Scrum

Estimating: Story Points in Snapshot

Published 05/10/2021

These days, efficiency in agile development projects is critical to their success. Doing so will ensure everyone from the project manager to the team lead does their best to produce great results quickly. 

This pursuit of efficiency is why many team members in a project look for strategies that can help them achieve more project milestones in the shortest time possible. One of these strategies is Estimation. 

What is a Story Point Estimation?

The average project requires a certain number of man-hours. And while regular projects focus on the amount of time spent on the project, agile development uses story point estimation. 

Estimation involves the assessment of tasks in a project according to their difficulty level and determining the amount of work required to complete the task. This relegates the need for man-hours, and instead, encourages team members to get a lot more done quicker. 

Estimation is a pretty difficult thing to do, mainly because we’re always wrong. So to make it easier, the tasks are assigned something called story points, with numbers or even t-shirt sizes assigned to them in their orders of difficulty. 

For example, a very easy task will get 1 point. While a sizable problem can get the number 5 or 7. It just means that the team members will require more resources to complete story points 5 or 7 than they would point 1. 

Ways to Use Story Point in Agile Development

Determine Project Progress

You can hold a planning poker session to ascertain the difficulty of the task based on a predetermined sequence. Often used is the Fibonacci number sequence but any number or letter can get the job done. 

In this planning session the ScrumMaster will bring up a function to build then all team members will write down numbers based on their perception of its difficulty. They will then discuss and all agree on a story point assignment for that feature.

Reduce Workplace Stress

Non-agile projects often have deadlines. Unfortunately, those timelines provided by the project manager rarely consider things like meetings, emails, collaboration sessions, and much more. 

Thus, team members can be overutilized as they have to find ways to still deliver the project by the predetermined date, whilst still making room for these other ?invisible activities?. With story points, the focus is on getting tasks done, not on how long it?ll take to complete them. 

A Focus on What REALLY Matters

Since the developers are building the products isn?t it logical to include them in deciding how long it will take to build something, instead of thrusting an arbitrary date upon them? Although time is important story points shift the focus on how much work is getting done and got the quality of that work. 

You want to make sure that your end product is something people will actually use. That’s why Agile development focuses on the outcome, not process or tools–it all has an effect on how successful we can be at delivering our stories! By using story points with this approach it becomes clear what features are most important and when they need attention from developers so there isn’t any guesswork involved during iterations.

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