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Estimating time and problems

Dear community, sorry for my english.

We use subtasks, tasks and epics as well as "Storypoint" in the estimate, but don't want to give up "Original estimate" and "Time left".

For this I need to do automation:
- Calculation of "Initial score" depending on the number of "Story points" in all types of problems.
- Summation of story points from subtasks in a task.
- Summation of "Original estimate" from subtasks to tasks.
- Summation of "Time Remaining" from subtasks to tasks.
- Summation of "time spent" from subtasks to tasks.

I have three problems:

1) Calculation of Initial Estimate and Remaining Time

The 'Time Remaining' field does not auto-update if I put in 'Initial Estimate via Automation.
Here is the automation I use to calculate the "Initial Grade":image.png


It works in such a way that story points are summed up from subtasks into tasks, in the epic from tasks, respectively, the "Original estimate" field is also put down.

But automatically, if necessary, the field "Remaining time" is not set :(



If you set the value manually, then the field "Remaining time" is put down:


How, in this case, through automation to update the field "Remaining time"?

I tried to copy the value from the "Original Estimate" field, but I did not like the solution because if you change the estimate after the time logging has been entered (in our case, this is normal, we put the time for analysis in the task, and tasks are evaluated after the analysis), then "Remaining time" is simply overwritten by the value from the "Initial Estimate"


2) Summing up the time spent from subtasks to tasks, from tasks to Epic

I was able to achieve that the remaining time will be summed up in the task with the following rule:



It works, dividing by 2800 because we use days in the estimate.

But, on the sprint board, not in this case, the time spent on the task from the subtasks is not summed up:


Question: How can I sum elapsed time if I don't have elapsed time field in automation :(


3) Wrong "Time left" value on sprint board.

After my "Time Remaining" summation, the "Time Remaining" is displayed incorrectly on the sprint board

In the problem, this field contains the value 9d, and 18d is displayed on the board:

I don't understand why.




There are a lot of questions, sorry for one post.
But they are all connected.

I'll be glad for any advice.


2 answers

0 votes
Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Feb 15, 2022

Ok, there's a few things here that are a problem, but let's start with the estimates.

Story points and time estimates are two separate and independent things.  A story point is a Scrum estimate tool that is there to help you size, estimate and measure your sprint velocity.  Time estimates are exactly what people assume they are - "it'll take about X hours to do this piece of work"

You can, and often should, use them together - estimate Scrum teams work in Story Points and log the time spent on them in hours (feel free to estimate the hours as well, but a Scrum team will generally not care about hour estimates when they're using Story Points for the sprint estimates)

Now, the important part there is looking at the Sprint (and hence board) estimates.  Scrum needs an estimate to work from for planning and estimation.  You can use any numeric field, including the time based "original estimate", but you can only use one at a time.  If you set your board to use Story Points, then the board won't do anything with the time estimates beyond displaying them if you choose to.

I'm afraid there is some bad news for what you are doing here.  If you are doing Scrum, or even just using a Scrum board to work through a non-Scrum process, you have a big problem.

In Scrum, you do not put the Sprint estimates on sub-tasks.  Sub-tasks are fragments of their container story and not sprint items in themselves, so any sprint estimate on them is useless.  The boards will ignore the sprint estimate on sub-tasks, so if you've put one on it (story points, time estimates or other numbers), whether you add them up to the story or not, you are going to break all your reporting.

(There is actually nothing wrong with sprint estimates on sub-tasks, as long as you understand how Jira works and you build a way to add them up to stories that takes account of it.  A simple "add them up" though, does not work.  Jira implements no strategy for this beyond "sub-tasks are not sprint items")

On a related note - do not add up Story Points up to Epics.  Story points are estimation tools for a team, they almost always vary between teams - 1 SP for team 1 could easily be 3 in team 2 and 8 in another.  It's only useful to add up SP to an Epic if all your Scrum teams are estimating in exactly the same way.


So back to the original question.

1.  If you are using time estimates for your sprint estimates, then you need to stop putting the estimates on sub-task, it won't work.  The board won't recognise them, and adding them up to the story will make them double-counted. 

2.  If you are using Story points for sprint estimates, and logging time (and time estimates) on sub-tasks, then you don't need an automation for adding up the estimates to the story.  Jira has a set of fields I call "Sigma fields" - Σtime spent for example.  These are calculated fields which show "time on this issue + time on sub-tasks".  (But you will need an automation to take time up to the Epic)

Thanks for taking the time to read my long post. :)

And thanks again for the detailed answer.

I understand that considering subtasks in the context of sprints is not entirely correct, but everyone has their own Scrum. :)

We don't use issue type like "History" and "Task" in it, but use "Task" and subtask.

Even with the current Jira logic, I have a Story Point score and an "Initial Score" on issues calculated based on automation.
So I don’t see any contradictions here with the fact that Jira considers time only on tasks.

But this does not help in any way in my task, even if we change the Jira settings in Sprint, I will not fix the problems:
- Time left is not automatically entered if you fill in this field using automation.

- Elapsed time is not automatically summed up based on "Time Remaining", but the "Time Elapsed" field is not in the automation.

- Incorrect display of "Time left" on the sprint board in an issue.

3) Wrong "Time left" value on sprint board.

Screenshot of the problem:


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