Configuring Sub-tasks

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. Choose > Issues. Select Issue Types > Sub-Tasks to open the Sub-Tasks page.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: g + g + type sub-tasks
  3. Click the 'Disable' Sub-Tasks link. The page reloads and informs you that sub-tasks are now disabled.

(info) Please Note: Sub-tasks cannot be disabled if one or more sub-tasks exists 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-Tasks administration screen.

To enable sub-tasks:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA Administrators global permission.
  2. Choose > Issues. Select Issue Types > Sub-Tasks to open the Sub-Tasks page.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: g + g + type sub-tasks
  3. Click the 'Enable' Sub-Tasks 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 clicking its 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 at least one sub-task issue type must be defined in JIRA for users to be able to create sub-tasks.

Sub-task issue types can be customized on the Sub-Tasks administration page (described above). The Sub-Tasks administration page also allows you to create, edit (i.e. the name, description or icon) and translate your Sub-Task issue types.

Creating a sub-task issue type

To create a new sub-task issue type:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA Administrators global permission.
  2. Choose > Issues. Select Issue Types > Sub-Tasks to open the Sub-Tasks page.
    (tick)  Keyboard shortcut: g + g + start typing sub-tasks
  3. Click Add New Sub-Task Issue Type button to open the Add New Sub-Task Issue Type dialog box.
  4. Complete the following:
    • Name — enter a short phrase that best describes your new sub-task issue type.
    • Description — enter a sentence or two to describe when this sub-task issue type should be used.
    • Icon URL — supply the path of a image that has been placed somewhere inside <jira-application-dir>/images/icons of your JIRA Installation Directory or from an accessible URL.

Editing a sub-task issue type

To edit a sub-task issue type:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA Administrators global permission.
  2. Choose > Issues. Select Issue Types > Sub-Tasks to open the Sub-Tasks page.
    (tick)  Keyboard shortcut: g + g + start typing sub-tasks
  3. Click the Edit link (in the Operations column) for the sub-task issue type that you wish to edit.
  4. Edit the Name, Description and/or Icon as described above for Creating a sub-task issue type.

Deleting a sub-task issue type

 You can only delete sub-task issue types through the Manage Issue Types page. For details, please see Deleting an Issue Type. 

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 displayed on parent issues

JIRA system administrators can define which fields of sub-tasks are displayed in the Sub-Tasks section on the 'view issue' page of a parent issue (which contains one or more sub-tasks). This is done by editing the value of the jira.table.cols.subtasks property on JIRA's Advanced Settings page.

Specify which fields you want to show in the Sub-Tasks section of a parent issue's 'view issue' page by entering the appropriate 'value' for each field in a comma-separated list. The jira.table.cols.subtasks property can accept the values indicated in right-hand column of the IssueFieldConstants table on the Constant Field Values page (of JIRA's API documentation).

(info) Please Note:

  • The order of each value in this list determines the order of their representative fields in the Sub-Tasks section of a parent issue's 'view issue' page.
  • The summary field is a mandatory value which assumes first position in this property's value.

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