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Original time estimation comes to team-managed projects - it’s about TIME!

Good time estimation is foundational to project planning, but it is hard to predict when a team will deliver software. Estimation is a great way to keep the team agile. By creating a shared understanding of your team’s work, you can encourage open conversations, uncover risk and uncertainty, and help the team break down work into smaller tasks.

In team-managed projects, teams now have the flexibility to set estimates based on what suits their specific needs. Some teams use story points, and some teams use time - both techniques help you ballpark resource allocation, prioritize work, and ensure the team picks up the highest value items first.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to estimate work. But it’s important to acknowledge there are many common pitfalls, so choose the method that’s going to work best for your team. Learn more about the known challenges from the perspective of key industry experts.


How you can use Original time estimation in team-managed projects

This release of original time estimation enables the ability to add (or remove) the Original estimate field on any issue type, (for example story or task) in your project. We have also made original time estimation a project feature.

Read on to understand how you can configure and use Original time estimation.


1. Choose the estimation type that fits your needs.

In Project settings → Features, you can turn on the Estimation feature and afterwards you have the ability to choose to work with Story points or Time estimation.



When you switch the estimation type (Story points or Time), your existing estimates on the board and backlog view will be automatically converted to the new estimation type.

Sprint estimates.png

Read more about enabling estimation in team-managed projects.


2. View and update the Original estimate field in the issue view

The Original estimate field is manually enabled and configured by project admins. Learn how to configure the Original estimate field on an issue type.

Once the Original estimate field is added, your team can add time estimates to all of your issue types.

Typically, the Original estimate is set during planning sessions and represents the expected time something should take. As the work is carried out, time spent is captured to calculate the time remaining and velocity.

Available time units are: m (minute), h (hour), d (day), w (week). If no time unit is entered, we’ll use the time unit set in your Jira global time tracking settings. These settings can be found at https://[yoursitename]

Issue view.png


3. View the total time estimated per issues and per sprints in the Backlog.

You can see the total time estimated per sprint, broken down by to-do, in progress and done status categories. Viewing this information empowers you to decide if you need to move issues in or out of the sprint.

total time estimated.png


4. View the Burnup, Burndown and Velocity reports based on time estimation.

When viewing reports to improve delivery and performance, the default selected estimation will be the currently selected estimation type. Time estimation is available in the picker, even if the currently selected estimation isn’t time.

Report 01.png

The Burnup, the Burndown and the Velocity charts will be displayed with y-axis in hours, and the tooltip values will respect the global time tracking settings. The units in the table will be displayed in units according to the global time tracking settings. Below you can see an example of how this looks like in the Burnup report.

Reports 2.gif


Read more about enabling reports in team-managed projects.


5. Parity between REST APIs in team-managed projects and company-managed projects

For example, it’s now possible to use the issue APIs to set and update the Original estimate.

6. Use JQL to filter issues by their original time estimation

Search by Original estimate across an entire project. Navigate to Filters in the top navigation bar, click on Advanced issue search and then on the right-hand side of the filter bar, click Switch to JQL.

For example, If you want to find issues in your project which have original estimates greater than one day, enter the following query (replace “yourprojectname” with your projects name):

project = yourprojectname and originalEstimate > 1d

Learn more about the many JQL operators available in team-managed projects

Filter by estimates.png


7. Calculate the estimates on all child tasks to get a high-level summary

To be able to get this high-level summary, you need to create an automation rule. This automation adds the Original estimate from all subtasks and sets this as the Original estimate on the parent issue. Note it does not include any estimation from the parent issue) - this is different to the “Σ Original Estimate” column above.

Learn more about calculating logged hours with automation


Calculate estimates.png

Before you set up this automation, check your default tracking unit. This can be found here (replace “YOURINSTANCE” with your site name):

If you’re using minutes, divide the sum by 60 to get hours/days:

{{#=}}{{issue.subtasks.remaining estimate.sum}} / 60{{/}}

If you’re using hours, divide the sum by 3600 to get hours/days:

{{#=}}{{issue.subtasks.remaining estimate.sum}} / 3600{{/}} 


The future of time estimation in team-managed projects

In addition to the time estimation changes outlined above, we will be tackling some more significant work in the future.

  • The ability to track work using the remaining time estimate instead of original time estimation, story points, or issue count.

  • Set specific working days at a project level.

  • See workload by assignee at a glance in the Backlog.


Hi @Mark Z 👋 , thank you for bringing the Original estimate to team-managed projects, it's really useful.

I was just trying it out and found out that I can have both, Story points estimation and Time estimation (together with the original estimate field) in my issues when I do the switch.

Screenshot 2021-07-05 at 08.06.51.png

The selection in Settings only influences what field is going to be shown on the board and backlog, is that right?

Thanks! 🙏 

Like # people like this
Mark Z Atlassian Team Jul 05, 2021

Hi @Nikki Zavadska _jexo_, glad to hear this is useful! 

This is correct, the setting is influencing what is being displayed, to enable you to easily work with the estimation type you prefer.

Like Marjorie likes this

Awesome @Mark Z , thank you! 🙌

Like Marjorie likes this
Fabian Lim Community Leader Aug 01, 2021

@Mark Z:

When will be available for Data Center? Right now we have to use a separate customfield for original estimates.

Mark Z Atlassian Team Aug 10, 2021

@Fabian Lim unfortunately we don't know when the Data Center teams will be able to work on this. In the meantime please continue to use the custom fields.

Like # people like this

With this option, does the remaining values [based on time] get reduced in the burndown chart? As of now if I select Time option, the remaining work still stays at "Story points". Please clarify

Like echoix likes this
Mark Z Atlassian Team Sep 22, 2021

Hi @Mridula T Unnikrishnan, thanks for your question. Just to clarify, have you enabled time estimation in Project Settings -> Features? Or are you using story points? To be able to view the burndown chart by time, you need to have enabled time estimation in features (and use time estimation on your issues).

@Mark Z Yes Mark, Estimation is enabled and Time is selected. But in Sprint burndown , Remaining work is still shown in terms of Story points and the graph doesnt get updated based on remaining work. This is a team managed project space.Jira Question.jpg

Mark Z Atlassian Team Sep 27, 2021

@Mridula T Unnikrishnan thanks for raising this, we will update the copy, as it's not updating for the time estimation field. The burndown chart itself should show the appropriate information. Thanks again.

Like Mridula T Unnikrishnan likes this

Any word on whether the time estimates will be shown on a story's child sub tasks?  (Story Points, when it was enabled, would be shown in grey pills. but when Time estimation is enabled, no estimates are shown.)



Would love the option to see the TOTAL "Original Estimate" hours (rather than the To-Do / In-Progress / Done brakdown) in the backlog view.

For example, above (#3) - The breakdown for the sprint is:

  • 1w 3d 7h - TO DO
  • 1d 7h - IN PROGRESS
  • 1d 5h - DONE

While this is tremendously helpful, it's not so quick to do the mental math to find the TOTAL original estimate of: 2w 2d 3h (I even had to edit this comment after my initial calculation was wrong)

It would be nice to even just have text below these categories displaying the total, something like this:

total time estimated.png


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