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How can I see estimation in scrum board AND track remaining estimations if sub-tasks used? Edited

Hi all,


I am wondering how to configure JIRA so that:

1) I can see original estimations (in time) on my scrum board (in the oval to the right of my stories)


2) I can track remaining estimations (Original est - time spent) given that my developers want to log work time in sub-tasks (sub-items for my stories). It leads remaining estimate of my stories does not change...



1 answer

Yes, that's correct.  Sub-tasks are part of their parent story, not sprint items in their own right, so they don't carry sprint estimate - any estimate put on a sub-task is an irrelevance to the sprint.

So, on point 2, it's a simple "you can not do that"

Should I tell my developers not to log work time in Sub-tasks, but only in Story due to JIRA can't handle it?

There's a long and quite dull essay I could copy/paste/write here, but I won't bore you, just try to go to a brief explanation.

The easiest way to look at this is that there are two things we talk about as "estimates" in Jira.

The first one is a simple and intuitive concept, which we'll stick to calling simply "estimate".  This could be any form of sizing - simple numbers, elapsed time, t-shirt sizing etc, but it really is just a simple number that says "it'll take us this many units to do this".  

Jira has, since at least v2 (I don't remember if it was in Jira 1), had an estimation system that is pretty much unchanged - you can enter an estimate as a length of time, log work against it, and see how much remaining time there is.  It's also got a couple of displays for reporting on sub-tasks (you can see either the estimate numbers on the current issue, or a sum of the current one and all its sub-tasks)

Then, Jira implemented a Scrum tool.  Scrum also has estimates, but Scrum estimates are not used on sub-tasks, so Jira ignores them if you happen to put them in.  Short version of this part of the essay - Scrum estimates are used to measure delivery against committment.  You commit to stories, not bits of stories, and as sub-tasks are wholly a part of a story, not something you commit to doing, their estimates are irrelevant to that measurement.  (Personally, I see a lot of use for scrum estimates on sub-tasks, but if you're going to use them, then you need to put some thought into a scheme of adding them up or subtracting or whatever, make sure your people understand it, and then code for it in an app, because Jira takes the simple route of just ignoring them)

There is a link between these two types of estimate - it is possible to tell Jira to use the time tracking field as the Scrum estimate.  (The time tracking "field" gives us original, remaining, work-logged and the sums of sub-tasks).  This muddies the water a lot, and if you do it, it's important not to put estimates on to sub-tasks!

So, the answer to your question is yes and no!

  • Yes, tell your developers not to do scrum estimates on sub-tasks - that will not work (without some heavy coding and planning)
  • No, tell your developers they can estimate and log time on sub-tasks if that is useful to you.  But if you do, then also tell them they must not use the time tracking as the scrum estimate.

Atlassian actually recommends using Story Points as the scrum estimation (at a story level only) and logging time on stories and sub-tasks together.  If you find the time logs are useful and you want to do Scrum

Thanks for your quick turnaround.

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