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Can RTC defect have a subtask?

SB CAS (152) | asked Jan 18 '17, 2:18 a.m.

I use the Scrum framework? I'm wondering what's the correct way of doing this.
We have deployed the functionality/requirement few months ago. The user found a bug and filed a defect. We found out that there are different small tasks in order to resolve this defect.

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Christian Morgan (317612) | answered Jan 18 '17, 9:10 a.m.

In Scrum, from a process perspective, you generally have at most a 3 tiered hierarchy of parent/child relationships the most basic being a single tier.

Epic -> Story -> Task

Defect -> Task

Story -> Task



With RTC, from a tool perspective, you can have hierarchies that are multiple levels deep and can consist of work items that are the same type in a parent/child relationship, so really any way you want to set up the parent/child link can be done from a purely technical level.

Story -> Story -> Task

Defect -> Task -> Task

Epic -> Epic -> Story

Those only being a few examples, the point being that RTC doesn't by default limit the types of work items that can exist in a parent/child relationship, the only constraints are;

Parents can have many children

Children can only have a single parent

It would not be unusual to see in Scrum a need to decompose a task work item into sub-tasks, however it is not typical to have a story as a child of another story, more commonly the story is a child of an epic where the epic is tracking all the stories that are being worked on in specific sprints but are just the larger epic broken down into smaller units of work/functionality being implemented.  There might be cases where a story needs to be linked to another story to describe a relationship (not necessarily parent/child) so a team can keep track of stories that impact one another for technical, business, or other reasons.

So, yes in RTC parent/child relationships can exist even when they are of the same work item type, the better question would be to ask why would you want to do that and what benefit does it provide the team.  A story to story parent/child relationship would probably just introduce confusion.

For defects requiring many hours to fix, add child tasks if there are multiple resources that are addressing the fixes in the defect.  Cross iteration (Sprint) work on the same defect might warrant the team looking to an epic that can sit cross iterations but tie all the child work (tasks) for the defect fix together.  I would recommend keeping stories to a level of planning where it will always be completed and closed at the end of an iteration.

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Ralph Schoon (60.8k33643) | answered Jan 18 '17, 2:25 a.m.

Any work item type can have child work items. This is not a tool question, I think. For the methodology, my 2 cent.
If each task should have different owners you would create these sub tasks. If the defect is so complex you could also have a plan item for it.

SB CAS commented Jan 18 '17, 3:27 a.m.

Are you saying that in Scrum framework (and when using RTC), a task work item can have a sub-task too? A User Story can have a child User Story? I thought User Story can't have a child User Story.

For a defect requiring many hours to fix (or many iterations), should we rewrite it as User Story instead or just create sub-tasks?

Thanks for taking time to reply.

Ralph Schoon commented Jan 18 '17, 8:46 a.m. | edited Jan 18 '17, 8:50 a.m.

Regardless what process template you begin with, you can create parent/child links (if you have the permission). For any work item type.

Different groups run their process differently and have different rules. So RTC does not restrict these links. It is up to the team to set the rules. We actually support effort roll up across Epic/Story hierarchies.

 A defect is usually not as complex as a story. If it becomes that, a story could make sense. This is however something you will have to find out with your team. I am not a method consultant and have no strong opinion here.

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SB CAS (152) | answered Jan 18 '17, 9:37 a.m.

Thank you Christian and Ralph.

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