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Story estimation on Kanban

Is it possible to estimate stories in hours when using a Kanban board? How is it done?

Thanks in advance!


5 answers

1 accepted

8 votes
Answer accepted

The way this is configured is a little tricky.  On a screen, the field is called "Time Tracking".  However the "Time Tracking" field is actually comprised of three unique fields, one for Estimation, one for Remaining, and one for Logged. To get those fields to show up on a Kanban board, you'll need to add each field individually.

  • Original Estimate
  • Remaining Estimate
  • Time Spent

Those are the three unique fields you'll need to add to a Kanban board Issue Detail view or card layout.  

Go to "Boards" and then "configure", then choose card-layout, select a field you want to add in the dropdown and hit "add".

Hope this helps!

Paulo Miguel

Atlassian Support | Cloud

Thanks Paulo. It helped a lot! Just one more quick question. How do I set the Original Estimate? Thanks again!

@paulo_miguel how to get smaller cards like you have in scrum backlog, where the estimate is a label on the same row?


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Please see this issue, the suggested workaround does not allow for quick update of the time tracking.

Make Time Tracking fields available for configuration in issue detail view in Kanban boards

These time estimates don't really make sense for Kanban. When planning with Kanban, you make use of the measured cycle time of issues (actual time taken for an issue to go from the first phase to being done). Estimation is done based on number of similarly sized tasks that an issue will consist of. That number of tasks multiplied by the cycle time gives you your estimated time completion time.

If you need to be predictive for issues that are in progress, then perhaps your issues need to be broken down further. The answer to the question: "When will this issue that is already in progress be done", should just be: "Around (your cycle time)". 

I agree. Without story points, I don't see how tasks can be sized accurately.

First of all it is not possible to define the estimation and tracking statistic on kanban board. You will not need to do estimation in story points as you are using a kanban board. Estimation (in story points) only comesi n picture when u r using sprints in a scrum board.

For using kanban board, use the original and remaining time estimate for doing your estimations. 


I disagree. This implies that Kanban teams do not need a measure of velocity, which in turn implies that Product Owners using Kanban do not need a way to predict how much of a backlog will be burned down in a specific time frame. Both of these are utterly untrue in my experience. The loss of time-boxing should not immediately mandate the abandonment of key efficiency metrics and predictability.

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I just tried and not sure that it's working, but leave this comment here.

We can create another board that will be a scrum board, and it will use the same project/tasks, and on that board we can set estimated hours. 

I think estimated hours can always be done.

The issue is not so much how to set story points (plenty of ways to force that). The problem is that Kanban boards prevent you from seeing them, which makes it impossible to use them for story splitting and other activities. We need native support for Story Points in Kanban.

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Note that one workaround is to create a separate Scrum board in your project just for backlog sizing, size the stories in the Scrum backlog, then switch to the Kanban board and allocate the stories/tasks appropriately. The Story Points carry over between the Scum and Kanban boards.

any tickets created in Kanban boards are shown in scrum board as well, but when anyone logs time on those tickets, I am not able to see anything in the reports.

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