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August 28, 2023

#BigTip: Going from basic tasks to Jira issues & milestones

Project Management
WBS & Backlog Structuring

Jira issues and their respective types are the building blocks of any project. In BigPicture, you can complement them with basic tasks, which can fulfill a variety of use cases. But still, despite their great flexibility, basic tasks are not Jira issues. So you won’t be able to sync them with your Jira project. But you can convert them to a Jira issue — or even a milestone — at any point in your project’s lifecycle.

Here’s how.

Converting a basic task to a specific Jira issue

BigPicture and BigGantt users can convert a basic task into a specific Jira issue on the spot without switching back to Jira. The entire process takes just a few seconds, and you can select the Jira issue type based on your Jira project settings. 

You can even convert a basic task to a custom Jira issue (provided your Jira admin has already added that issue type to your project). But basic task conversion to Jira issue is a one-way process. So once you turn your task into an issue, you won’t be able to change it back.

#1. Select the target project and issue type

If you need a basic task to become a Jira issue in your project structure, go to the Gantt or Scope module and find the basic issue you want to convert.

Then, right-click on that task and select “Convert to Jira issue” from the context menu to prompt the “Convert Basic task to Jira issue” modal.

In this Classic Project, we can convert any basic task to one of the four types of Jira issues. Depending on your Jira project settings, you will see more or fewer issue types on the “Issue type” list.


Select the project you want the converted task to land in. (By default, your current project will be selected but you can choose any other from the drop-down menu). 

Then, choose the Jira issue type.

#2. Fill in the issue details

The second (final) screen is for Jira issue details.

“Convert Basic task to Jira task” screen in BigPicture.


Because the basic task comes only with start/end dates and a summary, you’ll need to fill in the remaining data by hand. The process is exactly the same as when you create a new issue.

Converting a basic task into a milestone

Milestones, alongside Jira issues, are important building blocks of Waterfall or Hybrid projects. Initially, you may not know when an important event in your project will happen. So you can use a basic task as a placeholder for it. Then, as event details become clearer, you can easily convert it into a milestone.

Just like before, you go to the Gantt or Scope module, and right-click the basic task you want to convert. Then choose the “Convert to milestone” option from the context menu.

A context menu for converting a basic task to a Jira issue or milestone in BigPicture and BigGantt.


When you select this option, a taskbar on the Gantt chart timeline will turn into a diamond whose duration equals zero days. A milestone is just a point in time: it won’t delay your tasks. 

For example, say you’ve scheduled one task to finish on August 1, and the other to start on August 2. You’ve connected both tasks with a strong dependency. Now, even if you add a milestone between these two and connect it with dependency links, the milestone will not cause the subsequent task to start one day later (because it takes zero days).

If you don’t need this milestone anymore, you can convert it back to the basic task. Or go one step further and turn it into a Jira issue, the same way you would a basic task.

What about the Board module and WBS widget — can you use them for converting basic tasks, too? No. But these two can display basic tasks and also enable you to edit basic task fields.

Sign up for a free BigPicture trial

BigPicture app helps you build complex project structures using custom and default Jira issues alongside basic tasks. Those tasks can serve numerous unique roles in your project but remain usable only in BigPicture. So when you no longer need them or want to sync them with Jira, you can quickly convert them to the issue type of your choice, including a milestone. 

Sign up for a 30-day free trial and discover how BigPicture can help you build and execute projects more easily — no matter how big, complex, or unique they are. We also encourage you to join our live demo webinar to see for yourself why more than 20,000 PPMs and their teams trust our software to build their amazing products.