A special set of labels can optionally be used to influence the weight of a work item, such as a GitHub pull request or GitLab merge request.
Echoes considers all contributions to be equally weighted by default, which may not always be true. For example, a change may have taken just 1 hour of effort, while another was the focus of an entire week. This is where effort labels come in handy: they allow you to simply express the effort that went into a change with basic t-shirt sizing.
Weighing efforts is generally unnecessary
Weighing efforts as described in this page is not necessary in the general case, as it will only marginally alter the reports. In our experience, the volume of contributions and the tendency for any particular team to have homogeneous practices makes the approximation perfectly acceptable for decision-making.
One scenario where this feature proves useful is when your team has uneven contributions with few large "product roadmap" contributions and many "technical work" contributions. Adding an effort label on the larger contributions will increase their relative importance and ensure that the accounted work surfaces unbiased in dashboards.
While the effort label may ressemble the estimation that can be set on tasks in several ticketing systems, they serve different purpose:
- Estimation is an evaluation of the load prior to the work being realized, and used for planning purpose.
- Efforts labels are an observation of the load following the work being realized, and used for reporting purpose.
For this reason, the effort label is never be set automatically by Echoes, which works with the assumption that which contribution took longer cannot be determined reliably.
The effort required for this change was 5 times smaller than our average change (default value).
The effort required for this change was 2 times smaller than our average change.
The effort required for this change is roughly average.
The effort required for this change was 2 times greater than our average change.
The effort required for this change was 5 times greater than our average change.
Note: the default value is XS for pull-requests because we observed that the most numerous pull-requests also are the smallest ones. Indeed, we observed that the distribution of actually-weighed pull-requests is uneven so that the typical pull-request is small when a few large pull-requests weight a lot on the average.
The effort labels are not published by default to avoid cluttering your product development tools with labels that may not be used. To enable them on your GitHub or GitLab instance:
- Go to your integration settings (requires administrative rights on your Echoes accounts).
- Configure the installation for which you want to remove effort labels.
- Toggle "Effort labels" for this installation and save your changes. The corresponding labels will automatically be created or deleted by Echoes at the destination (the duration of the operation may depend on the number of repositories impacted).
An "Echoes - Effort" custom field is always created in JIRA: it is up to the administrator of the JIRA instance to add this field to the issue templates of your choice.