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Configure custom hierarchy levels in your plan

This page refers to the advanced planning features that are only available as part of Jira Cloud Premium and Enterprise.

We have a separate section for documentation about the project timeline that’s included in Jira. Go to the documentation for project-level roadmaps in Jira.


The processes described in this section are only possible with Jira administrator permissions.

By default, Jira comes with Epic as a level 1 issue type, and Story as a level 0 (subtasks are considered -1 or below Story). As part of your Jira Premium and Enterprise subscriptions, you can add levels above 1 and use these extra levels to track your organization’s larger initiatives in your plans and unify cross-project work. Some common issue types are Legend, Odyssey, or Anthology. Or maybe you wanna go crazy and name your higher hierarchy levels things like Monolith, Deity, or Omnipotence. It’s truly up to you.

Before you can plan with levels above epic, an administrator needs to first associate the hierarchy level in your plan with a Jira issue type. This is because your plan uses its own hierarchy structure which correlates to, but is independent from, the order of Jira issue types defined in your issue type scheme.

Adding a new custom hierarchy level is a three step process. If the issue type already exists and is part of your project’s issue type scheme, skip to step 3:

Changes to the hierarchy settings will apply to all existing plans using this issue scheme.

1. Create issue type

  1. Select > Issues.

  2. In the left column, go to Issue types Add issue type.

  3. Enter a name and description for your new issue type.

  4. Choose between a standard or sub-task issue type.

    1.  Standard issue types are placed above the epic level (commonly Initiative and Legend) whereas Sub-task issue types are underneath the Story level alongside subtasks. 

  5. Select Add.

2. Add issue type to scheme

  1. Select > Issues.

  2. From the left column, select Issue type schemes.

  3. Find the relevant issue type scheme and click Edit.

  4. Edit the name, description, default issue type, and selected issue types.

    1. To add an issue type to the scheme, drag it from Available Issue Types to Issue Types for Current Scheme. The order in which they’re listed in this box represents the hierarchical structure within Jira Software. For example, if you add the issue type bug below story, Jira will consider story to be its parent issue type.

  5. When you’re done, select Save.

3. Associate the issue type to your hierarchy

  1. Now that you’ve created the issue type and added it to your issue type scheme, select Issue type hierarchy from the menu on the left.

  2. The menu on this screen lets you arrange Jira issue types by hierarchy levels. The left column, labeled Level name, is the hierarchy structure in your plan and the right column, labeled Jira issue types, are the configured issue types in your scheme.

    1. To add a new level, select + Create level at the bottom of the menu. Give your new level a name, then use the dropdown in the Jira issue types column to associate it with an issue type.

    2. To reorganize your hierarchy structure, drag and drop the levels into the order you’d like. The order of this list is how your hierarchy levels will show in your plan, and won’t change the structure of your Jira issue types as previously configured.

  3. Once you’ve configured your level, select Save changes.

  4. On your Roadmap view, adjust your hierarchy filters in the Filters menu to include your new hierarchy level on your timeline.

In order to see custom hierarchy level relationships in Jira issues, you must add the Parent field to your issues.

Learn how to add custom fields to your issues in Jira

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