Monday, April 6, 2015

Agile Stance Series Part 5 - Estimation (1 of 2)

This is part 5 of the series of post around Agile.


Once User Story concepts have been listed, the sprint team will review the User Stories with the Product Owner present and ensure that they have a good understanding of what is involved with each User Story.

During this process of going through each User Story, the Sprint Team will make a points (Story Points) based estimate of the complexity for the User Story.

Story Points based estimation is a way to purify an estimate free of extras such as padding like contingency and other additional time added to tasks. A task is what it is and is rated by its complexity rather than the time it will take to complete.

The time to complete a set of User Stories will be reported on at the end of the Sprint giving the velocity of working for the Sprint Team. This also allows for team members of different skills levels to view User Stories with the same measurement. A User Story of complexity 5 story points to a senior team member will also be a complexity of 5 story points to a junior team member. This begs the question, what is the value of a Story Point!

The value of Story Points are relative to other User Stories completed within the same project, by the same Sprint Team. Estimation is begun with a single User Story. It is rated by its complexity by a measurement between specific parameters. This could be numbers for example 1 to 6, t-shirt sizes x-small to x-large or anything that the Sprint Team has a common understanding of and inspires them. The only rules are that largest complexity rating must be achievable within a single Sprint duration and must be collaboratively agreed to by the Sprint Team.

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