• Question

  • Hello everyone 

    I am new to agile development, and I am using VSTS. 

    I have two questions regarding work items. 

    is it possible to have an epic under an epic( Epic --> Epic)? 
    and is it possible to have an an epic under a feature that is under another epic (Epic --> Feature --> Epic)?

    Can you please provide me with examples to make things more clear to me ??? 

    Thank you in advance 

    Tuesday, October 31, 2017 1:37 PM

All replies

  • You can setup link relationships like that, but it does not mean it will be visualized on the backlog. For example, having an Epic under a feature is possible, but in the feature backlog, when you expand the work item, it will not show in that view.

    It is not recommended to have an Epic under a feature.  The hierarchy for SAFe is Epic > Feature > User Story. 

    Tuesday, October 31, 2017 9:45 PM
  • Thanks for answering Brian. 

    this means that there is no such case where an epic fits under another epic, or a case where we have a hierarchy of epic - feature - epic? 

    Wednesday, November 1, 2017 7:36 AM
  • I wouldn't say there is not such case.  I have seen teams break up features into smaller features and user stories into sub user stories. It depends on how you want to manage the work.

    However, I do not recommend an Epic > Feature > Epic approach.  That is giving an Epic two different purposes or roles.  An Epic should only be a parent of a feature and not a child of a Feature.

    Wednesday, November 1, 2017 7:36 PM
  • A lot of stuff will break, work badly or report incorrect data if you start missing up the hierarchy. 

    If you want another layer above Epic, you can add one. But it's not recommended to use the different backlog work item types in a different order than their defined hierarchy.

    technically it's possible to nest epics and to nest features, it used to be a common practice in TFS 2010 and 2012, but with the backlogs, boards and widgets a lot of features expect there to be a single item in each layer connected through the parent-child relationship.

    You can link other epics together with the Related link to signal that they are in some form related, but each item can only have a single parent.

    My blog: blog.jessehouwing.nl

    Thursday, November 2, 2017 7:02 PM