mentions, you need to ensure that you have both enabled sub-tasks and added the sub-task issue type to the project's issue type scheme. Make sure you did that.

      1. Yes. Thank you for your comment.

        I have found it and I followed the steps inside and managed to have sub tasks.

         

        Thank you. 

  25. Hi,

    i have a question regarding the moving the sub-tasks if i have many of them. That takes me a lot of time  to move the last task to the top because clicking an arrow moves the task only 1 point above/below. Is there way to move them up and down faster. And when i'm inside the main task i see the list of sub-tasks, how can i add the "resolution" and "priority" columns? i tried to change jira.table.cols.subtasks = priority, issuetype, status, resolution, assignee, but changes had no effect for JIRA 4.4

     

    thank you

    Svetlana

     

    1. Read these threads:

      JRA-10192 - Fast subtask rearrangement Open JRA-24547 - Drag and Drop Subtasks Open

  26. Can sub-tasks be referenced by multiple parent tasks?  I'm trying to create a matrix of use cases and user stories and they mix and match across.  Is the best way to do this to use linking?  I've heard Issue Linking has its limitations.

    1. Hi Jacki,

      When you say 'can sub-tasks be referenced by multiple parent tasks', do you mean can a sub-task have more than one parent issue (i.e. can a sub-task be a sub-task of more than one regular issue)? If so, then the answer is no.

      However, a sub-task can be linked to a regular issue or another sub-task. I'd recommend using Issue Linking for what you are trying to achieve.

      Hope this helps,

      Giles.

      P.S. Could I ask if you could elaborate on the limitations your heard about Issue Linking?

  27. Hello,

    Is there a way to have the "Create Sub Task" action only in selected states. Like users only can create sub tasks if the current state is "In Progress".

    Regards

    Stephan

  28. Anonymous

    Is there a way to assign sub-tasks to different projects. We have 3 projects (Client, Console, Backend) and when we create a ne feature we want to create 3 different sub-tasks (one for each) and assign them to the representative leaders. Today it looks to me that subtask only works within the same project. 

    If not, how can i achieve the use case described above?

     

    Thanks. This forum rocks!

  29. Anonymous

    Is there a way to set subtasks so that only myself and the assignee that I assign the subtask to can see? So when they're done with the project and upload the file, I want to be able to review it between the 2 of us and give feedback before returning it back to the overall team. That way they don't have to see our back and forth?

    1. Anonymous

  30. Hi,

    I'm new to Jira Enterprise Edition modelling, even if I'm using since several years and I love this tool.

    My open question is the following: we need to define a scenario were the Customer can rise issues which are then processed by our Customer Support; on the other side Customer Support needs to manage the relevant internal activities (subtask) to be assigned to different offices.

    These internal activities must not be visible to Customer

    I think that this situation could be represent a quite common business scenario, where a system like Jira is not used only for internal company processes. This is the reason why it seem to me quite strange (and a pity) that neither Visibility nor Security Level of SubTask can be separately assigned from its parent Issue

    Is there a way different from resolving this problem with Comment visibility ? 

    Thanks in advance for answer and any solution

    1. Anonymous

      Same need here! Subtask is great to manage things internally and not visible from customers! Plus there is a bug:

      • create an issue with security level not public
      • create a sub task #1 => security level be inherited, i.e. not public.
      • change issue security level to public => sub task #1 will become public
      • create sub task #2 => security level is set to not public (as per first issue security level)! It does not take into account the security level change.

       

  31. Anonymous

    Please add support for subtasks of subtasks

    1. Anonymous

      1. Anonymous

        +1 

        And the ability to inherit specific fields from its parent ticket, such as assignee or other custom fields.

    2. Anonymous

    3. Anonymous

    4. Anonymous

    5. Anonymous

  32. Anonymous

    If I add sub-task under a user story with one component, but I give the sub-task different component, how will it affect the burndown charts? Will it be tracked by both components?
  33. Anonymous

    How to force JIRA to display subtasks under their parent issue (Issue Navigator)? In other words, is it possible to show all subtasks belonging to the same issue in a one group?

     

    1. Anonymous

  34. Anonymous

    Hi,

    I would like to have differents fields between parent issue and Sub - Task screen. Can i set a custom screen for Sub - Task?

     

    Thanks.

  35. Anonymous

    I would still love if there was a way to automatically generate SubTasks in OnDemand. Since we can't have plug-ins, I'm stuck manually creating the Documentation and QA subtasks manually for all my stories.

  36. Anonymous

    Hi,

    Is there any way of bulk editing sub tasks? We are using it for projects and each sub task is a element of the project. We would like to be able to change the status or amend the status they can have easily. Any one got any ideas?

    Cheers

  37. Anonymous

    I have a similar question as the above person.  I would like to know if there is a "cascading close" concept?

    for example when I close the parent JIRA any children are automatically closed. 

    Thanks,

  38. Is it possible to make a sub-task type available only under specific standard issue types? E.g. "Technical Sub-task" is only allowed under "Technical Task".

    I know this is possible if we dedicate a project to a specific issue type, but I would like to use this within one JIRA project that allows these different issue types.

    1. Anonymous

      I'm also searching for such a link between "standard issue types" and "sub task types"

  39. Hi,

    is it possible to create sub-task issue without parent?

    Thanks,

    Dimi

  40. Anonymous

    Is there any way to display the sub-tasks on the Rapid Board?

  41. Anonymous

    Is there anyway I can connect a story to an epic?

  42. Anonymous

    In JIRA OnDemand, it would be a great feature if sub-tasks would be "stand out" more from normal issues, in list views. When looking at an issue list, it is visually not immediately clear which lines are issues and which are sub-tasks.

    Maybe it would be a nice feature to have a seperate column that holds sub-task keys, so that a sub task row seems "indented" compared to normal issues.

  43. Anonymous

    Setting Fix Versions of Sub-Tasks Question.

    When I create a sub-task, it inherits the Fix Version of the parent.

    But when I change the Fix Version of the parent ... the Fix Version of the sub-task is not updated.

    Other than adding a post function to transitions of the sub-task, "Set the value(s) of a field from the issue's parent" is there another way to keep the sub-task fix version in synch with its' parent?

  44. Anonymous

    when I create a Sub Task, I have to fill in the "components" and "labels" which are required fields.

    They are always IDENTICAL with the components and labels of the Story which the sub task belongs to.

    How can I achive that these fields are filled out automatically when creating a new subtask?

    It is quite a waste of time -

  45. Anonymous

     

    Is there a way to copy certain custom fields from the parent issue to the sub task?

  46. Anonymous

     

    I would like to assign different Sub-Tasks of the same Task to different Sprints on different Boards.  I cannot assign Sub-Tasks to Sprints at all, much less spread them across different Boards, nor can I assign a Parent Task to more then one Sprint.  Please advise.

  47. On version 6 I am missing the feature to move subtasks order. It used to be an arrow before. How can we do that on current version?

    Thanks.

    1. Anonymous

      I have the same problem: the move-up arrow and move-down arrow are no longer visible.  If I have hover over the spots where they used to be, I can press the invisible button to move the subtask up or down.  Very nonintuitive.

      1. Anonymous

        Thank you guys, looks like this feature is working again. I can move up and down my subtasks.

  48. How can I convert a subtask on one type into a subtask of another type?

  49. Why it's not possible to create a subtask with security different from the parent issue? Is there any chance to have it implemented? 

  50. Anonymous

    Can I assign more then 1 "" to a subtask?

  51. Anonymous

    Is there any way to create subtasks with estimates without them rolling up and changing the original estimate of the parent?  It would be nice if the subtasks could be added and not change the original estimate of the story and yet let them burn down off the story (parent).  Having an estimate on the subtasks that do not change the original estimate of the story (parent) would make it easier to look for gaps in estimating.  We do not use story points for estimating.

    1. I, for one, can't understand why you would want to do this. The work estimate for the parent is the sum of the work estimates for the subtasks. Now, if you want to record an original work estimate for the parent so as to be able to compare that to the sum of the subtasks later or the work actually done, no problem. Just create a custom field to store that. With an extension like Slingshot, or others, you could populate it initially when the main work estimate is populated so you wouldn't have to enter it twice.

       

  52. Is it possible to create "Task / Sub Task" with in "Sub Task"?

  53. Under Agile sprint planning:
    If I have a story with multiple sub tasks, and one of the sub tasks didn't get completed, can I just move the one sub-task to the next Sprint? For example: I have a story in a sprint which was intended to be completed, with code complete, alpha and prod deployment.  but only code complete was achieved, so can I move the sub task for alpha and prod deployment to the next sprint? 

    1. No. A "Story" is the major unit. If a subtask did not get completed, then the story did not get completed.

      Now, if the subtask was for something the story really didn't need, then you can create a new story and move the subtask to that new story. Or you can convert the subtask to a story itself.