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Accurate time remaining

Can someone suggest an accurate means by which we can get a realistic estimate of the hours remaining for a given epic?

I know there is built-in time tracking, but for some reason it seems that this does not sum up correctly in all instances for us (I can't work out why it works sometimes but not others)

We have a quite naïve (and resistant) user base that will often estimate an epic, a task and a subtask, so that's not helping either, but as an example, we'll have epic x with 3 tasks, 2 of which have subtasks.
Epic X (Assignee: Jim, Est 24h)
  Task A (Assignee: John, Est 16h)
    SubTask X (Assignee: Jim, Est 8h, In Progress 4h)
    SubTask Y (Assignee: John, Est 8h, ToDo 0h)
    SubTask Y (Assignee: Mary, Est 8h, Done 8h)
  Task B (Assignee: Jim, Est 8h, In Progress 2h)
  Task C (Assignee: John, Est 8h)
    SubTask Z (Assignee: John, Est 8h, Done 8h)
    SubTask Z1 (Assignee: John, Est 8h, Done 16h)
    SubTask Z2 (Assignee: Sue, Est 16h, ToDo 0h)

Now, thankfully, they'll log work against the subtasks, if they exist, or the task if not. What they want to be able to do is get a report/addin that will show for epic x, how many hours remaining by user. So in the above example, I can see that the epic was actually estimated at 5 days (summing up the estimates on the subtasks and the task with no subtasks) and that Jim has 12h of 16h remaining, Mary 0h, John 8h and Sue 16h, meaning that the epic will complete in 36 man hours. We have used the api to ensure that the Due Date for the Epic is maintained (looking at the longest burn assignee, Sue, to ensure that the due date for the epic is today + 16h) and this gives us an accurate date for the epic, but as Jim and Mary are in a different team to Sue and John, John's team will complete their work in 16h, whilst Jim's team in 12h.

So, my users are asking for a simple way of viewing the time remaining per user (they can manage to ignore people not in their team) to enable them to say, my team will complete in x hours. Something like:
Epic X
  John - 8h
  Jim - 12h
  Mary - 0h
  Sue - 16h

Is there a simple way either via a report or an addin that will allow us to see a breakdown like that?

1 answer

0 votes

Hello @Tim Foster 

Forgive my bluntness, but you can't get good data out of this when the data going in is inconsistent.

How will you ever determine what the true estimate is for the Epic when you have estimates being entered at every level? Is the estimate for the Epic...

24 hrs, because that is what was set on the Epic,

32 hrs, because that is sum of what is set at the Task level

64 hours, because that is the sum of the estimates on sub-tasks, plus the estimate on Tasks that have no sub-tasks.

 

It might be advantageous to drill into your statement that estimations are not summing up correctly. 

Thanks Trudy, no forgiveness necessary, I agree completely. Unfortunately, a large number of our users have been with the company for a long time and are very resistant to change of any sort (we had to pry Windows 95 out of the hands of some users with a crowbar!). It sounds like, as I suspected it would be, the answer is for them to man up and get with the program!

I suspect the reason the estimates are not summing up correctly is because of the estimates at the task and subtask level.

I have noticed that in certain instances (I can't work out what the pattern is) if there is no estimate on a task, but there are subtasks, it will occasionally set the remaining estimate to 6w for no apparent reason.

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