Let’s Estimate on Agile with Story Points

  • Agile
  • Mobile App Development
  • Software Development

05 February 2019


Story points are measuring units to express the total estimated effort that will be required to complete a task in nearshore software development projects.

When working on Agile with Story Points we estimate assigning a value to each item. The individual value of each item is less important.

The main thing is the “relative value” that an item holds in relation to the rest. For example, an item with a value of two must hold twice the value of another with a value of one.

It doesn’t matter if your team assigns 1, 2 or 3 or 100, 200 or 300 points. What matters is the relationships among the items.

In this sense, we understand that Story Points take into account everything that can affect the effort to complete the task. For example:

  • The amount of work to be done.
  • The complexity of the work.
  • Uncertainty.
  • Previous experience with similar items.
  • Your definition of “done”.

The number of Story Points assigned to an item depends on your definition of “done,” so you must pay attention to the last item. A precise definition of “done” goes beyond development and includes configurations, deployments, tests, etc.

The steps to apply this estimation technique are:

  1. Identify base items (Do this only once before starting the rounds to set the range of min-max average values. Out of these values are the outliners).
  2. Understand item requirements.
  3. Discuss and indicate the effort to complete the item.
  4. Planning Poker.
  5. Validate the individual estimate consistency with the rest.

01 /
Identify base items

It’s important to identify one or more base items as references for the estimations. Each item can be from the backlog or even from another project. The important thing is that everybody has the same understanding of the item.

02 /
Understand item requirements.

The Product Owner will be available to clarify items so the team can understand and estimate properly.

03 /
Discuss and indicate the effort to complete the item.

Here, your team sets the Story Points. All needed tasks and subtasks are managed with this set of questions.

  • What should we learn before starting with this item?
  • What will be the effort to complete this deliverable? Has someone done something similar that we can reuse?
  • Is there any configuration required?
  • Does this item depend on another one?
  • Does someone have experience with this kind of item?

Using a project management tool to keep visibility is a great idea.

04 /
Play Poker rounds.

Planning poker us a technique to estimate using Story Points in which each member of the team has to provide an estimate of an item’s Story Point. The Fibonacci sequence (0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89) is commonly used for setting the points.

The team plays poker rounds until there’s a consensus on the value of an item. There are many ways to manage discrepancies effectively, but expertise is needed.

05 /
Validate the individual estimates consistency with the rest.

This is about continuous improvement. Your team must validate periodically that Story Point estimation remains consistent; a 3 is triple the work of a 1, 2 is double the work of a 1, and so on.

Does Agile with Story Point get conscious estimates to work for you?

Contact Us. Let’s estimate your next software product together.

  • Agile Software Development
  • Story Points
  • nearshore software development

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