How to get an estimated finishing date for a set of tasks?

Hi, I'm new to project management and perhaps my approach is wrong. First some facts:

  • We have a small team
  • We have multiple Projects and their corresponding upcoming Major versions are planned to a certain date in Jira
  • Every team member works on several (2 to 4) projects

What I want to achieve is the following:

  • Plan Tasks in Jira for a certain project version (Where can I set a task to be planned for a certain version)?
  • Assign Team working hours to the project, i.e. One guy working 30% on Project A, 60 Percent on Project B, 10% organizing himself, the other 20% on both A, 20% on B and 50% on Project C.

Now I want to have Jira or Greenhopper tell me based on the Estimates for each taks and the percentage of developer capacity assigned to a given project if the date that is planned for the given version is realistic or if I need to assign more time of a developer to a certain project.

Is this possible? Is this a wrong approach? What would be the solution most near to that? Thanks.

2 answers

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If you have each of the tasks having Orginal Estimate as well as the Assignee updating the task daily about the Remaining Estimate for the items which he/she is working on, then using Green Hopper, it is a straight forward case to get the 'Hour Burn Down' for the release which will also predict when it will get completed, based on the burn down rate.

How you utlilize the individuals on individual projects is actually not captured in Jira. So if your burndown does not reach the goal, then it automatically means that you need more people working on that project to increase the burndown.

Assuming we're still in the planning phase, when nobody is working yet, how can I get that information if all planned features for our products and the next versions fit in the time frame.

I see your point, but this is only for controlling the actual progress and checking whether the project is on track or not, but this does'nt give me the figures that are essential for release planning.

One trivial way we follow which is good enough at any given point, for whatever items which has story point estimates (or time estimates), (which of course can change during the course of the release), do a plain division of the burn down with the total and arrive at the number of days. That is good enough 'guesstimate' and once the project starts off, then the real values anyway will be visible in GH.

GH of course helps to plan, but believes more on real velocity based on story points rather than on traditional methods of up front effort estimates.

Right, that is not directly possible in Jira for upfront estimates even before starting building of a version.

So, how would one do initial project planning then? I though Greenhopper IS a project planning tool?

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JIRA PDF View Plugin offers a simplistic "agile report" template. among other agile indicators, it computes "actual Velocity" (= number of done tasks / number of spent days), which is basically the average number of tasks solved in a day.

assuming that this average velocity is relatively stable for the whole time frame (sprint, project, etc.), you could calculate the estimated completion date trivially as:

estimatedCompletionDate := today plus (remainingTasks / actualVelocity) days

note: if the average Velocity cannot be computed, as the project has not started yet, you could fall back to using some historical Velocity value, like the Velocity from the most recent sprint.

adding this new field to that report is just a couple of line of Groovy code, see this tutorial about scripting: http://midori.hu/products/jira-pdf-view-plugin/documentation/

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