This article will show you how you can set effort and duration on cards, what it is, how it can be updated and how they work together.


Card effort is the work time in hours or days (you can decide how to set this) that is needed to complete a card. For example, when it takes me a full day of work to complete a card, the effort will be 1 day or 8 hours. 

In Placker, you can track both the estimated and the actual effort in order to understand the planned and the actual workload and the differences between them.

How to use the card effort?

Planned and actual card effort can be used to estimate the workload of your team and to understand how you are actually spending your time. The effort is also an attribute that can be selected to be shown in the graphs, for example, to show the allocated effort for each team member.

You can use the effort to set the duration (see below), i.e. when the effort is set to 2 working days, the duration of the card is 2 working days.


Card duration is the total time in hours or days (you can decide how to set this) that is needed to finish the card.

Effort and duration can be different in different scenarios;

  • When the workload (e.g. 1 workday) is spread over multiple days (e.g. 1  week), the effort (1 day) will be longer than the duration (1 week).

  • When multiple people are assigned to the same task, the effort (e.g. 1 week) will be more than the duration (e.g. 1 day).

Tracking the difference between effort and duration allows you to understand these differences.

Setting the effort and the duration

You can set the effort or duration of the cards in two ways:

1. Changing the timeline in the Gantt chart will also update the effort or duration.

2. Changing the effort or duration attribute in the detail panel will update the effort/duration.

Note that you can change the value of effort and duration both by selecting a value or by editing the value.

How are effort and duration used when drawing the timeline of the Gantt?

The timeline of the Gantt will be shown based on the planned start and end date, when one of the dates ar not set, the duration or effort is used to calculate the timeline of the cards.

The timeline of the Gantt will be shown based on:

  • When both the start and end date is set, it will be based on the planned dates.

  • When the start OR the end date is set, it will be based on that date + the effort or duration of the card.

  • By default the duration is used, you can change this to effort by updating the duration attribute in the settings panel. 

This screen recording shows:

  1. How the initial timeline is set by the start and end date of the card

  2. Then when the end date is removed, it is recalculated based on the set duration.

Setting the card by duration attribute (duration or effort):

  • When the duration attribute is set, the duration will be set based on this attribute.

  • Otherwise, one workday will be taken.

This screen recording shows you how:

  1. Both the effort and duration is set to 0, and a day is shown

  2. Then duration is set to 2 days, and the task is updated

  3. Then duration attribute is updated to use effort, a day is shown again.

  4. Then the effort is set to 2 days, and the task is updated.

How are timelines updated when updating effort or duration?

When you are making updates to the cards on the Gantt chart, the plan dates, effort and/or duration will automatically get updated. This is based on the following logic:

Updating the plan dates:
When you update either the planned start or planned end date, also the effort or duration will get updated:

The duration attribute is updated with the new duration

This is shown in the recording below:

Updating the duration attribute
When you update the duration attribute, also the plan start/end date will get updated accordingly.

  • When the start date is set, the plan end date is updated based on the start date + the new duration.

  • When the start date is not set (and the end date is), the start date gets updated based on the end date and the new duration.

This is shown in the recording below:

Switching between workdays and work hours

You can switch between setting effort and duration in workdays or work hours by selecting either work days or work hours from the Gantt chart. 

Note: this will redraw the timeline on the Gantt chart when you did not yet set both the start and the end date.

Unlink effort and duration

When you don't want to automatically link effort and duration, you can disable this in two ways:

  • When you only want to unlink it on several cards, not on the full board, you can disable it on the card. (be sure to click 'show empty attributes' at the top')

  • When you want to unlink effort and duration for all cards, you can disable this on the board.

Displaying Effort and Duration

You can change the way effort and duration is shown in Placker, by default we show a combined string representation of the effort, for example 1w, 2d. It is also possible to show the effort and duration in days (e.g. 7d, hours (based on your calendar settings, e.g. 56h) or minutes (3360m). These settings are available on the board.

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