How to handle estimated time (for advanced users only)

Author: Manager Manager Displayed: 5805
Created: 24/10/2016 Updated: 31/10/2017
Version: 2

How to handle estimated time (for advanced users only)

Note: Plugin "Custom fields with formula" is required to use this feature.

A typical stumbling block in early planning is setting rough time estimates for general tasks. Later, when it comes to real work, there is a need for more detailed planning. General tasks gradually become more complex as new subtasks with more precise assignments are added to them. On each subtask is then entered estimated time as well. In such a moment, a few needs/problems may appear.

  • You need to monitor whether the sum of estimated time of subtasks does not exceed estimated time on the parent task.
  • You need to know how much of the parent task's estimated time still remains for distribution among the subtasks.
  • You need to cancel duplication of estimated time as one estimated time is on a parent task and other estimated times are on subtasks.


A project manager wants to see information on a parent task about how much time is roughly expected to spend on some activity such as meetings with customers. Let's say it's 100 hours a month. So the parent task is set to have estimated time 100 hours. Afterward, each worker who actually meets customers has its own subtask with a more detailed assignment and where he can log real time spent on this activity. A parent task may have an unlimited number of such subtasks so the project manager would like to have some kind of information overview related to spent times on the parent task, without the need to check each single subtask separately. Moreover, he wants to be notified when the original time estimate on parent task is overdrawn. To get such an overview, he must create a few custom fields and a simple filter.

Steps to reproduce

1. Create a computed custom field to determine what is the estimated time on subtasks. In our below example, we named it "Time sum from subtasks". Use the following formula to calculate the value: %{nested_children_estimated_hours}




2. Create a computed custom field on tasks to determine whether the original time estimation on parent task is overdrawn. In our below example, we named it "Drawn from parent task". Check "Used as a filter" option. Use the following formula to calculate the value: %{nested_children_estimated_hours} - %{issue_estimated_hours}




3. Create a custom field (type integer) on tasks to determine the original estimated time on parent task. In our below example, we named it "Original estimate" with inserted value 100 hours.




4. Now all the custom fields are completed and we may find them on tasks. A task detail may look like below. Please note that calculation of the values in computed custom fields may take up to 10 minutes in some cases.




5. Now open the project's task list to filter tasks with overdrawn original time estimate. As you can see below, the setting is simple: value "Drawn from parent task" should be bigger than 0. For our purpose, we had to set ">= than 0,0001" as there is no parameter ">" among the filter options. Of course, you can customize your filters as per your specific needs. More information about filtering can be found in this tutorial.




6. Finally, when you save the filter from step 5, an alert watching the filter can be set in More: Alerts - Early Warning System. This allows you to get notifications automatically via email every time when the original time estimate on parent task is overdrawn.



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