Different estimates for different teams? Edited

I want to give each story several estimates -- one per each team that's expected to take part in its development. Here are options I considered that didn't work:

  • Add a hierarchy level under story that will enable creating an issue for each of the relevant teams. This is currently impossible in Portfolio.
  • Set one team in Portfolio, and use "Skills" as pseudo-teams. The problem is that the proportionate share of each skill in the overall estimate is fixed, whereas in my case each team's part varies between stories.
  • Create one sub-task for each team. This also doesn't work for us -- we sometimes create many sub-tasks under a single story, and we want to estimate on the story level instead of micro-estimate each sub-task.
  • Create designated sub-tasks for estimations for each of the teams, and roll up their estimates to the story level. Portfolio cannot sum estimates for issues assigned to members of different teams, so this is also not a good solution for us.

Which other options am I missing? This is essential for our ability to plan work, as our teams work on multiple projects (products) in parallel.


1 answer

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Bree Davies Atlassian Team Nov 27, 2017

Hi Tal, 

Is it possible to move your 'story' up a level of hierarchy to be an epic?

Then, you could have the behaviour you're after - where you can create stories per team (and assign them as you need) and have the estimate sum at the parent (epic) level. 

Please let me know what you think. 


I'm not sure I follow. Is 'story' a Jira story or a Portfolio story?

But regardless, I'm not sure this would work. We generally want to avoid creating stories and epics per team. We want to treat those as features (of different granularity) which can potentially be broken into sub-tasks with assignees from different teams. That's the correct representation of how our company works.

I'm in the process of trying a different solution: I found that I was wrong about skills having a fixed proportionate share, and that estimates can be set per story/epic per skill, so I'm trying to use skills as pseudo-teams.

However, I'm encountering a problem: issues with estimates for multiple skills get the error message "This issue can't be scheduled because the available team members don't have the required skill set".

At first I thought that whenever an issue has multiple skill estimates, and there's no single team with at least one member per each of those skills, it cannot be scheduled. But I found that even if I create a team with all required skills, I keep getting these errors.

Bree Davies Atlassian Team Nov 27, 2017

Hi Tal, 

A Jira story and a Portfolio story should be one and the same. 

You could use skills to represent the different teams as you've mentioned. 

The nuance in the error message is 'available' team members. 

Do you have any team members with upcoming availability constraints? (For example, have you set up any future holidays, team specific availability?) Is there any limit which could be preventing one of your team members with the skill from being scheduled to work on your epic?

You also don't need to have all the available skills in a single team - this can exist so long as someone in your plan has the relevant skill.


Thanks Bree.

It's good to hear that there's no need to have all skills in one team.

I don't have any availability constraints, so not sure why this occurs. I also wonder why it appears for all epics with estimates for two or more skills.

BTW, one of these epics does appear in the schedule view, but still has the error notification (the other four epics that have get the error don't).

Bree Davies Atlassian Team Nov 27, 2017

Hi Tal, 

It may be easier to progress this one if I'm able to see your plan and how it's been configured. 

My email is bdavies@atlassian.com - are you open to a video call so we can have a closer look?


I'll send you an email. Thank you!

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