In this answer, an epic-story structure is suggested. I like this approach and I'm trying to utilize it. But, the problems how to handle priorities. More specifically, assume I have two epics (e1 and e2) and each has three stories (s11, s12 and s21, s22). My goal is to prioritize the epics (say that e2 is more urgent than e1) and inside each epic prioritize the stories. Eventually, I want the backlog to show the prioritization based one epic/story.


  1. Epic 2
    1. Story 22
    2. Story 21
  2. Epic 1
    1. Story 11
    2. Story 12

Currently, it seems like stories and epics are completely mixed in the backlog and there's no way to fine tune the priorities.

  • Please give a short summary of the linked story, so this new question becomes more readable on it's own.
    – upstream
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 13:44
  • The point in the linked answer is the epic->story(->sub-task) nested structure; and this is mentioned ;) Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 14:50

3 Answers 3


Let me sum these up and provide a little more clarity since I can't comment yet.

Jira no longer shows Epics in the same manner it shows stories. In the past you could prioritize the Epic itself by moving it up and down the product backlog, or within the scrum board itself. While useful that had some problems of it's own, and in the newer versions of Jira Epics no longer function like stories and must be handled in the backlog.

Almost the same question was answered here: https://answers.atlassian.com/questions/33139464/is-there-an-easier-way-to-prioritize-epics-in-a-scrum-board-backlog-other-than-drag-and-drop-in-the-filter-pane-

The response is basically saying the only way to order the Epics is to drag and drop them in the dropdown on the left of the product backlog view (this is collapsed, look for "Versions" and "Epics" reading lengthwise to the left of your stories in the backlog, click on "Epics" to open the pane). Once you have assigned stories to Epics they will get the appropriate Epic label with an assigned color, which is visible in both the backlog view and the scrum board (Clicking on Active Sprint).

From there simply drag and drop your stories appropriately using the Epic labels as visuals. So using your example it would look more like this:

(Epics pane)
Epic 2
Epic 1

Story 22 (Epic 2 label)
Story 21 (Epic 2 label)
Story 11 (Epic 1 label)
Story 12 (Epic 1 label)

Once you have prioritized your Epics in the Backlog add the Epic swimlane to your scrum board, which will allow a better visual of work within the Epics. They will show on the board according to the priority you gave them in the backlog.

For further questions about Epics in Jira read through the help here: https://confluence.atlassian.com/agile/jira-agile-user-s-guide/working-with-epics


In Jira, You have to prioritise your backlog by user stories but if you want to check the epics priorities you can use the floating panel in the backlog view but I suggest you create an Epics dashboard with more details and use the floating panel just to sort the priorities.


If you are using Jira 6 or above, it shows epic of its each story like a label in planning board with unique colour for each epic (not visible in Active board though). It should help you to see if any story belongs to e2 located at the bottom of the backlog.

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