I need to know how to estimate the time needed to complete a QC subtasks in user stories. I’ve read many articles regarding the estimation of time but they were no help in applying them in real life, like how do I know the tasks value and estimation and weightage and all of this. I’m using JIRA.

  • Your question is too broad. "How to estimate", "how to learn to program", etc, depend highly on the context. I suggest detailing more your particular situation, which type of work you do, what are your goals with this estimation and which techniques you have attempt so far. Mar 11, 2022 at 12:36
  • There’s a user story we’re working on it involving changing order status in an ecommerce platform. I created a QC subtasks in each user story one for creating test cases and one for test cases Execution . I need to know how to determine the estimate time needed for each subtasks
    – Saaa
    Mar 11, 2022 at 14:13
  • "how do I know the tasks value and estimation and weightage and all of this". Well if you don't know, we sure don't know. But seriously that is exactly what you need to find out (the details) from your organization and team not from us. So the answer is to ask a lot of questions and do a lot of work to understand the product and the backend that supports it. No magic fix for needing to learn a lot, just take the time to do it. Mar 12, 2022 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


This is a common concern for new career people. How do you estimate work if you've never done it before or lack experience?

There are multiple ways to estimate a task. The two common ways are time or complexity. In my experience, it's better to go with complexity estimate, not time. (Other options are t-shirt size estimation, usually used on larger projects. Or, SWAG estimates: scientifically wild ass guess. There's nothing scientific about it; it's just an educated guess!)

A time estimate creates a deadline that everyone expects you to complete the task by. Time estimates also tend to separate the work by role -- it's a simple measure of effort.

A complexity estimate usually uses story points based on the Fibonacci sequence. It's an exponential set of numbers. Higher the number, more complex. Complexity also tends to favor an estimate on the entirety of the work/task, not separated by role or function.

Obviously, there are more nuances to both options.

Since the OP says they are working with time estimates, here are some options:

  • Random guess. Just guess as to how long it will take to complete. You'll get better over time.
  • Experience. Base it on how long it took you to complete similar tasks in the past. Similar can be based on size of the task or type of feature. If you lack experience on a feature, it's always going to take longer than you expect. But with more experience, it'll take less time.
  • User experience. Even if you have never worked on a feature as a tester before, have you encountered this feature as a user? OP says it's an ecommerce platform. So, as someone that has purchased any product on an ecommerce site, what are your expectations? How should it work? You can create an estimate based on this.
  • Ask someone else on your team, either developer/tester on how long it took in the past. You can always look at past Jira tickets for these estimates.
  • Math. You should know the developer estimate by now. So, do a percentage of that estimate. Should testing take 50% less time? 50% more time? (50 is just an example -- any number works here.)

In reality, these are just estimates. No one should be hardcore about this number or be creating any negative consequences if you miss the estimated time. There are just too many variables to account for to create a "perfect" estimate. This doesn't exist. Take away the pressure and stress on finding the perfect number; just pick a number and complete the work. You'll provide more value to the team by completing the work regardless of estimate.

Side note, do you really need to estimate the time to write test cases and a different time to execute it? In my experience, this is rare, if ever done. And how are you executing those test cases? Manually? With automation? Combination of the two? Again, too many variables to consider for estimation.

  • 1
    Thank u so much for ur help
    – Saaa
    Mar 11, 2022 at 23:11
  • @Saaa You're welcome. If you like this answer, please mark it as Accepted.
    – Lee Jensen
    Mar 12, 2022 at 20:24

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