Logging Work on an Issue

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About time tracking

You can only specify time estimates and log work on an issue if your JIRA administrator has granted you the Work On Issues permission in the project to which the issue belongs. Note: Anyone with the Browse Project permission can view an issue's time tracking information.

If an issue (or its sub-tasks) has had work logged and/or an Original Estimate value specified, three coloured bars will be displayed representing the following amounts of time:

  • Original Estimate (blue) — the amount of time originally anticipated to resolve the issue. (This is indicated as Estimated when viewing an issue.)
  • Remaining Estimate (orange) — the remaining amount of time currently anticipated to resolve the issue. (This is indicated as Remaining when viewing an issue.)
  • Time Spent (green) — the amount of time logged working on the issue so far. (This is indicated as Logged when viewing an issue.)

Screenshot: the Time Tracking section of an issue

If your issue has one or more sub-tasks, then:

  • To see aggregated times for your issue plus all of its sub-tasks, ensure that the Include sub-tasks check box is selected.
  • To see times for just your issue only, ensure that the Include sub-tasks check box is cleared.

When you log work on an issue (see below), you:

  1. Log the time you have spent, in weeks/days/hours/minutes (you can use fractions if you wish, e.g. '5.5h').
    (info) This time will be added to the issue's total Time Spent.
  2. Enter a description of the work you have done.
  3. Adjust the Remaining Estimate value (i.e. the remaining amount of time you think the issue will take to resolve).

The work logged on an issue is shown in the Log Work dialog, shown below:

 

Additionally, once work has been logged on an issue, various reports based on the time-tracking information become available.

Specifying time estimates

Prior to logging work on an issue, you may want to specify an Original Estimate for an issue (i.e. the total amount of time you think it will take to resolve the issue).

When work is first logged against the issue, the Time Spent is subtracted from the Original Estimate and the resulting value is automatically presented in the Remaining Estimate. When subsequent work is logged, any Time Spent is subtracted away from the Remaining Estimate.

Throughout the lifecycle of an issue, however, you can modify the Original Estimate and/or Remaining Estimate values manually if you wish. To do this:

  1. Navigate to an existing issue, view it and click the Edit button at the top of the screen to edit that issue.
    OR
    Create a new issue by clicking Create Issue at the top of the screen and complete the required field details.
  2. Edit the following Time Tracking fields:
    • Original Estimate — the amount of time you originally believe is required to resolve the issue. Typically, this is specified when creating an issue or before work is first logged against an issue.
    • Remaining Estimate — the amount of time you believe is required to resolve the issue in its current state.

      You may see only one of these fields if JIRA's Time Tracking feature is running in Legacy Mode.

      If JIRA's Time Tracking feature is in Legacy Mode and work has not yet been logged on the issue, you will see the Original Estimate field. However, once work has been logged, you will only see the Remaining Estimate field.

  3. Enter or modify your time tracking details in the Original Estimate and/or Remaining Estimate fields. Use 'w', 'd', 'h' and 'm' to specify weeks, days, hours or minutes. For example, to specify 'six hours', type '6h'.
    (info) If both of these fields are available and are mandatory (indicated by red asterisks), you can just enter one value and leave the other value blank. When you submit the form, the field with a value will be copied to the field that was left blank.
  4. Click Update at the bottom of the screen.

If you cannot change Original Estimate values on issues after work has been logged on them but you wish to do so, request that your JIRA administrator disables Legacy Mode on Time Tracking.

If your JIRA administrator has added the ability to specify/modify time estimates on other workflow transition screens in JIRA's default workflow (or a d workflow), you will be able to specify/modify time estimates during those workflow transitions too. Additionally, if your JIRA administrator has added this ability to JIRA screens used by other issue types, you can also specify time estimates when creating or editing these types of issues.

Logging work on an issue

Logging work when viewing an issue

To log work when viewing an issue:

  1. Navigate to the issue and view its details.
  2. Select More > Log Work.
  3. The Log Work dialog box is displayed.

    The Log Work Dialog Box
  4. In the Time Spent field, enter the amount of time to be logged. Use 'w', 'd', 'h' and 'm' to specify weeks, days, hours or minutes. For example, to log two hours of work, type '2h'.
    (info) If you type a number without specifying a time unit (e.g. if you type '2' instead of '2h'), the default time unit as specified by your JIRA administrator will apply.
  5. In the Date Started  field, click the calendar icon to select the date/time when you started work. The calendar popup will be displayed, where you can:
    • use the month scroll back ('<') or forward ('>') icons to choose a different month.
    • use the year scroll back ('<<') or forward ('>>') icons to choose a different year.
      (info) If you click and hold one of these scroll icons, a dropdown menu appears, allowing you to select a month or year from the list of options provided.
    • click the hour to increase it (or <Shift> click to decrease it).
    • click the minute to increase it (or <Shift> click to decrease it).
    • click 'am' / 'pm' to toggle between them.
  6. The Remaining Estimate field affects the value of the issue's Remaining Estimate  value. Select one of the following:
    • 'Adjust Automatically' — Select this if you want to automatically subtract your Time Spent from the issue's current Remaining Estimate value.
    • 'Leave Estimate Unset' — Select this if you do not want to specify any time estimates for the issue.
      (info) This option is only displayed if no time estimates have been specified.
    • 'Use existing estimate of ...' — Select this if you do not want to change the issue's Remaining Estimate value.
      (info) This option is displayed if a time estimate has been specified.
    • 'Set to ...' — Select this if you want to manually set the issue's Remaining Estimate value to the amount specified. If you select this option, enter your new estimate into the blank field below. Use 'w', 'd', 'h' and 'm' to specify weeks, days, hours or minutes. For example, to specify 'thirty minutes', type '30m'.
    • 'Reduce by ...' — Select this if you want to manually reduce the issue's Remaining Estimate value by the amount specified. If you select this option, enter your new estimate into the blank field below. Use 'w', 'd', 'h' and 'm' to specify weeks, days, hours or minutes. For example, to specify 'thirty minutes', type '30m'.
  7. In the Work Description field, type a description or comment about the work you have done.
  8. Click the padlock icon to either set this work log to be viewable only by members of a particular project role or group; or you can allow all users to view it.
    (info) For users to view a work log, they must have the Browse Project permission to view the issue and be a member of the project role or group selected in this step.
  9. Click Log at the bottom of the dialog to submit the form and close this window.
    • the Time Spent that you just entered has been added to the issue's total Time Spent field.
    • the Remaining Estimate value that you just entered (or chose) matches the issue's Remaining Estimate field.

Logging work while resolving or closing an issue

In addition to logging work when viewing an issue, you can also log work when resolving or closing an issue.

To log work on an issue while resolving or closing the issue:

  1. Navigate to the issue and view its details.
  2. Select either Workflow > Resolve Issue or Workflow > Close Issue.
  3. Edit the Log Work fields as described under the Logging work when viewing an issue section above.

    By default, JIRA should automatically copy the contents of your Comments to the Workflow Description. In doing so, the work log will be visible to members of the project role or group selected in the padlock icon dropdown.

    If this is not happening and you would like comments to be copied to workflow descriptions, request that your JIRA administrator enables JIRA's Copy Comments to Workflow Descriptions setting.

    If this setting is disabled:

    • The work log entry may be visible to anyone. If this is a concern, you need to edit this work log entry after creating it to modify its visibility.
    • Copying comments to workflow descriptions must be done manually after logging work.
  4. Click Resolve (or the appropriately named button for your workflow transition or action) to return to the issue and verify that:
    • The Time Spent that you just entered has been added to the issue's total Time Spent field.
    • The Remaining Estimate value that you just entered (or chose) matches the issue's Remaining Estimate field.

If your JIRA administrator has added the ability to log work on other workflow transition sreens in JIRA's default workflow (or a d workflow), you will be able to log work during those workflow transitions too. Additionally, if your JIRA administrator has if your JIRA administrator has added this ability to JIRA screens used by other issue types, you can log work when creating or editing these types of issues.

Editing a work log entry

  1. Navigate to the issue and view its details.
  2. Locate the Activity section and select the Work Log tab.
  3. Locate the work log entry you wish to edit.
  4. Click the Edit (pencil) icon, located at the right of the work log entry.
  5. The Edit Work Log screen is displayed. Edit the fields as described under the Logging work when viewing an issue section above.
    (info) Be aware that when you are editing a work log entry, you cannot specify an amount of time by which to reduce the Remaining Estimate. Hence, the 'Reduce By...' field is not available on the Edit Work Log screen.
  6. Click Log to return to the issue, and verify that:
    • the word edited is displayed to indicate that the work log entry has been edited. You can hover your mouse over this word to see who edited the work log and when this was edited.
    • the issue's total Time Spent field has been adjusted as per the Time Spent that you just edited.
    • the issue's Remaining Estimate value field has been adjusted as per the Remaining Estimate value that you just edited.

You can edit your own work log entries if you have been granted the Edit Own Work Logs permission. You can edit other people's work log entries if you have been granted the Edit All Work Logs permission.

Deleting a work log entry

  1. Navigate to the issue and view its details.
  2. Locate the Activity section and select the Work Log tab.
  3. Locate the work log entry you wish to delete.
  4. Click the Delete icon, located at the right of the work log entry.
  5. The Delete Worklog screen is displayed. The Adjust Estimate field affects the value of the issue's Remaining Estimate. Select one of the following:
    • 'Auto Adjust' — Select this if you want to automatically add the work log entry's Time Spent value back to the issue's current Remaining Estimate value.
    • 'Leave existing estimate of ... ' — Select this if do not want to change the issue's Remaining Estimate value.
    • 'Set estimated time remaining to ...' — Select this if you want to manually set the issue's Remaining Estimate value to the amount specified. If you select this option, enter your new estimate into the blank field below. Use 'w', 'd', 'h' and 'm' to specify weeks, days, hours or minutes. For example, to specify 'thirty minutes', type '30m'.
    • 'Increase estimated time remaining by ...' — Select this if you want to ...
  6. Click Delete to confirm the deletion and return to the issue. Verify that:
    • the issue's Work Log tab no longer displays the work log entry that you just deleted.
    • the issue's History tab displays the Worklog Id (but not the description) of the deleted work log entry.
    • the issue's Time Spent field has been decreased by the value of the deleted work log entry's Time Spent.
    • the issue's Remaining Estimate field has been adjusted according to your choice in Step 5 (above).

You can delete your own work log entries if you have been granted the Delete Own Work Logs permission. You can delete other people's work log entries if you have been granted the Delete All Work Logs permission.

Customized JIRA installations

Logging work and/or specifying time estimates on the same JIRA screen

As described above, you can log work when viewing, resolving or closing an issue or specify time estimates when creating or editing an issue.

However, JIRA can be customized to allow work logging and specifying time estimates on the same JIRA screen when performing any JIRA operation, such as editing or creating an issue, or transitioning an issue to another status. To do this, your JIRA administrator must add both the Log Work and Time Tracking fields to the appropriate screen used by that operation.

To log work and/or specify time estimates on the same JIRA screen:

  1. Navigate to the issue and view its details.
  2. Perform the customized JIRA operation that allows you to log work and specify time estimates on the same JIRA screen. For example, assuming that your JIRA administrator has added the Time Tracking fields to the Resolve Issue Screen (and assuming this screen also retains the default Log Work fields), select Workflow > Resolve Issue at the top of the issue.

  3. If logging work is optional (because your JIRA administrator has configured the Log Work fields as optional), then you can choose whether or not to log work during your JIRA operation, using the Log Work check box.

    • If you select the Log Work check box, the Log Work fields become available and the Remaining Estimate field changes to the Remaining Estimate options for logging work.

    • If the Log Work fields are mandatory (because your JIRA administrator has configured them so), then the Log Work check box will not be available and you must log work during the workflow transition.

      (info) For more information about how to modify these fields, please refer to the Logging work when viewing an issue section above.

      If you are not creating an issue or Sub-Task or not explicitly using the Log Work action (above), only the Comment field (not the Work Description field) will be available for entering a description of the work activity logged.

      By default, JIRA should automatically copy the contents of your Comment to the Workflow Description. In doing so, the work log will be visible to members of the project role or group selected in the padlock icon dropdown.

      If this is not happening and you would like comments to be copied to workflow descriptions, request that your JIRA administrator enables JIRA's Copy Comments to Workflow Descriptions setting.

      If this setting is disabled:

      • The work log entry may be visible to anyone. If this is a concern, you need to edit this work log entry after creating it to modify its visibility.
      • Copying comments to workflow descriptions must be done manually after logging work.

See also

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