Is it possible to make it such that single-issues (stories without tasks) can be tracked the same way a story with one task can be tracked? At my company, stories with no tasks are put under "Other Issues". that creates the following problems,

  1. there is no swim lane to follow the work done, and
  2. work can't be vertically prioritized in the sprint (it sits at the bottom in Other Issues)

But solving that problem includes some combination of complexity where you create a redundant story or a redundant task just to get that functionality (ie, the task is a clone of the story, or the story is a clone of the task). This is all the more crapola because the process of cloning to do that doesn't carry over the BitBucket code-tracking (which is done by story number which changes for the cloned issue), and it also doesn't carry over the Testing Steps. And even if it did, it creates two places for everything to be updated. So if we unwind what we're doing the reason we seem to be doing it is the above two points, and I wonder if there is not a better way to do this in JIRA?

I'm envisioning each task without a story (or story without a task depending on how you look at it), getting its own bucket with its own swim lane, or something like this. I was just curious to know what if anything is possible to solve this. Currently in our workflow it seems stories without tasks, or tasks without stories shouldn't be permitted.

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately it seems like the exact problem you are having does not have an easy solution. The issue was reported back in 2012 on https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWSERVER-6053 but the makers of Jira has set it in status "Gathering Interest" and seems to think the current behaviour is okay.

Here are some workarounds you can try...

  1. You can turn off swimlanes (configure board, swimlanes). This will show all stories in the correct order regardless of if they have subtasks or not. However, this may present you with too much information at the same time since all stories and subtasks are shown all at once.

  2. You can turn off swimlanes and hide the sub-tasks (configure board, general, edit filter query). This will show you the status and order of all stories regardless of sub-tasks. However, then you need to open the stories one by one to see the sub-task status.

  3. You can use the backlog view and configure the board to show story status there (configure board, card layout, add status to backlog section). This will show you the stories in the correct order but it will not display any subtasks. You will have to open the stories one by one for that.

  • 2
    Great answer, I really applaud then link to the JIRA issue board, nice find! Jan 29, 2021 at 16:02

Yep. I'm afraid that you have encountered a limitation of the Jira tool which its developers so-far have never bothered to address.

However, you can employ other tracking approaches "alongside" Jira, e.g. Microsoft Project.

"Jira's good ... maybe very good ... but ... it's still just a piece of software." Fair enough.

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