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Why don't bugs have an estimate field?

on a Scrum Board why don't bugs as opposed to stories have a point estimate?

5 answers

1 accepted

6 votes
Answer accepted

Hi Niall,

You can add the Story Point field to the Bug issue type, and then you will have the ability to estimate bugs. For more on changing the field configuration see Configuring Fields and Screens.

Nicholas Muldoon

Thanks but is there a reason it is not there by default?

+1 Niall's comment, why isn't this by default?

Bugs by nature don't come with well defined path to resolution. Normally bug fixes are varying complexity and no single resource knows at the time of bug creation, how long it takes and what solution options are acceptable. This same context is true for stories too but stories are predictable and have time to plan where bug fixes don't have time to go through normal sprint grooming or planning process.

Assuming bugs need immediate fixes, estimation of effort is a post resolution insight but not before hand. This might be the reason to not expect anyone estimate the effort and assign points to bugs by default.

That said, can they be estimated and included in the intake and planning process? It depends on the urgency and nature of the bug, right?

I have enabled estimates for bugs in our Jira instance to be used for capturing effort post-resolution. However, for some reason, Jira won't calculate points entered on bugs in sprint reports as if the field was empty.  Does anyone know why and how to fix it?

Must use Story Points instead of Story Point Estimate. Must modify configuration, issue view, and project issue view apparently.

I'm wondering the same thing, why isn't it a default?

My guess is that bugs aren't usually brought into a sprint at planning, but I'd just customise it if need be.

What I am thinking is that bug-fixing doesn't bring business values as stories do. Therefore, we normally leave the estimates of bugs empty. Additionally, bugs are not something we can plan in the Sprint planning session as Marion Rosner commented. 

I went ahead and enabled story points for Bugs. But they are not being showed on sprint backlog items, nor are they being counted towards total number of points in sprint. Looks like Jira cloud only counts story points for total. What changes should I make so that estimates entered for bugs get included in total?

+1 if anyone knows the answer

Story Point is considered a custom field. To make it show on issue type 'Bug' you need to:

  1. Go to Custom Fields configuration
  2. Find 'Story points' and choose 'Configure'.
  3. Choose "Applicable contexts for scheme: Edit Configuration".
  4. Select Bug from the list of issue types it applies to.

Anton, when I do what you recommended I get 2 story points. The story point estimate is what we've been using. If I add the second Story Point to issue type Bug, I end up having 2 Story Point Estimates on the bug view. Do you have any recommendations? 


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