Documentation for JIRA 4.3. Documentation for other versions of JIRA is available too.

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Sub-Task issues are generally used to split up a parent issue into a number of tasks which can be assigned and tracked separately. (For details, see Creating a Sub-Task.)

Sub-Tasks have all the same fields as standard issues, although note that their 'issue type' must be one of the Sub-Task issue types (see below) rather than one of the standard issue types.

If Sub-Tasks are enabled and you have defined at least one Sub-Task issue type, your users will be able to:

On this page:

Disabling Sub-Tasks

Sub-tasks are enabled by default. However, this feature can be disabled from the Sub-Tasks administration page.
(info) Sub-Tasks will be disabled by default if your JIRA installation was upgraded from a version prior to 4.2 that had Sub-Tasks disabled.

To disable Sub-Tasks:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA Administrators global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. On the panel on the left, under the title Global Settings, click the link labelled 'Sub-Tasks' to open the Sub-Tasks administration page.
  4. Click the 'Disable' link. The page should reload and inform you that the Sub-Tasks are now disabled.
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Sub-tasks cannot be disabled if one or more Sub-Tasks exist in the system. You must remove any existing Sub-Tasks (or convert them to standard issues) before you can disable this feature.

Enabling Sub-Tasks

Sub-tasks can be enabled from the Sub-Task administration screen.

To enable Sub-Tasks:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA Administrators global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. On the panel on the left, under the title Global Settings, click the link labelled 'Sub-Tasks' to open the Sub-Tasks administration page.
  4. Click the 'Enable' link. The page will reload and inform you that the Sub-Tasks are now enabled.
    (info) A default Sub-Task issue type is automatically available for use. You can edit it by selecting the Edit link in the Operations column.

Defining Sub-Task issue types

Sub-tasks must be assigned one of the Sub-Task issue types, which are different to standard issue types. Please note that you must define at least one Sub-Task issue type before users can create Sub-Tasks.

Sub-task issue types can be customised on the Sub-Tasks administration page (described above). The Sub-Tasks administration page also allows you to create, delete, edit, translate and choose icons for your Sub-Task issue types. For details, please see Defining Issue Types.

Blocking Issue workflows by Sub-Task status

It is possible to restrict the progression of an issue through workflow depending on the status of the issue's Sub-Tasks. For example, you might need to restrict an issue from being resolved until all of its Sub-Tasks are resolved. To achieve this, you would create a custom workflow and use the Sub-Task Blocking Condition on the workflow transitions that are to be restricted by the Sub-Tasks' status.

Configuring Sub-Task fields

You can choose which subtask fields are displayed in the 'Sub-Tasks' section of an issue, by customising the jira-application.properties file — see Advanced JIRA configuration with jira-application.properties.

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)