Task Estimation in Azure DevOps

Task in Azure DevOps

A task is a unit of work that can be assigned to a team member in Azure DevOps. Tasks are usually created as part of a user story or a feature, and they help to break down the work into smaller and manageable pieces. Tasks can also be used to track technical activities such as coding, designing, technical debt, or other types of work that are not directly related to a user story or a feature. Besides tasks, we have a bug that is related to the user story, OR an impediment is related to the task. Bugs are related to the unsuccessful codes to fulfill the function. At the same time, an impediment is a difficulty related to technical activities.

One of the fields that you can fill in when creating or updating a task is the effort column. The effort column estimates how much time or work is needed to complete the task. The effort column can be measured in different units, such as hours, days, points, or story points, depending on the preference of your team and the process template you use. On the DevOps, they want us to estimate in hours. For further information, you can read Effort Estimation in Azure Boards (ridilabs.net)

Deep Dive with Task Value

Let's see the fields that exist in the task dialog:

  • Priority: range from 1 (high priority), 2 (medium priority), 3 (low priority), 4 (optional priority). We can convert it into 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% weight factor.
  • Activity: Requirements, Design, Development, Testing, Deployment, Documentation. You can give a weight factor starting from 0.5 – 1.5. For example, Requirements (1), Design (1.5), Development (1.5), Testing (1), Deployment (1), Documentation (0.5),
  • Original estimate – you can put 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 hours.
  • Completed – you can put actual hours, such as 16 hours.
  • Hour performance is 8 / 16 = 0.5

Therefore, If the task has high priority, in development, with original estimates 8 hours, and completed in 16 hours. The task value will be 100% x 1.5 x (8/16) = 0.75. Imagine the task is part of a user story that has 10 points, And the task has 2 points. It means that the real point for the task is 0,75 x 2 points = 1,5. If one point is 10$, the developer will got 15$ to finish the task.

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