YouTrack 5: Estimated story points

We've just upgraded to the latest YouTrack 5, lots of nice enhancements and polish :)

Something we were eager to make use of was better integrated support for estimated story points, however the current implementation doesn't appear to work with our agile process.

We have an estimated story points field at the 'user story' or 'feature' level. Each of these features has story points estimated against it.

We then create tasks under each feature, but don't estimate them.

The current YouTrack 5 implementation appears to only work if tasks are estimated, rather than features. Is this correct?
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Official comment

Unfortunately, this has not been implemented yet. Please vote/comment for the issue in our tracking system to increase it's priority and be notified about updates:

https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/JT-25147 .

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Hi Peter,

Thank you for such positive feedback!
Am I correct with that, you've create a custom field of 'integer' type and you would like your subtasks to be affected by story points from its parent task, right? May I kindly ask you to clarify, what behavior do you expect for your subtasks.

Thank you.
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Hello Andrey

Thanks for your response.

Yes, you are correct. I've created a custom field of type 'integer' which I've called 'Estimated story points'.

In the agile setting menus on the agile board, I've then set this field to be used for story points.

Estimated story points example.png


As you can see in the screenshot I've taken above, we're only setting the estimated points at the feature level. We leave it blank (which defaults to 0) for tasks.

YouTrack is ignoring the story points assigned to the feature level and is just using the estimated points field that exists for tasks - which we don't really want there, as we don't estimate tasks.

I hope this helps clarify.

Thanks
Peter
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Hello Andrey

Is it possible to get a update on this?

All I really need to know is:
  • Whether it's possible in the current version?
  • If not, is it likely to be supported in a future version?

Thanks
Peter
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Hello Peter,

Sorry for not responding earlier.
If you have enabled swimlanes, estimation will be shown only if subtasks have points.
It's assumed that you break a swimlane into subtasks and estimate each of them. To my mind, it looks rather confusing when you estimate your parent feature and leave its subtasks without evaluation. I'll be glad to hear your opinion on this.
Please note, that you can disable swimlanes to show estimation of the parent feature.

Thank you.
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Hello Andrey

Thanks for your response.

We introduced a Scrum approach a few months ago for our team, taking our estimation advise from "Agile Estimating and Planning" by Mike Cohn, one of the creators of the Scrum approach.

From reading this book the recommended approach we took was to:

  • Estimate user stories / features with story points (which are abstract numbers, only having relevance in relative terms to each other)

  • Estimate tasks (which is the work to implement the user story) in ideal hours (which is the ideal number of hours for an average developer on the team to do that task)


We're using an issue of type 'Feature' for our swimlines, these are our user stories.

Then we're creating the tasks for each user story of type 'Task'.

Is this particular Scrum approach incompatible with the current version of YouTrack? Or are we using YouTrack incorrectly?

Thanks
Peter
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Is there any update on this? Currently we evaluating Jira and Youtrack. We have exactly the same workflow and therefore the same problems as Peter. Is there any chance to use users stories/features with story points and tasks with hours? We really like youtrack but this seems to be a big blocker for us.

Regards

Roman
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Agreeing with Rommsen, can we get a response for this please?

Even if it's just to say "We didn't consider this, nothing on the drawing board"

It would help us plan our longer term usage of YouTrack and if we need to consider an alternative.

Regards
Peter
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Hello Peter, Rommsen,

Unfortunately, out implementation assumes workflow with the task estimation instead of swimlanes estimation.
Another thing why swimlanes-feature estimation wouldn't completely work is that intelligent way to reflect burndown is to log work items into each task istead of into swimlane.

Thank you.
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Agreeing with Rommsen and Peter here.  I would strongly prefer to burn points at the story level instead of tracking progress based on task completion.
Please consider this a request for a future version of the product.
Thanks!
  • Geoff.
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Hi All,

Thanks for following this up. Will be great if you could share with us your process details.
How do you track the development process on each task? According to the case, you wish to estimate the parent feature which is swimlane, and ignore the subtasks. But how do you track the subtasks- overdue on these tasks; how do you know how much is done and how much is not yet on each task?

Thank you.
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The rules we follow for tasks are:
  • They need to be at least an hour long, to qualify being an individual task
  • They can't be larger than a day, otherwise they should be broken into smaller tasks

So with these buffers, it means we're not too concerned about the progress of an individual task as it should be completed quickly. If there is a problem, it's reported during the stand up so it can get tackled.

We also use the sprint retrospective to discuss if we're using tasks correctly, or if we need to refine our approach.

After all we're more interested in the number of stories (swimlanes) completed, rather than the tasks that make them up.

We've took this advice from "Agile Estimating and Planning" by Mike Cohn

Hope this helps.
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@Peter: Have you been able to solve your problem?

 

We're having exactly the same issue with YouTrack. We'd like to use swimlines' (user stories') points as estimations for a board. We don't estimate individual tasks at all.

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+1, this is driving my team insane. If this doesnt get fixed, we will abandon youtrack.
We haven't done so yet, because switching involves a lot of effort.

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I'm in the same boat as well. And to clarify why we wouldn't estimate tasks; we don't consider burn down until an entire story is completed.  We estimate ONLY at the story level and not at the task level. While we use a general rule of task = a day I'm not fussed about nor do I want to micro manage my team to that level.

This thread started in 2013, has there been any accommodations for this since then?

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