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Big Picture Task Duration

How is the duration of a task calculated in Big Picture? In MS project I create a task, give it an effort estimate, assign one or more resources and I get a duration. Is it the same in the Big Picture:

task = jira issue

effort = original estimate (say 40 hours)

resource = assignee (with a working day of 8 hours)

duration (days) = original estimate / assignees working day

= 40 / 8

= 5 days.

2 answers

1 vote
Fabian Lim Community Leader May 12, 2022

Hi @Andy Atkinson

Yes, that's how it's calculated. Bur you have to ensure that you have a start and end date set in your task with the effort (time tracking).



If I am manually setting the start date and end date then am I not also manually setting the duration?

If I have a start date (which I believe is equal to Jira Creation Date, by default) and I know the effort (Jira Original Estimate) and I know the resource assigned (Jira Assignee) and their working hours per day, isn't the end date calculated for me?

End Date = Start Date + (Effort / assignees hours per day)

End Date = Mon 1st Jan + (40 hours / 8 hours per day)

End Date = Mon 1st Jan + 5 days (the duration!)

End Date = Friday 6th Jan

In MSP I only enter end dates or a duration for tasks that are 'fixed duration', not effort driven. For effort driven its almost always a start date, an effort estimate, and one or more resources (with a resource % allocation).

I don't understand what Big Picture needs Start Date and End Date to 'calculate' a duration....clearly I am missing something here...

Fabian Lim Community Leader May 17, 2022

You will have to ask bigpicture directly. It's mandatory for their calculations, but I had the same concern as you. 

Feel free to try other apps as well such as structuregantt or wbs gantt chart.


0 votes
Anna-BigPicture Marketplace Partner May 19, 2022

Hi  @Andy Atkinson

A task duration depends on the synchronization you set in App Configuration. Please look at the article BigPicture tutorial - Dates synchronization to learn more. 
I will be more than happy to answer your further questions.

Hi @Anna-BigPicture 

Perhaps you could tell me exactly what the configuration needs to be (in the app configuration, which drop downs to change from the defaults, and what the change them to) to have duration calculated in the way I expect in my message. i.e. the end date and duration are calculated based on the start date, the original estimate, and the allocated resources working hours.

The documentation you point at is not sufficiently clear on how to configure the tool to achieve this.


@Anna-BigPicture - any further update / assistance with this one?


Anna-BigPicture Marketplace Partner May 31, 2022

Hi @Andy Atkinson

In summary, you want to schedule your project based on tasks' Original Estimates and Assignees' working days?  
Please go to BigPicture App Configuration >> General >> Tasks (please note that only Jira administrators can access this page).
image (28).png 
The next step depends on the expected outcome. If you want to use this configuration only in a specific project (not general settings, which will be applied to all BigPicture projects), on the right, you will see a button "Add project." Once you click it and select Jira project, you will see a dropdown list next to Start Date & End Date. 
Please select Start Date to map Start Date and Original Estimate to map End Date. 
image (29).png
There is only one step missing. On the bottom of the same page, enable the "Calculate tasks automatically based on assignee's working days" to adjust a task duration to individual resource capacity. Save settings. The end dates will be automatically updated.
image (30).png
I hope this helped. However, if you need more specific information, simply tag me!

Hi @Anna-BigPicture

Sorry for the delay. I made the changes as outlined above, and nothing changed. I have a task allocated to myself, and there is no change to the task duration / end-date whether I am 50% or 100% available in the resource / workload planner. I would expect the duration to double in the case where I am only 50% available.


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