Adding Time Estimates On Tasks

Ivan Lučin

December 6, 2017

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For those of you who use Scrum methodology on your projects, it’s essential to estimate the amount of work for every open task.

The goal of the Scrum is to track progress on your projects daily, have better metrics and this cannot be done without daily planning and re-evaluating the work that still needs to be completed.

Are you interested in using this feature? Check out our previous article and find out how to turn on time estimates in Productive.

When you put down estimations for every task, you have the information how far along are you with the project and how much more work needs to be done.

If you take a look at the list of task in your projects, you’ll see how many hours of work is left either for a particular task or for the whole task list.

When do I adjust the estimated time in the task?

Every time you track time on a task with estimated time in it.

Let’s say you initially estimate you’ll need 10h to finish a particular task. You’ve been working on this task for 3h and you and track your time on it.

This is the moment Productive will remind you to re-evaluate your estimation. Since you’ve been working for three hours, is there really 7 more hours left?

Three things can happen now:

1. This estimation is totally fine. You’ve been working for 3h and have 7h more to go.

2. You’ve been working for 3h and you realize this task is easier than you thought in the first place. You’re not going to need another 7h, you’ll probably need just 4h more. So you’ll put down 4h as a new remaining time and adjust time estimate.

3. You’ve been working for 3h and realize this task is way more complicated than you thought. You won’t be able to finish this in the remaining 7h. More likely you’ll need 14h instead of 7h. So you’ll put down 14h as a new remaining time and adjust time estimate.

It would be ideal if your estimations were right every time and if with every time entry the remaining time would drop just as you predicted.

But more often than not you’ll have situations where you overestimate or underestimate the problem. And the only way you’ll have a clear and accurate picture of what is going on in the project and how much time you’re going to need is to re-estimate tasks on a daily basis.

Can I edit my initial estimation?

You can. But do it only if you made a typo, otherwise, it doesn’t serve its purpose.

The idea is to compare your initial estimations with re-estimations you did over time. If you interfere with your initial estimation, you won’t have accurate data to learn from.

We’re also working on a report that will show the estimated numbers on a graph that would look something like this:

This is still work in progress, but stay tuned.

We hope this feature will help you with your SCRUM process.

Ivan Lučin

VP of Engineering

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