Logging work on issues

JIRA Core provides the flexibility to set your estimation and tracking statistics differently depending on your team's needs. Time Tracking features projects schedule planning and time expectations management thanks to its reports, which show original and current time estimates for all the issues, and whether they are ahead or behind the original schedule. Teams often need to be able to estimate how long a product will take to deliver in order to have conviction that the work will be completed. You will be able to easily track the tracking time info by just watching the issue time tracking color bars.

On this page:

Here's how time tracking appears on an issue: 

  • The Estimated field displays the amount of time originally anticipated to resolve the issue
  • The Remaining field displays the amount of time currently anticipated to resolve the issue 
  • The Logged field displays the amount of time logged working on the issue so far
  • Choosing to include sub-tasks displays the aggregated time of an issue and all its sub-tasks

When you log time for the first time, 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 from the remaining estimate.

Before you begin

  • Make sure your JIRA administrator has enabled the Time Tracking feature.
  • Make sure you have the Work on Issues, Delete Work Logs, and Edit Work Logs project permissions.

    Note that anyone with the Browse Project permission can view time tracking information on an issue.

Setting a time estimate for an issue

Teams can set a time estimate for an issue in order to calculate how long it will take to solve the issue.

  1. Open the issue and select Edit.
  2. Scroll down the Edit issue window to fill in the following time tracking fields: 

    Field Description
    Original Estimate Amount of time you believe is required to solve the issue. If you want to change original estimate values once they have logged work time, ask your JIRA administrator to disable legacy mode on time tracking.
    Remaining Estimate Amount of time you believe is required to solve the issue in its current state.

    If the JIRA time tracking feature is in legacy mode, you will only see the original estimate field if work has not been logged. Once work time has been logged, you will only see the remaining estimate field.

    Tips:

    • You can specify additional time units after a time value 'X', such as Xw, Xd, Xh, or Xm, to represent weeks (w), days (d), hours (h), and minutes (m), respectively. If you type a number without specifying a time unit (e.g. if you type '2' instead of '2h'), the default time unit that your JIRA administrator specified will apply.
    • Default conversion rates are 1w = 5d and 1d = 8h.
  3. Select Update.
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 from the  Remaining Estimate.
Additionally, once work has been logged on an issue, various reports based on the time tracking information become available.

Logging work on an issue

Once you have started to work on a specific issue, you can log your work by following these steps:

  1. Select the issue you want to log time on.
  2. Go to More > Log Work.
  3. Fill in the following Log Work fields, and select Log

    Log Work field Description
    Time spent The amount of time spent on the issue. This is the aggregate amount of time that has been logged against this issue.
    Date started Date and time when you started this unit of work.
    Remaining estimated

    Amount of time anticipated to resolve the issue after completing this unit of work. You can adjust this value using the following options:

    • Adjust Automatically - Adjust the remaining estimate value by subtracting the amount of work logged in the Time Spent field from the remaining estimate current value.
    • Leave Estimate unset - This option is displayed only if no time estimate has been specified on the issue. You can use this option when you want to keep track of work, but you don't necessarily have a time estimate for an issue.
    • Use Existing Estimate of - Select this option if you do not want to change the issue remaining estimate value.
    • Set to - You can adjust the remaining estimate value to the amount of time you specify in this field.
    • Reduce by - Select this option to manually adjust the remaining estimate value by subtracting the amount of time you specify in this field.
    Work description

    Type a description related to the achieved work.

    Comments are copied to the Workflow Description by default, but your JIRA administrator can change this option in the 'Copy Comment to Workflow Descriptions' settings. 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.
    • You have to manually copy comments to a workflow description once you have logged work.

You can also log work while resolving or closing an issue by closing it and editing the log work fields. Select the padlock icon to set the work logged to be viewable only by members of a particular project role or group.

Editing a work log entry

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

Deleting a work log entry

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

  1. Go to the desired issue, and open the Work Log tab.
  2. Hover over the work log entry to display the actions for the entry on the right side. 
  3. Select the entry you want to delete, and click the trash can icon. You will be prompted to choose how the Remaining Estimate is affected by deleting the work log:

    Option field Description
    Auto adjust Choose this option to automatically add the time spent value to the current remaining estimate value.
    Leave existing estimate Select this option if you do not want to change the issue remaining estimate value.
    Set estimated time remaining Choose this option to manually set the issue's remaining estimate value to the specified amount.
    Increase estimated time remaining Select this option to increase the estimated remaining.
  4. Click Delete.

Customized JIRA installations

JIRA applications can be customized by your JIRA administrator by adding the Log Work and Time Tracking fields to the customized screens. This way, you can log work and specify time estimates on the same JIRA screen when performing any JIRA operation, such as editing, creating an issue, or transitioning an issue to another status.

If you want to 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.

  • If your JIRA administrator has configured the Log Work fields as optional, then you can choose whether or not to log work by checking the Log Work checkbox.
  • If your JIRA administrator has made logging work mandatory, you will not see the Log Work checkbox, and will instead need to log work when transitioning an issue.

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