Creating issues and sub-tasks

The building blocks of any project are issues. Issues act as the packets of work that travel through their respective workflows within their projects, until the work is completed.

An issue can have subtasks that can be assigned and tracked individually. You can also control issue-level security to restrict an issue to select members of your team. On this page, you'll learn more about creating and converting issues and subtasks, and setting issue level security. If you're looking to import multiple issues (and subtasks) using a CSV file, you can find the import process explained in more detail here.

Before you begin

You need the Create Issue project permission for the issue's relevant project.

On this page:

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We're rolling out a new issue view, with a consistent appearance across Jira and one screen to view and edit. It looks a little different and some procedures have changed slightly, so take a look at our info page to see what's new and get the latest updates. To turn the new issue view on or off in Jira Software projects for now, head to Your profile and settings () > Personal settings and toggle the switch for the New Jira issue view.

Create an issue

  1. Click Create  in the global sidebar.
  2. Type a Summary for the issue.
  3. Complete all required fields and any other fields that you want.
    1. Optional: To change which fields appear when you create another issue, click Configure Fields and select and deselect the fields you want. When you next create an issue, the selected fields will be displayed.
    2. Optional: To create other issues with the same Project and Issue Type, select the Create another checkbox. Depending on your configuration and issue creation history, some fields may be pre-populated. Review these before creating the new issue.
  4. When you're finished, click Create

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  • Your issue will be created at the top of the backlog, unless;
    • you have an issue selected in the backlog — your issue will be created right below the selected issue
    • you have specified a sprint when creating the issue — your issue will be created at the bottom of the sprint
  • You can quickly create issues using the inline issue create in the Backlog (for Scrum boards, backlog and future sprints only). Just click + Create issue.
     
    Note, if your board's filter specifies more than one project, you will still need to complete the full 'Create issue' dialog.
  • If you are using epics, you may want to click Configure Fields and add the Epic Link field to the screen, so that you can add issues to epics as you create them.

    Note, you can also create an issue that automatically belongs to a particular epic. See Working with epics

Clone an issue

Clone an issue to quickly create a duplicate of it in the same project. The cloned issue contains most of the same details stored in the original issue, like the summary, affected versions, and components. Some details aren't cloned, like time logged, comments, history, and links to Confluence pages. The issue status also returns to the first step of the corresponding workflow, and the resolutions are cleared. The cloned issue can be linked to the original issue, but doesn't have to be.

To clone an issue:

  1. Open the issue
  2. Select more (•••) > Clone
  3. Optionally edit the cloned issue's Summary
  4. If applicable to the issue you're cloning, you can also select from these options:
    • Clone subtasks to copy existing subtasks
    • Clone attachments to add any existing attachments
    • Clone links to add any existing linked issues
    • Clone sprint values to copy across the issue's current and closed sprint values
  5. Click Create


Split an issue

Splitting an issue is useful when an issue is so big, that it's better to divide it into two or more issues, and make work more manageable. Note that you can only split an issue from the Scrum backlog and the Kanban backlog (if enabled), and not from Active sprints or the Kanban board.

  1. Navigate to the Backlog of your Scrum or Kanban software development project.
  2. Do either of the following:
    1. In a Scrum project, in the Backlog or sprint (any future and any active sprints) sections, right-click an issue and select Split issue.
      Screenshot: sample Scrum backlog (with an issue selected)
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    2. In a Kanban project, in the Backlog or Selected for Development sections, right-click an issue and select Split issue.


      Note that in the sample screenshot above, the Selected for Development section corresponds to the first column of your Kanban board. The name may be different, depending on the column name on your Kanban board. See Using your Kanban backlog for more information.


What happens when I split an issue?

In a Scrum backlog

  • If you split an issue in the backlog, the new issue will be sent to the Backlog section.
  • If you split an issue in one of the sprints (future or active), you can choose to send the new issue to either the backlog, or a future or active sprint.

In a Kanban backlog

After splitting an issue, the new issue will be sent to the  Backlog  section. This depends on the  column configuration  of your Kanban board, but this is essentially the section for the column that's mapped to the initial status of your workflow.

What happens to the issue details?
  • The new issue will be of the same issue type as the original issue. For example, if you split a story into two or more issues, the new issues will also be stories.
  • The new issue will have most of the same details stored in the original issue, including priority, component, label, etc.
  • The issue details that won't be copied over include work log, comments, issue history, issue links, etc — though the original issue will be linked to the new issue.
  • The new issue will have the summary that you entered upon splitting the issue.
  • If the original issue has estimates, you'll be able to enter estimates for the new issues as well. You can also update the estimate of the original issue as necessary.
  • The issue status also returns to the first step of the corresponding workflow, and the resolutions are cleared.

Create a subtask

A subtask can be created for an issue to either split the issue into smaller chunks, or to allow various aspects of an issue to be assigned to different people. If you find a subtask is holding up the resolution of an issue, you can convert the subtask to an issue, to allow it to be worked on independently. If you find an issue is really just a subtask of a bigger issue, you can also convert an issue to a subtask.

You can only create subtasks if your administrator has enabled subtasks, and has added the subtask issue type to the project's issue type scheme.

  1. Navigate to the issue you would like to be the parent issue of the subtask you are about to create.
  2. Select more (•••) >  Create subtask. You will see the Create subtask screen.
  3. Fill in the details as needed, and then click Create at the bottom of the page.

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To attach files, create subtasks, and link issues in the new issue view, use the quick-add buttons below the issue summary.

  1. Quick add buttons: Add attachments, subtasks, linked issues, and content from Atlassian Marketplace apps.

Note that when you create a subtask, the following values are inherited from the parent task:

  • project
  • issue security level
  • sprint value (if any)

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You can customize the Create subtask screen 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.


Convert a subtask to an issue

You can't do this in the new issue view just yet. Click the issue key to go to the full-page view (if you're not already there) then click through to the old issue view at the top-right to complete this process.

  1. Navigate to the subtask 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 subtask'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 subtask, that is, there is no longer a parent issue number displayed at the top of the screen.

Convert an issue to a subtask

You can't do this in the new issue view just yet. Click the issue key to go to the full-page view (if you're not already there) then click through to the old issue view at the top-right to complete this process.

  1. Navigate to the issue you would like to convert.
  2. Select more (•••) >  Convert to subtask.
  3. In the Step 1. Select Parent Issue and subtask type screen, type or select the appropriate parent issue type and the new issue type (i.e. a subtask 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 subtask, that is, its parent's issue number is now displayed at the top of the screen.


You can't convert an issue to a subtask if the issue has subtasks of its own. You first need to convert the issue's subtasks to standalone issues, then you can convert them to subtasks of another issue if you need to. Subtasks can't be moved directly from one issue to another—you need to convert them to standard issues, then to subtasks of their new parent issue.

Restrict access to an issue

You can't do this in the new issue view just yet. Click the issue key to go to the full-page view (if you're not already there) then click through to the old issue view at the top-right to complete this process.

When creating (or editing) an issue, you can restrict access to that issue to members of your team who are part of a chosen security level. To be able to set the security level for an issue, your administrator must add you to the appropriate issue security level, and also grant you the 'Set Issue Security' permission for the appropriate projects. 

  1. Create/edit the relevant issue.
  2. In the Security Level drop-down field, select the desired security level for the issue. You will only see the security levels you belong to.
  3. Save the issue. It is now only accessible to members of the specified security level.
    Users who are not members of this security level will not be able to access that issue, or see it in any filters, queries, or statistics. 
Last modified on May 24, 2018

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