Epic vs User Story vs Tasks vs Initiatives vs Themes

Epic vs User Story

Epic vs User Story vs Tasks vs Initiatives vs Themes

Jira is likely one of the greatest bug/issue tracking and task management applications available. You can build successful products with agile user story mapping in Jira. However, before you begin using Jira, you should become familiar with a few basic ideas and jargon that are used throughout the Jira ecosystem. It can be difficult to become familiar with the terminologies used in agile. This article, in particular, addresses the “epic vs user story” dilemma.

We’ll talk about epics and user stories and their function in the overall agile process. To better understand each of those components, we’ll also discuss an epic vs user story example. Then we will move on to relevant agile ideas like themes and initiatives.

epic vs user story

Epic vs User Story vs Tasks vs Initiatives vs Themes in Story Map

Jira Epic

Before we move on to the epic vs user story, let’s first fully understand each of them. An epic is essentially a sizable component of a product’s functionality. Typically, it needs to be broken up into smaller bodies of work since it is too vast to finish in one sprint. Epics are subjects or overarching objectives subdivided into Stories and Tasks.

To organize the work of a coding team, determine the highest priority components, and determine the time and financial commitment needed to accomplish the whole project, the functionality of a product is broken down into epics.

Epic Story Example

Now, let’s look at some epics in practice and demonstrate how they fit into the project management process. Consider creating a unique corporate website for a business where users and employees require varying levels of website access. As we’ve already established, epic is a component of the development project and is in charge of creating a specific web app function. As a result, the following producing sprints might be created from the website development epics:

Log in; Register; Create a user profile; Access the website; Use services; Manage orders.

User Story

It is important to highlight epic vs user story since they are often confused as similar terms. The epic is a lengthy section of a software product that needs to be further broken into user stories, which are more manageable units. When implemented, it indicates a feature that will provide value by assisting the user or client in achieving their goal.

Stories can contain tasks; hence, user stories can be thought of as the main task. Stories may include a larger undertaking, like the development of new landing pages for marketing purposes. The most crucial project details are included in stories, such as the project team, vision, goal, and advantages.

User Story Example

While discussing epic vs user story, it is crucial to consider how one leads to the other. Let us reconsider the previous epic vs user story example.

A user story is one of the components of epics that breaks down one epic into several logical phases that define what website visitors will see on a screen and what action they will be required to take in light of the acceptance criteria. To this epic, the following stories could be added:

  1. Sign up – The option to “Sign Up” on the website as an unregistered user.
  2. Email verification – To confirm the authenticity of the entered email address.
  3. Log in – The ability to “Log In” to one’s account to utilize the features of the website.
  4. Forgot password – The opportunity to change the password in case of losing or forgetting it.
  5. Log out – As a verified user, I want to have the ability to “Log Out” of the account to protect the confidentiality of my account.

Difference between Epics and User Stories

We have determined that “epic vs user story,” when compared to one another, don’t differ much. The user story fully explains how the feature will operate within the system and what activities need to be completed for it to function properly. In contrast, epic is the greater portion that is charged for a certain app feature.

Jira Epic vs Story vs Task

Now that we have concluded the epic vs user story, we move toward tasks. Tasks are broken-down sections of a story that address ‘HOW’ the story will be finished. Epics and user stories are typically developed by the customer or the product owner on behalf of the client, whereas tasks are typically defined by the people doing the job (developers, etc.). The duties can therefore be quite technical to gain a better understanding of what needs to be done through the process of breaking down a story into tasks.

Initiatives & Themes

The next phase of agile planning is initiatives. Initiatives are a group of epics that are all related to a single commercial objective.

Lastly, themes are located at the highest level of agile planning. The company’s quarterly or annual goals are typically referred to as themes, which are organization-wide objectives. These objectives can be tracked using some initiatives and agile themes.

Epic vs. Story: The Verdict?

Now, we discuss how you use the Jira epic vs story.

  1. When using stories that can fit within one iteration, use regular stories
  2. Create an epic to unite several stories if you discover a connection between them
  3. However, it is fine for a story not to fit into an epic
  4. It is an indication that a story should be an “epic” if it is too big or intricate to be told in just one iteration


When developing new software, many developers face certain challenges. The biggest challenge is to understand the user and their needs. The next difficult phase is to understand and avoid product backlog. The greatest challenge for organizations working on large-scale projects is keeping track of their progress.

However, we have a solution. DevSamurai’s ProductGo for Jira is here to help. With ProductGo, user analysis, managing product backlogs, and keeping track of your projects are simplified with its unique functionalities for Portfolios, Projects, and Agile Boards, along with visual models from the user perspective.

ProductGo - Agile User Story Map, Portfolio Roadmaps & Persona for Jira

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