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Task dates based on estimates

BigPicture provides the possibility to automatically calculate task dates based on estimates or the time spent on tasks.

Key benefits of task dates based on estimates include:

  • BigPicture updates the start or end date automatically based on modifications made to an estimate (similar to editing the “Duration Working Days” field). A user can decide which date should be modified (“Start Date” or “End Date”). Estimates can be defined in hours.

  • Task estimates (“Original Estimate”) are updated on an ongoing basis when task dates change (e.g., when a task is longer than initially planned, the project estimate is updated accordingly).

  • Task dates can be modified directly in Jira (the “Original Estimate” field in BigPicture needs to be synchronized with the “Original Estimate” field in Jira).

  • You can configure a project where a person who works on a task updates the time remaining to complete a task (the “Time Spent + Remaining Estimate” mechanism). As a result, task dates are adjusted to this information.

  • Inline editing the “Start Date” field results in moving a task. The scheduling mechanism moves a task and does NOT change the duration of a task.

Activate automation

Box level

From the box level, Box Admins can configure the field mapping for a project using the “Field sync configuration” option.

The “Field sync configuration” option is visible only when all tasks in a box are from one Jira project.

 

If there are tasks from a few Jira projects in one box and the projects have separate custom configurations set, tasks in one box may behave differently according to the rules configured for the project they are in).

App configuration level

The field mapping can be also configured from the global configuration level on the App configuration > General > Fields page.

If you set the default field mapping rules for the whole BigPicture, all tasks will follow the same rule unless a custom configuration is created for a project.

Field mapping scenarios

The table below presents the most popular field mapping scenarios.

Field mapping

Description

Field mapping

Description

Start Date = Start Date

End Date = End Date

Dates in BigPicture are synchronized with dates in Jira (the default mode).

Start Date = Not synchronized 

End Date = Not synchronized

Dates in BigPicture are not synchronized with dates in Jira.

Start Date = Original Estimate

One-way sync = Start Date

End Date = End Date

Changes made to the “Original Estimate” field update the “Start Date” field.

Start Date = Start Date

End Date = Original Estimate

One-way sync = End Date

Changes made to the “Original Estimate” field update the “End Date” field.

Start Date = Start Date

End Date = Time Spent + Remaining Estimate

One-way sync = End Date

Changes made to the “Remaining Estimate” field can update the “End Date” field.

Time logged on a task can update the “End Date” field.

You can also synchronize the “Start Date” and “End Date” fields with different fields, e.g., “Due Date”.

Rules for editing “Start Date”, “End Date”, and “Duration Working Days”

When task dates are calculated based on estimates, the “Start Date” field is modified. When you set a new “Start Date”, a task is moved. The task duration (“Original Estimate”) remains the same.

  • Changing the “Start Date” (11/Apr → 10/Apr) moves a task, and the “Original Estimate” remains unchanged:

  • Changing the “End Date” (13/Apr → 12/Apr) resizes a task, and the “Original Estimate” is changed (-1 MD):

  • Changing the “Duration Working Days” field (3d → 1d) results in changing the “End Date” (-2 days) and the “Original Estimate” (-2 MD):

Rules for editing “Original Estimate”

When the “Start Date” or “End Date” is synchronized with the “Original Estimate” field, task dates are updated accordingly to changes made to the “Original Estimate” field.

  • The “Start Date” is synchronized with the “Original Estimate”:

Changing the “Original Estimate” (3d → 4d) results in changing the “Start Date”.

  • The “End Date” is synchronized with the “Original Estimate”:

Changing the “Original Estimate” (3d → 4d) results in changing the “End Date”.

When the “Original Estimate” field is set, the “Remaining Estimate” field is overwritten, as long as there is no time logged on a task.

The mechanism does NOT work the other way around. Editing the “Remaining Estimate” field never overwrites the “Original Estimate” field.

Rules for editing “Time Spent + Remaining Estimate”

Synchronizing the “End Date” with the “Time Spent + Remaining Estimate” field activates the mechanism that adjusts task dates to the time logged on a task.

The “End Date” is calculated based on information provided by a person who does a task, e.i., the time logged on a task and data entered in the “Remaining Estimate” field.

Find out more in the example below.

  • You set the “Remaining Estimate” to 3 MD.
    You can also complete the “Original Estimate” field (the “Original Estimate” will overwrite the “Remaining Estimate” field as long as there is no time logged on a task yet).

  • You start working and spend 1 MD on a task. The “Remaining Estimate” changes from 3 MD to 2 MD. The “Original Estimate” and task dates remain unchanged.

  • You spend another 3 MD on a task (the time allocated to a task is exceeded by 1 MD). The “Remaining Estimate” value changes from 2 MD to 0. The “End Date” of a task changes (is 1 MD more). The “Original Estimate” remains unchanged so that you can check the initial estimate of a task.

  • If you need to spend 1 MD more to complete a task, you can modify the “Remaining Estimate” field (e.g., in Jira) by entering 1 MD. Then, the “End Date” is automatically updated.

Milestones

The value of the “Original Estimate” and “Remaining Estimate” fields for a milestone is always 0.

Tasks without dates

It is not required for tasks to have the start and end dates defined. More information about tasks without dates can be found on this page.

Rules for deleting and assigning dates

If the mechanism for calculating task dates based on estimated is enabled:

  • Deleting one of the dates for a task results in removing the other date (otherwise, Bigpicture would recalculate the deleted date based on the entered estimate).

  • Providing one of the dates for a task that has an estimate but does not have dates results in calculating the other date for a task.

Rules for deleting “Original Estimate” and “Remaining Estimate”

  • Removing the value from the “Original Estimate” field will also clear the value from the “Remaining Estimate” field as long as there is no time logged on a task. If there is time logged on a task, the “Remaining Estimate” field is not cleared.

  • If the “Start Date” is synchronized with the “Original Estimate” field, clearing the “Original Estimate” field causes the deletion of the “Start Date” (otherwise, BigPicture would recalculate the deleted estimate based on task dates).

  • If the “End Date” is synchronized with the “Original Estimate” field, clearing the “Original Estimate” field causes the deletion of the “End Date” (otherwise, BigPicture would recalculate the deleted estimate based on task dates).

  • If the “End Date” is synchronized with the “Time Spent + Remaining Estimate” field, clearing the “Remaining Estimate” field causes the deletion of the “End Date” (otherwise, BigPicture would recalculate the deleted estimate based on task dates). If there is time logged on a task, the “End Date” field is calculated based on the time logged on a task.