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How much time do you need to finish the project? It’s not always easy to answer this question. Even if you do, you can’t predict all the circumstances or arising problems. Remote employees and employers face even more challenges, such as lack of communication and losing control. Business owners are frequently worried about missed deadlines because the job is done without continual support from the supervisor. Here is where Jira has some ready-to-use solutions. Different teams have their preferred way of working; we’ll explore how you can estimate it with Jira time spent and story points and which Atlassian tools can help.
Why do some teams love story points (SPs)?
Some processes, such as developing new features or products, are impossible to measure down to the seconds. Time can be uncertain. That’s why story points estimation is the option some teams choose. Instead of predicting how many hours or days they would spend on specific tasks, they scale the efforts involved in performing. The method of SPs allows planning the volume of work for teams working with sprints. Just perfect for agile planning. Besides, you feel more freedom and less pressure when the clock is not ticking.
In story points, the employees estimate the number of different factors:
E.g., Updating the column headers could be estimated as 1 story point when adding a new button to multiple screens, or a drop-down list will be comparably more complex and equal to 3 SPs.
After few sprints, you’ll have a good idea of how fast the team is moving — its velocity. In the future, it will increase as your team members find new methods for completing tasks more quickly. In Jira, you can find a special report – the Velocity chart. It demonstrates the last 7 completed sprints. The grey bar displays the estimation of planned work when the sprint begins, the green one – the total completed estimates at the end of the sprint. Velocity is estimated by averaging all completed estimates. So, if you know your team completes an average of 120 SPs, you can plan your next sprint accordingly.
While some people like using story points because of their flexibility and relativity, others might find points estimation confusing and abstract. Some of the SPs drawbacks include:
But the main pitfall is the majority of clients, managers, and stakeholders would like to know when the project will be completed. They’ll require a clear timeline before they give you approval. So, you will need to convert points to hours anyway for planning.
Original time estimate and actual time spent options in Jira
If you choose hours over story points, you’ll need to estimate how much time you need for completing an issue – that’s easy. The question is: how will you get the actual time spent? One of the most popular ways is time tracking. Jira Software provides the ability to set your estimating and tracking information differently. So you need to enter:
Learn more about how to log time on an issue.
Managers in Jira often face a problem with tracking the time of the team – force staff to log their working time can be a real challenge. It gets even more complicated with remote employees. Luckily, there are other solutions that help to monitor time spent in status for Jira issues.
With this info, you’ll be able to compare the time your team has planned to accomplish issues and the actual time-consuming.
Story points & hours together?
For some teams, story points are still tied to time. They even attempt to relate SPs to hours. Two story points, for example, equate to a work that will take 2-4 hours, whereas three story points go to issues that will take 4 to 8 hours, and so on. It’s a hybrid technique to task estimations that should not be used in most cases. The reason the team applies it is to make all the estimation easier for the client.
Other teams can use story points to estimate the scope of a work team can complete during the sprint and monitor time spent as well. When you need to assess the team efforts, it can be helpful to compare:
Here is a use case of how to get these results with the help of a pivot table.
It’s your priority to choose which type of estimation your team requires. You can try one, then another – just to find your perfect one. Which method does your team use? Share your advice with us.
Zoryana Bohutska _SaaSJet_
Customer Success Manager at SaaSJet
51 accepted answers