What Are Story Points and How Can They Save Time and Money?

Scrum Estimation is one of the hardest parts of managing a Scrum project. You never want to oversell the amount of work you can do, but you also don’t want to look lazy for the amount of work you plan for. It’s important to understand exactly how the estimation scale works and adjust accordingly. But overall, the most important thing to realize is estimating is just that, something that you have a gut feeling of. Getting frustrated is a mistake that can lead to team failure..

Story Points

Story points are a good way of estimating because they offer a less exact time than hours. “Story points rate the relative effort of work in a Fibonacci-like format: 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100” (Atlassian.com). There are a few key points that Story Points offer:

  • Story Points are dedicated only to the task at hand, which takes away the headache of allocating hours to meetings, interviews and emails.
  • Story Points have less emotional attachment which removes the stress of working on the weekend to make up lost time.
  • Using Story Points allows for an overall understanding of allowing extra time for roadblocks to creep in.

Planning Poker

Planning poker is a game that a team plays to get an overall consensus of how long a user story will take. A user story is taken from the backlog and the whole team thinks about how long it would take to complete this story. Each member writes on a note card how many story points they believe it would take. If everyone is on the same page, perfect! But if there are differences, conversation about why helps others understand and move forward. “Remember though, estimation should be a high level activity. If the team is too far into the weeds, take a breath, and up-level the discussion” (Atlassian.com).

Retrieved from: https://www.atlassian.com/agile/project-management/estimation

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