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Estimates in Portfolio for JIRA - at Epic and Story level

We have an open issue with estimates when using Portfolio for JIRA.

The user enters ball park estimates at the Epic level, and later on breaks down the Epics into Stories and estimates the detailed stories.

The documentation of JPO says:
"Estimates can be made either on epic level (as long as the epic is still more of a placeholder and not yet broken down into individual user stories), or at the story level. Themes and initiatives cannot be estimated by themselves. If you start executing and create/import actual user stories under an epic, the estimate on the epic level gets replaced with the rolled up estimate from the story level, and progress is tracked relative to that, not relative to the original estimate made at the epic level. "

But that's not the functionality that we see in the product. We see that the Estimate of the Epic is left as-is, and the total estimate of the Epic is the estimate of the Epic plus the estimates of the child stories.

What is your best practice for using JIRA Portfolio correctly in that situation (which I think is not a rare one)? Should the users manually delete the estimate of the Epic once the child stories are created?

1 answer

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Earl McCutcheon
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Feb 19, 2019

Hello Ran,

That behavior is noted in the Portfolio for Jira FAQ for Classic plans and as noted in the header:

This page refers to Portfolio classic plans. If you're using Portfolio 2.0 and later, please check this section for frequently asked questions about Portfolio live plans.

But for Live plans in Portfolio 2.0 and later) the behavior you noted is expected, values in the Epic field will represent a summation of all child issues + the value placed on the Epic issue level.  If you are setting a place holder do so only until you get to your planning phase and clear out the place holder to accurately plan the epic.

Also this previous post goes into a good discussion why it's a good idea to avoide estimating at the epic level for higher accuracy, that I would recommend checking out:


Hi @Earl McCutcheon

I have a follow up question on this topic.

We are using Portfolio exactly as described above where we don't set an estimate on the Epic but on the child issues which then are summed up on the estimation for the Epic. All this works good and we see the Epic estimation in Portfolio.

My question is if this Epic estimation is supposed to also end up in the actual epic issue so that if I open up the Epic in the Jira project where it is stored then Original Estimate should have the same value as seen in Portfolio?

I don't see that Original Estimate gets filled in on the Epic but maybe I am doing something wrong here or have setup the Portfolio project in a bad way.

The reason why I want to get the Original Estimate filled in the Epic is because I export the epics to another program for creating roadmaps and when I do this I would like to get both the epic estimate and the epic progress, based on how many child issues that have been resolved, in this export to be visualized in my roadmap.


// Jakob 

Like Wolfgang Seidler likes this

About the progress if I open up the Epic I can see the progress as percent (%) Done for all child issues but this progress in percent seems like it is not possible to export either or at least when I have tried with Postman towards the Jira Cloud API then I only get 0 for both aggregated progress and progress in the JSON structure.


What gives?

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