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Epics, which were introduced in GreenHopper 6.1, are a group of related user stories and usually capture a large body of work or a big project.  For example, the University team currently has an epic for all work related to an upcoming homepage redesign.  We had an epic for all work related to our better, faster, stronger lesson type we released in March, but since all the user stories were marked as ‘Done’, we also marked the epic as ‘Done’.

Epics help organize user stories in the Plan, Work and Report Mode.

  • In Plan Mode, it is possible to sort user stories by epics.  Also, all user stories in epics have color coded tags so you can quickly see which backlog issues are related.
  • In Work Mode, it is possible to set up swimlanes by epic.
  • In Report Mode, there is an Epic Report which shows a list of complete, incomplete and unestimated issues in an epic. This is useful for planning work for an epic that extends over multiple sprints.

To create an epic:

  1. Go to the plan mode of the board you are working on (note: Epics are only available for Scrum Boards)
  2. Click ‘Epics’ on the left side (or select Tools> Show Epic Panel)
  3. Click the Create icon (the “+” sign) at the top right of the Epics panel
  4. You will be prompted to create an issue of type “Epic”
  5. In the Epic Name field, enter a short name. The Epic Name (rather than the Summary) will be used to identify your epic and to label issues that belong to it.

Great, the Epic is now added to the board

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 4.46.40 PM
To view or add an epic, click the EPICS link on the left side of the screen. The yellow ‘Rich Media’ tag is an Epic tag. The ‘2.0’ and ‘2.1’ tags are Version tags.
Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 4.49.51 PM
Plan mode with the Epics panel open. Clicking on any epic will filter the backlog to only show user stories in that epic.

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GreenHopper Tip of the Month: Organize with Epics...