Break Down Stories
You can create parent-child relationships between your user stories. This is useful if a single user story cannot be completed in an iteration or release. In such a scenario, break up the user story into several child user stories, which act as milestones towards completing the larger feature or initiative. Use parent and child user stories when your team needs to complete a large feature or project that will span multiple timeboxes.
A parent story is also known as an epic story. Parent stories can have single or multiple levels.
Break down stories includes the following:
- Story Hierarchy app
- Manage parent-child story hierarchies
- Create new child user stories
- Associate existing user stories as children
- Bulk associate user stories
- Remove parent-child associations
- Delete story hierarchies
- View parent-child hierarchies
- Track hierarchy completion
Story Hierarchy app
We recommend using the Story Hierarchy app to provide you with a quick way to view and edit your parent and children user stories.
From the app you can:
- View parents and their associated children
- Create new relationships by dragging-and-dropping
- Re-parent children
- Copy stories
- Create tasks
Watch the video below to see the Story Hierarchy app in action:
You can add multiple copies of this app to a custom page, and drag-and-drop between them. This lets you manage and edit story hierarchies that may exist in separate projects.
Manage parent-child story hierarchies
Create new child user stories
Create a child user story from any of the following locations:
Associate existing user stories as children
To create a parent-child relationship between two existing user stories:
Associate multiple stories as children
Story Hierarchy app
Use drag-and-drop in the Story Hierarchy app to associate multiple child stories to a parent story.
Using the Backlog page, you may set several user stories as children of a common parent story in one action. To associate multiple stories:
- Navigate to the Backlog page.
- Select more than one work item by placing a check mark in the check box on each row. The gear menu will switch to bulk edit mode .
- Click the bulk edit mode gear menu and select Choose Parent.
- On the chooser popup, you may search or sort the ID, Name, and Project fields to locate the story you want to set as the parent. You may also filter by the ID and Project fields.
- Select the work item and click Choose.
- A confirmation message displays at the top of the Backlog page.
Remove parent-child associationsTo remove the parent-child link between two user stories:
The child story is now independent of the former parent.
Delete user story hierarchies
When you no longer need a parent story and its children, deleting the top parent story will remove the entire hierarchy from your workspace.
To delete a parent story:
- From the Story Hierarchy app, click the icon, then select Delete.
- From the User Stories summary page, use the row action icon.
- From a user story detail page, click Actions then select Delete.
View parent-child hierarchies
You can use multiple pages and views to see the relationships between parent and child user stories.
Story Hierarchy app
You can use the Story Hierarchy app to view parent-child hierarchies at a glance.
Children user stories summary pageYou can use the children summary page to see all child stories for a given parent. This is useful for tracking the progress of a single large feature or initiative.
To access the children summary page, click the Children link from the sidebar on the detail page of a parent story.
Hierarchy view on User Stories page
You can use the hierarchy view setting on the User Stories page under the Plan tab to see multiple story hierarchies in the same view. This is useful for viewing multiple features or initiatives at once.
The hierarchy view is enabled by default on the User Stories page. Click the left-most icon next to the Views drop-down to enable hierarchy view on the page.
Track hierarchy completion
The following charts can be used to track hierarchy completion.
Story Burnup chart
The Story Burnup chart is useful for showing the completed work for a large feature or initiative in chart form. Unlike standard burnup charts, this view can span across multiple releases.
Story Burndown chart
The Story Burndown chart is useful for showing the remaining work for a large feature or initiative in chart form. Unlike standard burndown charts, this view can span across multiple releases.
Epic Progress app
You can use the Epic Progress app to view the distribution of child user stories across iterations.