Epic, Story, Improvement, Bugs, Tasks, Subtasks

Transitioning to software change management tool like JIRA, Redmine etc requires to have a good understanding of Issue types. Here is my view, after 15+ years of experience of transforming small, big teams to Agile.

EpicStoryImprovementBugsTasksSubtasks
An epic is a work that encompasses a significant amount of work.Actionable items and small enough to fit in a sprint. A user story is a common technique to define users, functionality, and benefits.An improvement or enhancement to an existing featureBug is a problem which impairs or prevents the functions of the productTasks are broken down sections of a story that describe how the story will be finishedSubtasks can be nested under tasks or user stories
May continue for more than one Sprint/CadenceCompleted within sprints/cadenceCompleted within sprints/cadenceCompleted within sprints/cadenceCompleted within sprints/cadenceCompleted within sprints/cadence
Not clearly understood in terms of customer requirements and should be broken down into storiesSMART principle – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, TestableNot commonly used but use to capture details on the improvement realised during the cadence for future referenceSteps to reproduce is documentedGenerally do not lead to code changes.Split tasks when more than one person need to involve in completing task
T-shirt sizing is a common way to size epicsEstimated as story pointsEstimated as story pointsEstimated as story pointsEstimated as story pointsEstimated as story points, rolled up in Task estimate
Created by Program Manager, Development lead, Subject Matter Experts (e.g. HIPAA, GDPR, PCI )Created by Dev/QA TeamCreated by Dev/QA TeamCreated by Dev/QA TeamCreated by Dev/QA TeamCreated by Dev/QA Team
Build 2-bedrooms, 2 storey houseBuild a kitchen, bedroomPaint mould protection  paint on the top of base paint in shower roomMain door misalignment to the frameBuy kitchen worktopCut hole for the sink

As a caveat, for the large scale enterprise agile teams/organisation, the definition of EPIC will differ. For example, In SAFe EPIC is the gargantuous piece of feature at Portfolio level. Definition above are not intended for large scale Agile teams who implements overarching SAFe framework.

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