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We have used Gitlab for 4 years now in our organization, and are growing to the point where we are implementing Agile and trying to follow Epics, Features, User Stories, and Tasks.

We are struggling to find a way to implement this in the Gitlab Free Edition, since there is no mechanism to associate issues with other issues (other than having a "mention" or "reference").

I could create a label called "Epic" and create Epics as issues, just assigning them that label. Does anyone then know of a good way to associate issues to that particular Epic? I can list them out as a bullet point. Even if I do that, I have no nice way to see them on an issue board unless I create a label for that particular epic as well (e.g., "Epic001") and label them all with it.

Thoughts?

I'd love Enterprise Edition, but it's insanely expensive.

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Unfortunately, Epics were introduced in GitLab Ultimate 10.2 and are not a part of the free tier. That said, our team has used the label feature in free rather effectively, much as you've described above.

In congruency with effective labeling, depending on how your work is structured, you can create a list that'll dynamically keep tabs of your labels directly on your board for easy tracking. No need for bullet points or manual tracking. Cards with these labels will dynamically show up on that list on your board.

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