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What is the Best Approach to Using Estimates from Multiple Groups on the Same Project?

Greetings all! Hope all is well.

 

We are currently using different tools to estimate, plan, and track the progress of our sprint. I would like to be able to fully utilize Jira to do this instead.

Currently, we have multiple groups that work out of the same project for the same overall sprint. So for this scenario, we'll say that Product 1.2 is the latest sprint, and we have Groups A,B, and C who will be working on it.

I have yet to find a solid way to accommodate all of the groups' estimates in this single sprint, since I can only use the burndown report on a single field (original time estimate, or one that I custom make). I have attempted summing the total value of each groups' estimates and filling that in to the custom field, but that has proven difficult because when someone from Group A needs to "deduct time" it seems to interfere with Groups B and C's remaining time estimate as well (so it's almost as if it's an all-or-nothing approach for the estimate, by not deducting the time until the issue is fully complete across all three groups).

I know we can't be the only company that has multiple groups providing estimates on tickets for the same sprint, so I would like to see how others are dealing with this problem (or if you are also using other external tools instead).

1 comment

Hi @Richard Parsons 

I am a bit confused by what you are describing.  Would you please answer some questions to clarify, and that my help the community provide you advice?

  1. What problem are you trying to solve?
  2. You indicate you have multiple groups (A, B, C) working out of the same project for the same "overall sprint".  Are these three separate teams or one team?
  3. Are you using a Jira NextGen or Classic project?
  4. Are you using one or parallel sprints?
  5. Depending upon the answers above, are you using one or multiple boards?
  6. At what level issue are you estimating: story/task, sub-tasks, or both?

 

Thanks, and best regards,

Bill

Hi Bill, thanks for responding. I will try to answer your questions in sequential order as best as I can.

1. I am trying to find a way to allow multiple groups/teams to provide their estimate on the same time (so instead of just saying it will take a full day to complete this ticket, we focus on the different group's responsibilities for the ticket. So one group might focus on the presentation aspect, another might focus/estimate on the backend aspect, etc)

2. These groups (A,B,C) are all part of the same team, but their focus is different (somewhat explained in response #1)

3. This is a Classic Project

4. Currently only using a single sprint

5. We are using a single board at this time

6. We are estimating at the story/task level.

 

So a single ticket might have work that is required by multiple groups, but not completed until each group working on that ticket completes their tasks (and each group has a different estimate). Although I need to be able to track each group's estimates on each ticket, so I can ensure their capacity is accounted for across the sprint.

So I might have 10 tickets in a sprint and need to ensure that Group A, B, and C are able to provide their estimates across the tickets (even one group is required for some tickets) while also tracking the overall estimate of the groups.

Not sure if I made this more confusing.

Hi @Richard Parsons 

Thanks for the answers and details!  What you are describing is a fairly common situation where a team has people with various skills to collaborate to finish a "feature": a single releaseable valuable thing.  As a result of the skill "silos" capacity is a thing to manage well, until the team learns how to improve through learning, knowledge sharing, etc.

In the meantime, many teams find it effective to do as you describe:

  • One project and one board
  • Everyone contributes to the work on the board
  • And... many teams use stories and sub-tasks to manage the work.  This helps because...
    • As you note, the sub-tasks (say from group A, B, C) are valuable, and not individually releaseable
    • And the parent story is releasable if-and-only-if the sub-tasks are completed
    • Sub-tasks can be estimated and the totals summed in the parent story
    • Across stories, different types of work (A, B, C) can also be reviewed using filters to check for capacity issues

Would this approach help your team?

When you break it down like this, this makes it seem like such an obvious solution 😎

I will present this to my team and see what they think. Thank you very much for your input! Greatly appreciated.

Like Bill Sheboy likes this

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