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Evidence Based Scheduling Confusion


We are going to upgrade to 6.0 sometime shortly (the "Add Case" feature in the list view alone is worth it).

I've been working with a trial account at, so I can present the new features with some knowledge of how they actually work. The Evidence Based Scheduling is confusing though, and the docs, knowledgebase, and forum don't seem to have answers to these questions. I'd guess I'm just missing some sentence somewhere that clarifies this, but I can't find it!

1) How do different projects interact? If a developer has cases from three projects active at once, common sense would indicate that their work for each project would get done at one-third of the speed (or based on a complex algorithm related to priority). Right now if I add more cases to a project and assign to the developer, the other projects ship dates stay the same, and the developer "complete" dates stay the same for each project.

I've tried setting priorities so the "important" project is all priority 1, and the "unimportant" one is priority 3, but both projects say they will ship as if the other project did not exist.

2) Since the system has a "don't worry about it" mentality to having all developers come up with truly accurate estimates, since it will learn how to adjust them, is there a way to access that "adjusted estimate"? I'm in consulting, so if EBS thinks the project will take 40 hours instead of the 10 that is estimated, that'd be great to know!

As it is now the ship date might just be because a developer has adjusted their working schedule, reduced the % of time they will be working on tasks, or some other factor. I understand it isn't a perfect system but if it had even a "# of hours" field in the graph when you mouse over the 25%, 50% points, that would help a lot.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Any ideas, guys?

BTW.. No name on the original post because FogBugz timed out my login. Even though the Full Name, Email, Homepage were greyed out and filled in automatically, I hit submit and ended up with a post with no contact info because my session had timed out.
Adam Send private email
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Hi Adam-

Thanks for the feedback. I'm sorry to hear that you're finding EBS confusing, and we'll try to remedy this in the docs and in future changes. To your questions:

1. Projects do not interact. The different releases for a project are assumed to be done one after the other based on their 'Official' release dates, and they interact like that, but projects are assumed to be completely independent. We are experimenting with allowing the use of global releases that go across projects in EBS.

2. To clarify what you're asking for: you're saying that when we show you the predicted ship dates, you'd also like to see an unadjusted sum of the hours the developer originally entered for cases in that release?

Brett Kiefer Send private email
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Hi Brett;

For #1: Good to know, I'll stop looking for some sort of interaction like that then!  How do you at Fog Creek manage two competing projects, like Copilot and Fogbugz?  I would assume at least some resources like QA, development, marketing, or something else are shared between those projects, and additional work for one project would affect the ship date for all projects that the shared resources are involved in.

For #2: Close, I was hoping for the "adjusted sum" at that point. This would let us get around #1 internally because we could make an excel spreadsheet with the expected time for each project and plan multiple projects that way.

I'm assuming that the EBS algorithm looks at the 10 hours that the developer estimated, runs the Monte Carlo, ends up with a 50% chance of it taking 34 hours, and then calculates the ship date based on the 34 hours. Its that "34 hours" number that would be very helpful. Only displaying the final ship date hides whether that date is due to the project requiring many more hours or because of a schedule change on the part of a developer. The action that I should take is different in each case.
Adam Send private email
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Hi Adam-
Got it, okay -- no, there is no way to access that number right now. The function you're looking for is GetDeveloperFixForDistr, but there's no way of getting at that data directly in the UI. We'll add that as a feature request for EBS v2!
Brett Kiefer Send private email
Friday, September 14, 2007
Hi Brett,
I just had a thought regarding Adam's #1 question about project interaction.

I think you might already have a good chunk of the features necessary to do a first pass on a solution for cross-project interaction.

Developers already have the ability to specify the % of time they spend of fogbugz tasks.  If you turned this in to a per-project percentage for a given developer, it could very easily add an additional scaling factor in to the EBS calculations.

I'm sure this isn't the fully ideal solution, but I bet it may meet 80% of the needs for this type of cross-project interaction, and might be very easy for you guys to add!
Lee Taylor Send private email
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Hi Lee-
Good thought, I'll add it as a feature request.
Brett Kiefer Send private email
Friday, September 28, 2007

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