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Problem with 'Original Estimate' and sub-task

Kinda strange situation and i'm looking for Atlassian's community wisdom!

  1. I create an issue, pass it to our engineer to estimate the task.
  2. He evaluates it and sets 'Original estimate', let's say a week (40 hours).
  3. Later a developer starts to work on it, and creating several sub-tasks.

Now, the problem: He opens a sub-task and...

  • If he start logging time to specific sub-task he currently working on, then all that time becomes 'orange' (over estimate) and still it adds to the total time of parent's card.

Team board - Agile Board - Jira - Mozilla Firefox  (2).png

  • If he sets 'original estimate' in each sub task and then start logging, then that extra time adds to Parent's task original estimate.
    Team board - Agile Board - Jira - Mozilla Firefox  (3).png
  • If he logs time to parent task, then we all lose a valuable data (sub-tasks can be done by different people and parents / sub's can be on different stages).

  • Creating sub-tasks and evaluating each individually is too complex on an early stages, plus not always an estimator is the same person who will work on this tasks.

Changing original task's estimate i.e. treating it as a budget and editing original estimate (subtracting) from parent task each time then anyone want to set original estimate on a sub task. Dunno if that's possible via automation rule, but cant figure out how to solve it.

My goal is to keep visible total planned time vs used and ability to log time on sub-tasks where you actually doing something.

P.s. i tied two more ways: utilize 'epics' and generic tasks linking (dependency), but both losing visibility for managers (Estimated vs already wasted/remaining), its no longer possible to track at glance.

Please Help!

1 answer

0 votes
Brant Schroeder Community Leader Jan 14, 2021


This can be frustrating and I have dealt with this in the past.  Jira will take the estimate on parent as well as the estimates on the sub-tasks and sum them together on the parent if the checkbox include subtasks is checked.  If you uncheck this you will not have the same issue but you will also not have visibility at the parent of the total time since the sub tasks will not be included.  In the past we have set an estimate at the parent level and have not placed estimates on the subtasks.  In the past we added a custom field to the parent task to get an overall estimate.  Then we used estimates on the sub-tasks and tracked time on those as well.  We did not track any time on the parent.  This allowed us to see the actual work compared to real project estimates at the parent level and compare to the original estimate.  We now use tempo.

@Brant SchroederThanks for the answer, at this moment i came to use Parent task as original Estimate and treat that value as feature 'budget'. After that, by using some crazy Automation, we control this budget and track time inside sub-tasks where the actual work is done.

We'll see how it goes before moving into more expensive solutions.

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