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Estimation vs tracking - Story or Sub-Task?

Hi, everyone! I am new to JIRA Admin and configuring for our org. We use the following hierarchy for Scrum: 

Epic > Story > Sub-Task

Given this hierarchy, what is the best practice recommended for estimating vs logging work? Currently, we estimate work on the Story level--so we can see our estimations on the backlog during Sprint planning--and log work on the Sub-Task level. (I'd also love to see the Remaining Estimate automatically calculated on the Story based on the logged work of the Sub-Tasks, but it doesn't seem possible this way.) 

I'm sure this has been asked before...but I cannot seem to find any one clear answer. Any tips/help is greatly appreciated - much thanks in advance! 


2 answers

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Answer accepted
Warren Community Leader Nov 16, 2017

Hi Rachel

I understand your reason for estimating at the story level, but there's a better way around this.

You should be estimating at sub-task level, then as long as the Include sub-tasks checkbox is ticked, these estimates will sum and show on the parent story. Similarly, the remaining estimates on the sub-tasks will sum to the parent.

To show the estimations on the story in the Backlog view, if you click on the (...) at the top right and choose Board settings, then click on Card Layout. In there, you can add up to 3 fields to the cards showing in the Active sprint board and 3 fields (can be different) in the Backlog view. So you could show the Original Estimate field in the Backlog

Hi, Warren, 

Ah - thanks so much for the helpful info! That may work better for us. :) 

Q: If we do estimate/log work at the sub-task level instead of the story level then, will this affect reporting? I would love to still be able to pull the various reports during the sprint.

Thanks so much! 

Warren Community Leader Nov 20, 2017

Hi Rachel

The reporting should still work as you expect it, because the total estimate, total remaining and total logged time sums from the sub-tasks to their parents

Wonderful! Thanks so much for confirming, Warren, and for all your help! 

I'm trying to populate the cards with time. It can be just Original Estimate, but I'd also like to see Remaining Estimate. 


I'm using Original Estimate in Story or Sub-Task creation. 

The Original Estimate populates Log Work section. 

  • Estimated
  • Remaining
  • Logged

If I add hours to a sub-task, they will funnel up to a story. BUT... the funneled story estimate hours will not show up in the cards on a Board. 

If I add hours to a story, they will show up in the cards on a board. 

@Warren - trying to follow your example above. maybe not enough detail? 

What do I need in a sub task to track time and get that time to show up in a card (also what do I need turned on in a card to display it?)

Warren Community Leader Mar 05, 2018

Hi Clifford

Which view are you not seeing the hours showing on cards? In the Backlog or the Active Sprint?

For the Active Sprint, by default only the Remaining Estimate shows on each card. For the Backlog you're correct that it only shows the Original Time Estimate if the estimate has been added directly on the parent. But there is a workaround ...

For both the Backlog and the Active Sprint, you can set up to three additional fields to show on each card. To do this, click on the 3 dots and go to Board settings, then choose Card layout. From there you can add the three items to show on cards - three for the Backlog and three different (or the same) for the Active Sprint.

For the Backlog, I use Σ Original Estimate, which shows me what I think you're trying to get

@Warren you are the man. Thank you. 

I might note that its important to look for Σ Original Estimate, and not Original Estimate. I had everything set up as you talked about above, but did not realize there were two Original Estimates to choose from.

One more question:

Instead of having the estimate show as 2 weeks, 4 days, 3 hours , is there a way to get it instead to show as 117 hours? Or even just 117?

Ideally, it would be nice to have:

          Remaining: 22h - Estimated: 50h

Currently its looking like this for me:

          22 hours - 1 weeks, 1 day, 2 hours

Second line is confusing to casual viewers (such as stakeholders or management)

This might require changes in JIRA Administration -> Issues-> Time tracking settings

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