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Estimated vs. Actuals

In this guide we walkthrough how to setup a chart showing you the estimated time versus the actual time spent in a sprint.
Note that some of the setup in this guide requires Main Manager privileges in the project.

1. Ensure you have all the columns

In Hansoft we typically use 3 estimation columns:
  • Estimated Days (or Points) that is set in the product backlog. This is the "budgeted" time the work will take. 
  • Work remaining which is set in the sprint and is the time from today to the finish line.
  • Time spent where the user records how much time s/he has actually spent. This is the "actual".
Work remaining is a default column in the planning view that you do not have to make any changes to.
Estimated Days is also a default column in the Product Backlog (if you can't see it you have to activate it under More > Customize Project). However, to ease comparison with the other values that are given in hours you can change the unit to hours under More > Customize Project > Agile and Scheduling > Show Days as Hours.
The time spent column is a custom column that you have to create:
  • In the planning view, go to More > Customize Project
  • Click on Create Column
  • Name the new column Time Spent (or Actual for example). Make sure it is of the type Time Spent and that you tick the option that users can update it from their todo list.



2. Record the time

The Estimated Days/Hours are set in the Product Backlog as a part of the Product Backlog refinement process. This value is updated continuously as work is broken down, more is learned about the item and the acceptance criteria is defined.

However, from the point in time when this item is committed the user instead set a work remaining value in the planning view. This number is what will show up in the burndowns and in other places and is important to understand from today: how much work remains?

Time spent is then used to track actual time spent. For example, Bob starts working on an item with 8 hours work remaining. After 4 hours of work he is blocked realizing that he needs something from another team. He then sets the item to Blocked, updates Time Spent with 4h. It could be that it is still 8h work remaining since it will take some extra time to solve the blockage.


3. Setup a dashboard chart and report

To create a dashboard chart showing these numbers per sprint do the following:

  1. Go to Dashboards
  2. Select or create a page ("My dashboard page" is probably pre-selected)
  3. Click on Chart
  4. Add all three estimation columns with the chart selected by finding and drag and drop them onto the chart from the list of available measures.
  5. Add the dimension Sprints/Iterations
  6. Click on the dimension and select Filter. Now select the sprints that you want to include.


To create a report showing Estimated vs. Actuals:

  1. Go to the Product Backlog (where both Estimated days and Time spent is)
  2. Click on My reports
  3. Create a new report called Estimated vs. Actuals
  4. Add the criteria that Status Completion = Completed so that we are just looking at items that are completed and we know that Actuals are final.
  5. Now click on More (the three lines) > Select Columns to select that you only want to see Estimated Days and Time Spent
  6. Click on Sort and Group > Group report by - Main > Committed to Sprint.


You should now have a report on your toolbar that you can use to see how much time you have spent per item versus what was estimated.

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