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How can I auto populate start and end dates of epics using estimates?

We have a list of epics created for an upcoming project and have have provided high level estimates for each.  We're also going through the process of sequencing each epic as there are dependencies involved.  How can I populate the start and end dates of each epic once the sequencing is complete and a start date of the first epic is provided?

For example:

Epic      Estimate   Start Date   End Date

epic 1    1 month    12/1/2020   Auto 

epic 2   3 weeks    Auto            Auto

epic 3   3 weeks    Auto            Auto

2 answers

1 vote

Not really what Epics are intended for, and off-the-shelf Jira, hence, does not have functions for it.

A simple answer that does "calculate dates from start date" type things would be to seek out automation or scripting apps that can work out new dates from your raw data (starting points and desired timetable)

But I do not think those are of a lot of help in real life - an arbitrary "we started Epic X on day Y, so it should finish on day Z" is completely "waterfall" or "predetermined", which immediately tells me that it's wrong.  I've been doing software delivery for <mumble> years and I've only seen one project actually deliver its estimated Epics on the estimated day.  (For scale, assume I complete 32 projects a year)

I am very much not saying your desire to put numbers on these things is wrong.  What I am saying is that simple guesses at numbers are mostly useless and you should not be trying to do simplistic stuff like "X + Y = Z" without looking at all the other numbers that might affect X and Y. 

I think you want to be looking more at the planning tools available.   Yes, you can script or automate a simple calculation, and that can  be useful.  But my feeling is that you really want something more clever than a formula here.  I'd be looking at the planning and Agile-related tools for Jira to do this sort of stuff.

Agree with Nic's comments above. 

In terms of planning tools, Jira Advanced Roadmaps has an auto-schedule function based on estimates, priority, capacity and more see: https://confluence.atlassian.com/jiraportfoliocloud/scheduling-behavior-828785428.html. This is available as a server add-in or included in the Premium Plan for Jira Cloud

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