How does one schedule jira tasks in plan according to the estimate?

Marcos Savoury
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May 10, 2024

I am looking to use Jira Plans to build a quick gantt based on the dependencies between tasks and the estimated time it takes to complete those tasks.

Ideally, if task B depends on task A, and task A is estimated to take 4 days to complete, then the following should happen when I use the 'auto schedule' feature:

Task A is scheduled for today (e.g. May 10)

Task B is scheduled for 4 days after task A ( e.g. May 14)


At the moment it seems as though I have to manually set start/end dates, which is tedious.  This is for Jira Cloud. Thanks. 

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Dimitris Sylligardakis May 10, 2024

Hi @Marcos Savoury

Hopefully this (long) explanation helps. Here's a breakdown of how you can approach this:

Make Sure Estimates Are Present:

For each Jira issue (task), ensure there is a value in the 'Estimate' field. This can be in the form of story points, hours, or any custom time tracking unit you've set up.

Define Dependencies:

Establish clear dependencies between your tasks. For instance, if Task B relies on the completion of Task A, go to the details of Task B and use the "Links" section to create a dependency link (e.g., "is blocked by") to Task A. 

Utilizing the Auto-Scheduler

Navigate to your Jira Plan and access the plan view. Locate the "Auto-schedule" button (often in the top toolbar) and click it. This will trigger Jira's auto-scheduling logic. 

How the Auto-Scheduler Works:

The auto-scheduler takes into consideration:

Estimates: The time estimates you've assigned to each task.

Dependencies: The links you've established between tasks.

Team Capacity: (Jira Premium and above) The working hours and velocity of your team, if you've configured capacity settings.

It will attempt to schedule dependent tasks appropriately, respecting the estimates and chaining tasks together based on the dependencies you've defined.

Important Considerations:

Conflicting Dependencies: If you have circular or illogical dependencies, the auto-scheduler might not be able to produce a perfect schedule. Review dependencies carefully.

Start Dates: While ideally you don't need to set these manually, sometimes you might want to specify a starting point for the first task in a chain, and the auto-scheduler will cascade scheduling from that point forward.

Auto-Fill Empty Fields Option: In the auto-scheduler settings, there's often an option to auto-fill empty start/end dates. Ensure this is enabled to let the system assign dates where they're missing

Marcos Savoury
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May 10, 2024

Thanks for the response. I should have mentioned that the problem I'm seeing is that the auto scheduler / plan doesn't take the estimate into consideration. (It does however, track dependencies correctly).

Every task is set to take 14 days, even if i have the estimate field set to a lower value.


Dimitris Sylligardakis May 10, 2024

I see! What you can check then

Working Days:

Go into your Plan settings and look for the "Working Days" or "Schedule Configuration" section.

Make sure the working days per week are configured correctly (e.g., are weekends excluded?). Incorrect settings here can inflate schedules.

Estimate Settings:

Check how your plan handles estimates. Is it configured to use "Original Time Estimate," "Story Points," or some other custom field?

Verify if there's unexpected scaling or conversion applied based on your Plan's configuration.

Team Capacity (Jira Premium and above):

If you are using team capacity settings, ensure the following:

Team Members: That your team members have their working hours and individual capacity calculations set up accurately.

Sprint Capacity: That the sprint your tasks are scheduled within has capacity assigned to it.

Capacity miscalculations could limit the amount of work the auto-scheduler assigns per day.

Conflicting Constraints:

Fixed Dates: Do any of the involved tasks have manually set start or end dates? Fixed dates can override the auto-scheduler's attempts to optimize based on estimates.

Dependencies: Double-check the dependencies don't inadvertently create constraints that force a 14-day duration (especially check for circular dependencies).

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