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Structure & Workload Analysis For Complex SW Projects (Agile)

Hi there,

I am in a pretty bad dilemma using JIRA for our software development projects. I hope you can maybe help me with the following problem concerning the estimate & remaining work.

We are using following structure to break down our project work:

  • EPIC 
    • Task  
      • SubTask (work estimate)
    • Task (work estimate)
    • Story
      • SubTask (work estimate)

We chose this way, because we need some kind of break down structure in order to sort all our tasks into the correct categories, modules etc. where work has to be done. Later on we use Tasks and Stories in our monthly sprints.

Beforehand, we use the above structure to estimate our work as follows:

  • Most of the time we use the subTasks to estimate the work to be done.
  • Small tasks are estimates within a Task (where additional SubTasks are not needed)
  • We never estimate Stories (only the SubTasks within)

And this is where my problems start:

  • JIRA does not support the sum of Story SubTask estimates
    • Therefore workload pie is not correct
    • Epic estimates are not correct
  • JIRA does not calculate the sum of Tasks correctly, if there is a mix between estimates on task directly and tasks, where the estimate is just the sum of its SubTasks. Hence only the estimate of the directly estimated tasks is showing.
  • JIRA Server 7.3 does not support a filter, where I can search for Tasks and SubTasks of a specific EPIC. Therefore I cannot export the remaining estimate.
  • JIRA Server 7.3 does not support Excel Export any more - which back in its day exported the corresponding SubTasks automatically.


Do you have any idea how I can keep working with JIRA using some sort of break down structure (EPICs, ...) and keep track of our workload? We need to sort work into different categories and using the JIRA Backlog with version numbers and epics seemed to be a good approach at the time.

I am open for suggestions wink 

Thanks in advance


2 answers

Hello Michael,

Not sure if you already found a solution, but you may want to check our Structure add-on. It will allow you to do several things:

  1. Visualise your hierarchy of Epics, Tasks/Stories and subtasks. Plus if you ever need to introduce a level above epics to rollup time values across multiple epics and track progress, this is really easy to do.
  2. Calculate totally based on the hierarchy regardless of the level, where you add the estimate: The totals are shown not only in structure, but also on the issue page:
  3. Use customisable progress column:
  4. Quickly create nested issues breakdowns by any JIRA fields for reporting:

Depending on your process, there might be other useful things Structure can do. If you want to discuss this in more details, please contact us at and we'll be happy to give more ideas and explain these features in more details.

Kind regards,

Eugene (ALM Works)

0 votes

ALMWorks Structure is a great to manage issue hierarchies and its integration with the Better Excel Exporter app allows using all the Excel reporting features on structures. You can aggregate cells and render charts from those:


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