Estimations on stories and tasks

Scrum Mate supports two estimation methods. You can use story points to estimate user stories, and you can estimate remaining work of a user story or task.

Estimating effort using story points

We suggest using story points to estimate the relative effort required to accomplish a user story.

Mike Cohn, one of most influential experts of Scrum describes story points as follows. “When we estimate with story points, we assign a point value to each item. The raw values we assign are unimportant. What matters are the relative values. A story that is assigned a 2 should be twice as much as a story that is assigned a 1. It should also be two-thirds of a story that is estimated as 3 story points.”

You can l earn more about story points here

Estimating in story points

To add a story point estimation to a story, click on the estimation icon at the button bar at the bottom of the card.

Enter the number into the estimation input field.

Since the story point is an estimation unit for user stories, you can’t estimate tasks in story points.

Modifying or deleting an estimation

If you want to modify your estimation, click on the estimation field on the top-right corner of the card and enter the new estimation value. Press ‘Enter’ to save the new value.

If you want to delete estimation, simply delete the value from the estimation field and press ‘Enter’ to save.

Tip: if you want to review changes in the estimation, you can check the  change history in the story activity log.

Estimating remaining work

If you prefer estimating work in hours, you can set remaining work on stories and tasks.

Setting remaining work for a story

To add remaining work to a story or change remaining work value, click on the sandglass icon on the button bar at the bottom of the card.

Type in the estimated remaining work to the input field. You can use common time abbreviations and you can enter values in separate items.

Units used in the remaining work input field:

  • Entering a value without a unit is interpreted as minutes. Example: 12 = 12 mins.
  • Append ‘wd’ (working day) or ‘md’ (man-day) to enter a unit of one day's work by one person. Example: 1wd = 8 hrs.
  • Append ‘ww’ (work week) or ‘mw’ (man-week) to add a unit of 5 day's work by one person. Example: 1mw = 40 hrs.
  • Append ‘d’ to add one full day remaining work. Example: 1d = 24 hrs.
  • Add ‘w’ to add one full week. Example 1w = 168 hrs.
  • You can type in separate values separated by comma, colons, spaces or semicolons. The time input editor will sum the values you entered. Example: 1, 1h, 1wd = 9hrs and 1 minute.

Setting remaining work for a task

You can set the remaining work of a task on the task card. To open the task card, click on the [>] icon next to the task name.

Click on the sandglass icon on the task card, to edit remaining work of the task.

The remaining work of a story is the sum of remaining work added directly to the story card, and all remaining work added to tasks on the story.

When you add remaining work to a task first time, and the parent story of the task has a remaining work value, you can choose between two options.

  • Deduct work from the story. You may want to deduct the remaining work of the task from the remaining work of the story if the remaining work you set earlier to the story was an initial estimation for the overall story and you’re decomposing the story into tasks. Now, when you set remaining work for a task, it will be a portion of the work you already estimated. So, the remaining work will not increase the overall work of the story.
  • Add as new work to the story. In case you identified a formerly unknown work and you added it as a new task, that will increase the total remaining work of the story. In this case, you don’t want to deduct the work from the total remaining work of the story.

Deducting a newly added remaining work from the remaining work of the story is merely a decomposition method. When you modify an existing remaining work of the task, it will always affect the value of the total remaining work of a story.