Estimation accuracy: how to compare total time spent with estimated effort | Targetprocess - Visual management software

Estimation accuracy: how to compare total time spent with estimated effort

Q: We estimate User Stories. When the Story is estimated the sum of Time Spent underneath it should not exceed its Effort.

A: In Targetprocess it is not possible to introduce rigid limits for Time Spent totals. However it is possible to input and track estimations. Whenever needed it is possible to compare estimations and actual total time spent and configure visual warnings when the limits are exceed. The following features may serve as a solution:

Estimation accuracy may be tracked on different levels of your hierarchy: from work items (such as User Stories, Bugs) to larger planning entities (Features, Epics, Sprints / Iterations, Releases and Projects).

Comparison of estimated Effort and actual Time Spent makes more sense when estimates are made in ideal hours and not in abstract points. More infromation: Effort in Targetprocess

Views for comparison of effort and time spent for work items

Every User Story has two separate fields:

  • Effort. It is calculated as total effort hours of the story and all its tasks.
  • Time Spent. Value to this field is provided automatically. It is calculated as total spent hours of all time records under the story and its tasks.

We'll compare Effort and Time Spent in the Visual encoding rule or in Advanced Filter.

Compare effort and time spent using Visual encoding

We will create a list that will show all User Stories. It will compare effort of a User Story and sum of time spent records. And we'll apply color highlighting when total time spent exceeds effort.

Create a list view that shows User Stories as rows (cards).

Set up the following visual encoding rule with red color:

?Effort < TimeSpent

Finish setup of the view. Whenever an effort of a User Story is less than a sum of time spent records the User Story is colored into red.

Filter out entities with exhausted Time Spent

We will create a list that will show User Stories. It will compare effort of a User Story and sum of time spent records. And we'll show only entities where total time spent exceeds effort.

Create a list view that shows User Stories as rows (cards).

Set up the following Filter:

?Effort < TimeSpent

Finish setup of the view. Whenever an effort of a User Story is less than a sum of time spent records the User Story is shown, otherwise it is hidden.

Further customization

For additional visibility, on the Customize Cards tab, configure columns for your list view. Add Effort, Time spent/time remaining and Open/total Tasks columns.

Calculate and display ratio between Effort and Time Spent

Custom metrics can be configured to calculate ratio or percentage between Effort and Time Spent for your work items. Calculated values can be added to views using Customize Cards, used for highlighting with Visual Encoding, included to Visual Reports and exported when needed.

See Also

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