What Is a Story Point in Jira?

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
May 8, 2023
Updated on
May 8, 2023
Table of Content


Story Points are a unit of measure used in Agile software development to measure the work associated with a product backlog item. They are based on estimated effort and complexity rather than actual hours worked. 

Story Points can be seen as a more efficient way to represent tasks compared to time-based estimates, as they allow for faster planning cycles and improved visibility into workloads. By assigning Story Points to tasks, a scrum team can better communicate their progress, prioritize items according to importance, and forecast timelines.

What Is a Story Point in Jira?

A Story Point in Jira is a measure for estimating the complexity of tasks and issues. It's used to estimate how much work needs to be done before a particular task or issue can be completed. 

Story Points are generally assigned on a scale of one (lowest) to five (highest), with each number representing an arbitrary measure of difficulty. 

This method helps teams assign resources efficiently and accurately while ensuring that tasks and issues are completed within an acceptable time. As such, Story Points play an important role in Jira project management.

Why Is It Beneficial to Use Jira Story Points

Story Points are a measure used to estimate the effort required to complete a user story. They indicate complexity, risk, and size compared to other stories rather than providing absolute estimates.  

Story Points in Jira enable teams to assess, prioritize, track, and work reports more accurately. By using them, teams can better determine the overall progress toward their goals at any given time. 

There are numerous advantages to using Jira Story Points:

Improved Estimation Accuracy

Story Point estimation allows for greater accuracy when estimating the effort to develop features or fix bugs, as it relies on relative sizing rather than absolute hours or days. This system also allows for easy comparison between tasks since each Story Point is of equal size.

Reduced Bias

Story Points reduce bias as it is difficult to put numerical values on tasks and thus reduce the urge to use incorrect estimates based on personal opinion. It also eliminates potential differences between estimates from different team members since they all use a common set of relative metrics. 

More Visibility

Estimating Story Points in Scrum makes project progress more visible, enabling teams to quickly get an overview of where the project stands regarding remaining effort and progress toward completion. This allows for better forecasting and planning and tracking, and reporting on actuals versus estimates over time. 

Improved Collaboration 

By assigning Story Points to each task or issue, teams can quickly and accurately assess the impact of interruptions or changes to the original plan. This also allows team members to collaborate more effectively, as their understanding of what needs to be done is deepened in relative effort rather than absolute time. 

Increased Team Morale

Story Points help create a sense of accomplishment within teams, as they can track their progress more easily and see how much work has been completed. This helps keep morale high and reinforces positive behavior by rewarding the successful completion of tasks with clear recognition. 

Improved Development Cycle Time 

Using Story Points allows development teams to quickly estimate how long it will take to complete tasks based on their size and complexity. 

This helps reduce cycle times and reduces delays associated with traditional estimation methods, such as the use of labor hours. Story Points are also useful for tracking progress, allowing teams to track how quickly they complete tasks, and adjust their development plans accordingly.

Easier Comparison of Task Sizes 

Story Points provide a consistent scale that can be used to compare tasks across different projects, making it easier to identify where more resources must be allocated or whether certain tasks are taking longer than expected. This can lead to more efficient project planning and improved resource utilization.

Improved Resource Allocation 

Story Point estimation simplifies the process of allocating resources to tasks. By understanding the relative size and complexity of each task, teams can allocate the right combination of people, skills, and materials to complete each one more quickly and efficiently.

Using Story Points in Jira provides many benefits for teams who want accurate estimates and better visibility into project progress over time.

How to Work With Story Points in Jira

Story Points in Jira are a way to measure the relative workload of an issue. They allow teams to estimate the complexity, priority, and size of a task without committing to actual hours. 

Since Story Points only represent estimates, it can be difficult for project teams to convert them into more tangible units like hours or days. However, there are ways to use Story Points and still get an idea of how long a task could take.

How to Convert Jira Story Points to Hours


One method is comparing different tasks assigned with Story Points against each other across projects. By comparing similar types of tasks that have already been completed in terms of Story Points, it’s possible to estimate how much time they would require if measured in actual hours. This approach requires an understanding of the tasks in question and having a feel for how long they might take.

Relative Measure

Another method is to use Story Points as a relative measure instead of a specific one. For example, you could use it to compare tasks similar in size and complexity. A task with eight Story Points may take around four times longer than one with just two, even if those two Story Points represent only an estimate rather than an exact number of hours. This approach makes it easier to come up with estimates without committing to any exact amount of time needed for each task.

Diving by Time Period "N"

A third approach is calculating an average velocity by dividing the total Story Points completed in a given period by the time (in days or hours) taken to complete them. This gives you an average amount of Story Points that can be completed in a given period, which can then be used to estimate the time it would take to complete any task with Story Points applied.

Fibonacci Estimation

Finally, teams may use Fibonacci estimation when assigning Story Points to tasks, meaning each number represents two times more work than the previous one. For example, two is twice as much effort as one, and eight is four times as much work as two. 

By tracking how long similar story points have taken in the past and applying this simple rule of thumb, it’s possible to get a better idea of how long tasks should take, even though they are estimated with Story Points in Jira.

How to Add Story Points in Jira

Working with Story Points in Jira can be a great way to bring structure and organization to your team's workflow. Story Points are used to assign estimates for the amount of effort required for a particular task or project, allowing the team to track progress and resources better. 

With the help of Story Points, teams can assess how long it will take them to complete tasks, allocate resources more effectively, and manage expectations around completion times. 

How to Add Story Points in Company-Managed Projects in Jira

  • In company-managed projects in Jira, the first step is to enable the Story Points field if you can’t find it in the issue. 
  • To do this, open the Jira issue and click on Configuration in the bottom right corner. In the Issue layout screen, check the Hidden Fields section. 
  • If you can find the Story Points field in the Hidden Fields section, drag and drop it to the view to enable it. 
  • If you can’t find the Story Points field here, click on the link in the header "To add more fields, or configure field tabs for this screen, go to..." 
  • In the Configure issue screen, select the Story Points field from the dropdown. 
  • Once enabled, open any Jira issue again and find the Story Points field on its right side. 
  • Click on this field and add a number value (generally measured in hours).
  • After entering a value, click outside this box to save your changes. This will assign Story Points to that particular task or project. 

How to Add Story Points in Team-Managed Projects in Jira

  • In team-managed projects, enabling Story Points estimation can also be done in Project settings > Features > Estimation (Story Points). 
  • Once enabled, open any Jira issue and find the Story Points estimation field on its right side. 
  • Click into the field and add a numerical value representing the effort required to complete the task. 
  • After entering a value, click outside this box to save your changes. 

In conclusion, assigning Story Points in Jira is an effective way for teams to keep track of tasks or projects and better manage their time and resources. With these simple steps, you can accurately estimate how long tasks will take and allocate resources accordingly! 


Story Points in Jira provide a great way for teams to estimate the effort required to complete user stories. Story Points help teams improve their estimation process and encourage collaboration, which can lead to increased productivity. 

They are also beneficial because they allow work to be broken down into smaller tasks while still providing an overarching view of the overall project scope. With Story Points, it is easier to measure and track progress over time. 

At GoRetro, we specialize in helping teams reach their goals with ease. We have collaborated with various organizations across the globe, offering our expertise on properly using Jira for optimal efficiency. 

Our team will help you understand how story points fit into your organization's workflow and how this system can increase productivity and collaboration. Contact us today to learn how GoRetro can help you reach your goals. Together, we will create an effective strategy for success with story points in Jira!

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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