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Task Management - Estimates for Task effort and Actuals

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  • 1.  Task Management - Estimates for Task effort and Actuals

    Posted 10-29-2019 12:41 PM
    ​Maybe a little more than the title implies -

    In a task, there are the following fields:

    Estimate
    To Do
    Actuals
    Time Spent

    I don't understand the difference between time spent and actuals.  Furthermore, I don't understand why time spent is only added to the task via the time sheet function. Why are these two different fields in Rally?  We are just moving to Rally as a tool for capacity planning for iterations, and we are trying to understand how each or these fields affect capacity and utilization. Plus, it seems easier to add time via the time sheet function in Rally versus opening each task individually from a story and editing the actuals there.

    Thoughts?

    Bruce

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    Sr Business Analyst
    American Airlines IT
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  • 2.  RE: Task Management - Estimates for Task effort and Actuals
    Best Answer

    Posted 10-29-2019 02:02 PM
    @Bruce Marchionda this is a confusing aspect of task tracking in Rally. Actuals ​is a special case field that's hidden by default and the help documentation suggests that it's useful for newer teams (that's my take, not from the docs) as "a way to detect lack of availability or software complexity underestimated during planning".

    When I'm coaching Rally customers I generally just suggest they ignore Actuals. The actual hours on a task can easily be measured by subtracting To Do from Estimate. The Time Spent field from the timesheet utility is yet another special case that doesn't bear any relationship to the Estimate or To Do fields. If tracking actual hours is important for you then timesheets are the better solution in my opinion but most of my teams don't get mired in task tracking and we simply evaluate our task estimating for each sprint during retrospectives while the information is still fresh.

    Hope that helps.


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    Eric Nash
    Principal Agile Consultant
    Enterprise Studio by HCL Technologies
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