Multiple estimation fields on a ticket/story in Jira Agile?

A member of our team told me that we can have multiple estimation fields - one for each task within the ticket (story), for example, development, unit test, UAT, etc. - and roll up those estimates into the Estimation field used during the Sprint. Is this correct and if so, can someone please show me how to configure this feature? Thank you! -Lisa

2 answers

1 accepted

Lisa,

Nic is spot on here. I'd like to add a comment about this question from an Agile Scrum methodology perspective.

One other point I'd like to make is that I usually discourage teams from estimating sub-tasks in a way that rolls up to the parent issue. A lot of teams will estimate stories with Story Points, but then estimate sub-tasks with time estimates. That's okay, although I believe unnecessary. The problem comes when a team substitutes estimating the main issue in story points and instead estimates the subtasks in story points (or time) and then that number is applied to the parent issue.

Of course, having sub-task estimates in the system makes it much easier to track work mid-sprint. The drawback of rolling up estimates in this way is more subtle but significant. The sprint and the entire method works to greatly increase productivity long term. One of the ways it does this is by the committment to finishing a multi-disciplinary piece of potentially shippable product. So I always encourage teams to think of a partially completed story as a "fully incomplete" story. Not that the work they did is throw-away, of course. But that teams don't get "partial credit." That can lead to an epidemic of near successes that jeopardize the committments and feedback loops that make Agile work.

I just wanted to mention that because of course the tool is the easy part, it's figuring out the method that's tough ;-)

Nic and Justin,

Thank you both for your helpful responses.

Just for your information, this is the first time our team is working in a Scrum environment. They have been using Jira tickets, estimating in time and just recently installed the Jira/Agile add-on. As a team we decided not to switch over to using story points, so any tasks and their sub-tasks would be tracked using time.

That said, since we are a small team, I did not want to cost anyone additional time by creating and tracking sub-tasks. We decided for this project to consider the estimate 'complete' ie rolling in development and test time (analysis/design was done separately).

As I and the team get used to using Jira Agile, I will look to those of you who are the experts for your guidance.

Thanks again!

-Lisa

0 votes

It's not really multiple estimates. Each issue has one estimate. If you're using sub-tasks, then the estimates on them rolls up automatically to the parent issue. You don't need to configure anything, just fill in estimates on sub-tasks and look at the parent (note, there's also a small flag on the parent issues for toggling display between "parent issue estimate" and "estimates from all subtasks and the parent")

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