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Imagine the following scenario:

When a new project is started, many tasks could be entered by the project manager and then assigned to the appropriate developer. When the developer gets the case, the first thing they do is revise the estimate to reflect what their real expectation is. Often, the initial tasks are reflect more of a guess of schedule than effort.

So which estimate does FogBugz use in EBS?

FogBugz will use the “Original Estimate” and this can actually change from the “first estimate”. To elaborate:

  1. A Project Manager (PM) enters an estimate of 2 hours. (No one has put ANY time against the case yet)
  2. PM assigns to Dev. (No one has put ANY time against the case yet)
  3. Dev changes estimate to 5 hours. (No one has put ANY time against the case yet)
  4. Dev puts elapsed time into the case directly into the elapsed time field or via “Working On” function. 5 hours becomes the Original Estimate, and the developer will have this case reflected in their estimation history.
  5. Dev realizes after a bit of work that this is going to take a bit more than they thought, and increases the estimate to 7 hours.  5 hours is still the Original Estimate

To recap:

  • FogBugz doesn’t count something as the Original Estimate until some amount of time is logged against the case
  • Once any time is logged against the case, the existing estimate becomes the “Original Estimate” (even if it’s not the first estimate)
  • Whoever entered the estimate that existed at the time work started, will have the case go against their EBS and history
    • This means that if the Dev hadn’t changed the estimate from 2 hours, EBS would be based off of the PM. Also, the developer’s delivery of the case (estimate vs. elapsed) would go into the PM’s history, not the developer’s. (This is an important distinction if you want to use EBS)
    • Only one person can get estimation history data from a single case
  • Once set, the “Original Estimate” cannot be changed
  • If you have a true outlier estimate which was way off due to a typo, you can remove the data point from your history

To be safe, we generally recommend not to put in estimates before giving the case to someone else. If you have to, then we recommend having them modify the estimate before they start working so that their estimation history is affected.