How Plus tracks Spent and Estimate in Trello

Plus for Trello lets you assign and transfer card Spent, Estimate and Remaining time/points per user or globally. Users can easily enter time manually or with timers. Managers can view, compare and track progress with charts, burn-downs and reports.

Plus inserts Spend and Estimate elements inside the Trello card front (Chrome extension):

Use the "S/E bar" to enter new estimates or spend per user or use the "modify" link on the user report above it.

Use the "global" user (configurable from the Plus help pane) to assign and later transfer global card estimates.

Plus can also track time spent in lists automatically by using Butler.

Spent / Estimate. An analogy using a spreadsheet

Here you add rows from top to bottom and keep a running total for all time spent on the card.

Plus does the same except the "rows" are entered inside Trello cards as special card comments (or as Google spreadsheet rows, when using stealth sync mode) and tracks multiple users in many dimensions. You would need more columns on a spreadsheet to track and group by those additional properties.

In the sample above the current Spent is 13, the sum of spend history.

Plus uses the same concept for estimates. Enter a "first estimate" on the first row, then increase (positive) or decrease (negative) it in later rows as needed:

This gives much more information that just the previous "spent history" table because it shows a first estimate of 11 later increased by 2 hours with a timeline and by user.

Plus reports and charts shows these estimate changes per user, board, label, hashtag and pretty much any way you can by grouping and filtering with full traceability.

Burn-downs visualize patterns and changes to helps predict end dates (Remaining reaches zero.)

Plus automatically fills the "Estimate" as you type "Spent" or stop timers, calculating any Estimate increases needed (which you can overwrite before Entering or prevent increasing, see Preferences). 

Note in this example rows go from oldest to newest but Trello displays card comments from newest to oldest. To view S/E rows in any order click "report" inside the card front and sort it in that new report tab.

Use the Plus "Card S/E bar" or directly modify the running totals using "Modify". It adds a row for you with the needed differences, positive or negative. Those using sync by "card comments" can use a special syntax to enter, modify or transfer S/E as a card comment from any device, including the official Trello mobile app.

Note that you cannot easily modify an already-entered individual row in Plus. Instead, you enter a new row with the needed differences in S/E. This system makes report S/E history fully traceable to who and when each S/E modification happened.

It is possible to force a "reset sync" in all sync modes to re-read all Trello data from card comments (or a Google spreadsheet depending on your sync mode.)  It is also possible to force a "reset card sync" for only an individual card when using sync by "card comments". These methods allow you to modify the data and history if you must, but will also generate traceability because the command will appear in reports together with the old rows (as 0/0 rows with the previous S/E in the row note). See the Plus help pane utilities section for more.

Entering S/E data in Trello (Chrome Extension)

When using either our card "S/E bar", the "modify" or "transfer" links, or card timers, Plus creates the S/E "rows" inside Chrome.

Depending on the sync mode you choose, Plus stores these rows either inside Trello itself as card comments, or in a private Google spreadsheet that only you (or your team) has access through Google permissions. This method is useful if you share boards with your client and dont wish to share with them your S/E data.

Here is a sample of how those "rows" look in Trello when using the "Trello card comments" sync mode:

With card timers keep an always-on-top notification showing elapsed time. Minimize it and come back to the card with a single click, then let Plus enter the S/E row for you.

Calculate pre-Estimates before entering them

Plus supports two levels of card pre-estimation to let you collaborate on figuring out first estimates before you actually enter the estimates. You can:

  • Use Trello card check items with one of our "s/e title" formats (see Preferences) to assign a pre-estimate to eack check-item. Plus shows you the sum of all check-item pre-estimates at the bottom. This pre-estimates or the sum is not shown in reports, charts or the Trello board, only on the card front:
This example uses the ""Scrum for Trello" S/E format to add estimates. See your Preferences.

  • Assign pre-estimates using card titles with the same "S/E title" formats (see Preferences). For example, a card named "my card (5)". These pre-estimates are one level higher: they still wont show in reports or charts but do show in the Trello board S/E/R sums and dimensions giving you a higher view to play with the list sums as you move cards around. You can then assign the pre-estimates based on the check-items sums or assign E directly to a global or specific user. Once a card has an estimate (global or to a user) it takes precedence over card title pre-estimate in the Trello board view:

  • Once your board estimates settle down, assign them to global or specific users. Soon we will add a tool to automate this process as a single step.

Transfer, Modify or enter S/E without Plus

You may use the Plus Chrome extension or direct card comments to modify S/E or transfer estimates. See more:

Use our built-in tour to show you step-by-step how to use these and more of our features.

Once your team has entered enough rows, you can start making useful charts, reports and burn-downs:

Spent and Remain

Pivot Spent by month

Burn-down Auto-Projected end date

Increased and reduced estimates per user

Card counts per list, stacked by user

Spent by week, stacked by user

Many more reports, chart and burndown possibilities!