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Estimating - with story points, hours or both?

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  • angela.druckman
    Hi All - Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was curious to see what estimation methods the group members are using. When your teams
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 19, 2008
      Hi All -

      Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was curious
      to see what estimation methods the group members are using. When your
      teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:

      --Story points?
      --Hours (or ideal days)?
      --both story points and hours?

      And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
      reasonably happy with the results?

      --Angela
    • robertonrails
      Hi Angela, We use: Story Points - for user stories Ideal hours - for tasks We are very happy with this choice. - Robert Dempsey
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 19, 2008
        Hi Angela,

        We use:

        Story Points - for user stories
        Ideal hours - for tasks

        We are very happy with this choice.

        - Robert Dempsey

        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "angela.druckman"
        <angela.druckman@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi All -
        >
        > Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was curious
        > to see what estimation methods the group members are using. When your
        > teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:
        >
        > --Story points?
        > --Hours (or ideal days)?
        > --both story points and hours?
        >
        > And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
        > reasonably happy with the results?
        >
        > --Angela
        >
      • Richard Banks
        Which backlog? Product backlog - points/jelly beans/big macs (depends on the team) Sprint backlog - hours Regards, Richard Banks Readify | Principal Consultant
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 19, 2008
          Which backlog?

          Product backlog - points/jelly beans/big macs (depends on the team)
          Sprint backlog - hours


          Regards,
          Richard Banks
          Readify | Principal Consultant | CSP | http://richardsbraindump.blogspot.com

          --------------------

          From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of angela.druckman
          Sent: Wednesday, 20 August 2008 9:35 AM
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Estimating - with story points, hours or both?

          Hi All -

          Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was curious
          to see what estimation methods the group members are using. When your
          teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:

          --Story points?
          --Hours (or ideal days)?
          --both story points and hours?

          And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
          reasonably happy with the results?

          --Angela
        • George Dinwiddie
          ... Story points, and yes. - George -- ... * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com Software Development
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 19, 2008
            angela.druckman wrote:
            > Hi All -
            >
            > Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was curious
            > to see what estimation methods the group members are using. When your
            > teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:
            >
            > --Story points?
            > --Hours (or ideal days)?
            > --both story points and hours?
            >
            > And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
            > reasonably happy with the results?

            Story points, and yes.

            - George

            --
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
            Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
            Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          • rsmoyle
            Angela, Many moons ago I used to use hours, man days and 1/2 man days etc..... as I (incorrectly) assumed this was easier for the average team member to
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 19, 2008
              Angela,
              Many 'moons' ago I used to use hours, man days and 1/2 man
              days etc..... as I (incorrectly) assumed this was easier for the
              average team member to understand.
              In reality it is much simplier for the average person to perform
              relative estimation......... that being, measuring an item based on
              previous items. If story A was 10 points, story B 20
              points........and your new story was in between the effort of the
              first two...... etc etc.

              I have had great success since then and consider that story points
              are the only way to accurately measure a teams velocity. A recent
              team here in NZ is continually measuring the same velocity per
              iteration/sprint (good result, but I would prefer to see a constant
              increase).

              Please see Mike Cohn's book http://www.amazon.com/Agile-Estimating-
              Planning-Robert-Martin/dp/0131479415

              I use this as my bible and re-read it on a regular basis.

              I hope this helps.

              Regards

              Richie CSM PMP
              Christchurch, NZ

              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > angela.druckman wrote:
              > > Hi All -
              > >
              > > Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was
              curious
              > > to see what estimation methods the group members are using. When
              your
              > > teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:
              > >
              > > --Story points?
              > > --Hours (or ideal days)?
              > > --both story points and hours?
              > >
              > > And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
              > > reasonably happy with the results?
              >
              > Story points, and yes.
              >
              > - George
              >
              > --
              > ------------------------------------------------------------------
              ----
              > * George Dinwiddie *
              http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
              > Software Development
              http://www.idiacomputing.com
              > Consultant and Coach
              http://www.agilemaryland.org
              > ------------------------------------------------------------------
              ----
              >
            • Geir Amsjo
              Product Backlog: Ideal days or (preferably) Story Points. Sprint Backlog: Ideal hours. -geir
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 19, 2008
                Product Backlog: Ideal days or (preferably) Story Points.
                Sprint Backlog: Ideal hours.

                -geir
              • Cenk Çivici
                We do planning in two levels, release, iteration For release planning : Story points , Gummi bears etc For iteration planning : Ideal Days, Real Days We never
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 20, 2008
                  We do planning in two levels, release, iteration

                  For release planning : Story points , Gummi bears etc
                  For iteration planning : Ideal Days, Real Days

                  We never estimate tasks individually neither track them in the iteration.

                  Cheers
                  Cenk

                  On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 7:45 AM, Geir Amsjo <geir.amsjo@...> wrote:
                  > Product Backlog: Ideal days or (preferably) Story Points.
                  > Sprint Backlog: Ideal hours.
                  >
                  > -geir
                  >
                  >
                • Luciano Felix
                  Hi Angela For the stories we use Story Points but as Richard said it could be Jelly Beans , Tomatoes, Whopers (better then big macs, hehehehe). The important
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 20, 2008
                    Hi Angela

                    For the stories we use Story Points but as Richard said it could be Jelly Beans , Tomatoes, Whopers (better then big macs, hehehehe). The important here is that the estimates must be relative values.
                    For the tasks we don´t estimate at all, we just identified as many tasks as possible and commit with a number of stories to be done by the end of the sprint, and don´t worry if a task gonna take 4 or 6 hours. The important is to try to deliver what was committed on the planning.

                    Regards

                    Luciano Félix
                    lucianofelix.wordpress.com
                  • Ernesto Grafeuille
                    Hi Angela, I think this post estimation-time-or-size (Tobias Meyer s blog) may help you a
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 20, 2008
                      Hi Angela,

                      I think this post estimation-time-or-size (Tobias Meyer's blog) may help you a lot.
                      It's a brilliant discussion about estimating hours or size (e.g. story points).
                      Regards,

                      Ernesto Grafeuille


                      On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 9:38 AM, Luciano Felix <lucianofelix@...> wrote:

                      Hi Angela

                      For the stories we use Story Points but as Richard said it could be Jelly Beans , Tomatoes, Whopers (better then big macs, hehehehe). The important here is that the estimates must be relative values.
                      For the tasks we don´t estimate at all, we just identified as many tasks as possible and commit with a number of stories to be done by the end of the sprint, and don´t worry if a task gonna take 4 or 6 hours. The important is to try to deliver what was committed on the planning.

                      Regards

                      Luciano Félix
                      lucianofelix.wordpress.com



                      --
                      Ernesto Grafeuille
                    • Angela Druckman
                      Thanks to everyone for your info on how you estimate-- Like you Richie, after years of trying a variety of approaches, my teams now do not estimate in hours at
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 20, 2008
                        Thanks to everyone for your info on how you estimate--
                         
                        Like you Richie, after years of trying a variety of approaches, my teams now do not estimate in hours at all, only story points.  Different teams use different scales, but there is no attempt to estimate in "real" hours, whatever those are.  We estimate stories and tasks are just part of the whole.
                         
                        I noticed a strange phenomenon with the teams in this organization - the more they moved towards using hours/ days/ ideal days in their estimates, the worse their estimates were.  And it wasn't like they habitually under or over estimated either - it was all over the map, totally unpredictable but always far from reality. 
                         
                        But strangely I had to lobby really hard to get them to move to story points.  They insisted they "may as well estimate in hours because that's what it all comes down to anyways."  I pointed out that what it "comes down to" is meeting comittments, which is an entirely different thing than filling hours.  When we first started estimating in story points, the team was literally paralyzed - they didn't know how to start.  Even now, i still have one team that needs a story point to equal an 8-hour day (and guess which of my teams still have trouble meeting their committments???)
                         
                        It is interesting the old habits people like to cling to, even when all evidence points to the fact that what they are doing is not working...
                         
                            --Angela

                         

                        ----- Original Message ----
                        From: rsmoyle <rsmoyle@...>
                        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:34:43 PM
                        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points, hours or both?

                        Angela,
                        Many 'moons' ago I used to use hours, man days and 1/2 man
                        days etc..... as I (incorrectly) assumed this was easier for the
                        average team member to understand.
                        In reality it is much simplier for the average person to perform
                        relative estimation.. ....... that being, measuring an item based on
                        previous items. If story A was 10 points, story B 20
                        points...... ..and your new story was in between the effort of the
                        first two...... etc etc.

                        I have had great success since then and consider that story points
                        are the only way to accurately measure a teams velocity. A recent
                        team here in NZ is continually measuring the same velocity per
                        iteration/sprint (good result, but I would prefer to see a constant
                        increase).

                        Please see Mike Cohn's book http://www.amazon. com/Agile- Estimating-
                        Planning-Robert- Martin/dp/ 0131479415

                        I use this as my bible and re-read it on a regular basis.

                        I hope this helps.

                        Regards

                        Richie CSM PMP
                        Christchurch, NZ

                        --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
                        wrote:

                        >
                        > angela.druckman wrote:
                        > > Hi All -
                        > >
                        > > Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was
                        curious
                        > > to see what estimation methods the group members are using. When
                        your
                        > > teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:
                        > >
                        > > --Story points?
                        > > --Hours (or ideal days)?
                        > > --both story points and hours?
                        > >
                        > > And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
                        > > reasonably happy
                        with the results?
                        >
                        > Story points, and yes.
                        >
                        > - George
                        >
                        > --
                        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                        ----
                        > * George Dinwiddie *
                        http://blog. gdinwiddie. com
                        > Software Development
                        http://www.idiacomp uting.com
                        > Consultant and Coach
                        http://www.agilemar yland.org
                        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                        ----
                        >


                      • Steve Ropa
                        I definitely prefer story points, and have always been happy with the results. With the exception of one organization that didn¹t like the fact that points
                        Message 11 of 21 , Aug 20, 2008
                          Re: [scrumdevelopment] Estimating - with story points, hours or both? I definitely prefer story points, and have always been happy with the results.  With the exception of one organization that didn’t like the fact that points don’t translate to MS Project, every group I’ve worked with has been happy with the results of using story points.

                          Steve


                          On 8/19/08 5:34 PM, "angela.druckman" <angela.druckman@...> wrote:


                           

                          Hi All -

                          Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was curious
                          to see what estimation methods the group members are using.  When your
                          teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:

                          --Story points?
                          --Hours (or ideal days)?
                          --both story points and hours?

                          And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
                          reasonably happy with the results?

                          --Angela

                           
                              
                        • Richard Scott-Will-Harknett
                          Personally I prefer story points ­ but then sadly it¹s not just about me it¹s about the team :-) I have generally found that the initial preference is for
                          Message 12 of 21 , Aug 20, 2008
                            Re: [scrumdevelopment] Estimating - with story points, hours or both? Personally I prefer story points – but then sadly it’s not just about me it’s about the team :-)
                            I have generally found that the initial preference is for ideal developer days.
                            However, once a conversion to points is made there seems to be a universal “ah ha” moment and from then on points it is.
                            The only barrier I seem to find is in the conversion to an abstract, relative sizing when for so long folks have been used to focusing on the “actual”  duration of activities.
                            While I have preferences, in the nicest possible way I don’t actually care: just so long as we are all clear on what we are doing and how much we commit to for each iteration.
                            So my answer is a mix of both (depending on who I’m working with)
                            Richard



                            On 21/08/08 07:28 , "Steve Ropa" <theropas2@...> wrote:


                             

                            I definitely prefer story points, and have always been happy with the results.  With the exception of one organization that didn’t like the fact that points don’t translate to MS Project, every group I’ve worked with has been happy with the results of using story points.

                            Steve


                            On 8/19/08 5:34 PM, "angela.druckman" <angela.druckman@...> wrote:


                             

                            Hi All -

                            Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was curious
                            to see what estimation methods the group members are using.  When your
                            teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:

                            --Story points?
                            --Hours (or ideal days)?
                            --both story points and hours?

                            And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
                            reasonably happy with the results?

                            --Angela

                          • Richie Moyle
                            Angela,            Just to clarify...... I use story points for estimating stories for my product and sprint backlog.. At the IPM (Iteratiion
                            Message 13 of 21 , Aug 20, 2008
                              Angela,
                                         Just to clarify......
                              I use story points for estimating stories for my product and sprint backlog.
                              At the IPM (Iteratiion Planning Meeting) we use index cards and small magnets on a white board to individually estimate tasks in IEH (Ideal Engeneering Hours). I have tried numerous Agile "Tools" and my teams prefer this method (pinched from XP).
                              We simply have 2 horizontal lines dividing the board...... Not started, In progress & done.
                               
                              As I have said, I have tried lots of different methods over the years and followed what my teams say work best. I find applying the KISS principle works well in an Agile environment.
                               
                              Good luck
                               
                              Richie

                              --- On Wed, 20/8/08, Angela Druckman <angela.druckman@...> wrote:
                              From: Angela Druckman <angela.druckman@...>
                              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points, hours or both?
                              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                              Received: Wednesday, 20 August, 2008, 4:43 PM

                              Thanks to everyone for your info on how you estimate--
                               
                              Like you Richie, after years of trying a variety of approaches, my teams now do not estimate in hours at all, only story points.  Different teams use different scales, but there is no attempt to estimate in "real" hours, whatever those are.  We estimate stories and tasks are just part of the whole.
                               
                              I noticed a strange phenomenon with the teams in this organization - the more they moved towards using hours/ days/ ideal days in their estimates, the worse their estimates were.  And it wasn't like they habitually under or over estimated either - it was all over the map, totally unpredictable but always far from reality. 
                               
                              But strangely I had to lobby really hard to get them to move to story points.  They insisted they "may as well estimate in hours because that's what it all comes down to anyways."  I pointed out that what it "comes down to" is meeting comittments, which is an entirely different thing than filling hours.  When we first started estimating in story points, the team was literally paralyzed - they didn't know how to start.  Even now, i still have one team that needs a story point to equal an 8-hour day (and guess which of my teams still have trouble meeting their committments? ??)
                               
                              It is interesting the old habits people like to cling to, even when all evidence points to the fact that what they are doing is not working...
                               
                                  --Angela

                               

                              ----- Original Message ----
                              From: rsmoyle <rsmoyle@yahoo. co.nz>
                              To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
                              Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:34:43 PM
                              Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points, hours or both?

                              Angela,
                              Many 'moons' ago I used to use hours, man days and 1/2 man
                              days etc..... as I (incorrectly) assumed this was easier for the
                              average team member to understand.
                              In reality it is much simplier for the average person to perform
                              relative estimation.. ....... that being, measuring an item based on
                              previous items. If story A was 10 points, story B 20
                              points...... ..and your new story was in between the effort of the
                              first two...... etc etc.

                              I have had great success since then and consider that story points
                              are the only way to accurately measure a teams velocity. A recent
                              team here in NZ is continually measuring the same velocity per
                              iteration/sprint (good result, but I would prefer to see a constant
                              increase).

                              Please see Mike Cohn's book http://www.amazon. com/Agile- Estimating-
                              Planning-Robert- Martin/dp/ 0131479415

                              I use this as my bible and re-read it on a regular basis..

                              I hope this helps.

                              Regards

                              Richie CSM PMP
                              Christchurch, NZ

                              --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > angela.druckman wrote:
                              > > Hi All -
                              > >
                              > > Because this topic came up in a class a couple days ago, I was
                              curious
                              > > to see what estimation methods the group members are using. When
                              your
                              > > teams provide estimates for backlog items do they estimate in:
                              > >
                              > > --Story points?
                              > > --Hours (or ideal days)?
                              > > --both story points and hours?
                              > >
                              > > And with whatever method you use, are you (and your organization)
                              > > reasonably happy with the results?
                              >
                              > Story points, and yes.
                              >
                              > - George
                              >
                              > --
                              > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                              ----
                              > * George Dinwiddie *
                              http://blog. gdinwiddie. com
                              > Software Development
                              http://www.idiacomp uting.com
                              > Consultant and Coach
                              http://www.agilemar yland.org
                              > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                              ----
                              >



                              Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com
                            • Matt McClure
                              Luciano, ... This sounds like a compelling way to simplify iteration planning meetings. But how do you chart your iteration burndown without task estimates?
                              Message 14 of 21 , Aug 24, 2008
                                Luciano,

                                On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 8:38 AM, Luciano Felix <lucianofelix@...> wrote:
                                > For the tasks we don´t estimate at all, we just identified as many tasks as
                                > possible and commit with a number of stories to be done by the end of the
                                > sprint, and don´t worry if a task gonna take 4 or 6 hours. The important is
                                > to try to deliver what was committed on the planning.

                                This sounds like a compelling way to simplify iteration planning
                                meetings. But how do you chart your iteration burndown without task
                                estimates?

                                Matt
                              • Luciano Felix
                                Hi Matt Our burndown is made using Amount of Tasks X Sprint Days. As I said, at the sprint planning we try to identify as many tasks as possible, and every
                                Message 15 of 21 , Aug 25, 2008
                                  Hi Matt

                                  Our burndown is made using Amount of Tasks X Sprint Days. As I said, at the sprint planning we try to identify as many tasks as possible, and every daily scrum new tasks can come up. I don't like to use hours for tasks for the same reason we don't use hours for the stories.

                                  regards

                                  Luciano Félix
                                  lucianofelix.wordpress.com
                                • Angela Druckman
                                  Hi Matt - I can t speak for Luciano but, since I started the thread, I can tell you how my teams do this. We chart ideal vs actual story point burndown. For
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Aug 25, 2008
                                    Hi Matt -

                                    I can't speak for Luciano but, since I started the thread, I can tell you how my teams do this. 

                                    We chart "ideal vs actual story point" burndown.  For example, let's say there are 15 working days in the sprint and the team commits to 30 story points (for simple math).  So an "ideal" or even burndown is 2 story points each day, for 15 days.  That is our baseline. 

                                    Against that we chart how the story points actually got completed.  My experience is that story point burndowns look a bit like stair steps, not a smooth line, but gives you even more useful information that traditional burndowns because, at the end of the day, what matters are the number of stories complete--

                                         --Angela


                                    ----- Original Message ----
                                    From: Matt McClure <mlm@...>
                                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 5:27:14 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points, hours or both?

                                    Luciano,

                                    On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 8:38 AM, Luciano Felix <lucianofelix@ gmail.com> wrote:
                                    > For the tasks we don´t estimate at all, we just identified as many tasks as
                                    > possible and commit with a number of stories to be done by the end of the
                                    > sprint, and don´t worry if a task gonna take 4 or 6 hours. The important is
                                    > to try to deliver what was committed on the planning.

                                    This sounds like a compelling way to simplify iteration planning
                                    meetings. But how do you chart your iteration burndown without task
                                    estimates?

                                    Matt


                                  • James S. Fosdick, PMP, CSP
                                    Just out of curiosity, what value to do you feel is derived from charting an ideal burndown? I used to do that, but someone persuaded me that it wasn t
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Aug 26, 2008
                                      Just out of curiosity, what value to do you feel is derived from
                                      charting an "ideal" burndown? I used to do that, but someone persuaded
                                      me that it wasn't adding value and when I've tried just charting the
                                      task (or story) burndown I see no effect from removing the ideal line.


                                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Angela Druckman
                                      <angela.druckman@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Hi Matt -
                                      >
                                      > I can't speak for Luciano but, since I started the thread, I can
                                      tell you how my teams do this.
                                      >
                                      > We chart "ideal vs actual story point" burndown. For example, let's
                                      say there are 15 working days in the sprint and the team commits to 30
                                      story points (for simple math). So an "ideal" or even burndown is 2
                                      story points each day, for 15 days. That is our baseline.
                                      >
                                      > Against that we chart how the story points actually got completed.
                                      My experience is that story point burndowns look a bit like stair
                                      steps, not a smooth line, but gives you even more useful information
                                      that traditional burndowns because, at the end of the day, what
                                      matters are the number of stories complete--
                                      >
                                      > --Angela
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ----- Original Message ----
                                      > From: Matt McClure <mlm@...>
                                      > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 5:27:14 AM
                                      > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points,
                                      hours or both?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Luciano,
                                      >
                                      > On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 8:38 AM, Luciano Felix <lucianofelix@
                                      gmail.com> wrote:
                                      > > For the tasks we don´t estimate at all, we just identified as many
                                      tasks as
                                      > > possible and commit with a number of stories to be done by the end
                                      of the
                                      > > sprint, and don´t worry if a task gonna take 4 or 6 hours. The
                                      important is
                                      > > to try to deliver what was committed on the planning.
                                      >
                                      > This sounds like a compelling way to simplify iteration planning
                                      > meetings. But how do you chart your iteration burndown without task
                                      > estimates?
                                      >
                                      > Matt
                                      >
                                    • Angela Druckman
                                      It is only useful as a visual reference to make it crystal-clear when the lines are diverging, which is what I would use a traditional burndown for as well--
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Aug 31, 2008
                                        It is only useful as a visual reference to make it crystal-clear when the lines are diverging, which is what I would use a "traditional" burndown for as well--

                                            --Angela


                                        ----- Original Message ----
                                        From: "James S. Fosdick, PMP, CSP" <jsfosdickcsp@...>
                                        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 4:46:26 PM
                                        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points, hours or both?

                                        Just out of curiosity, what value to do you feel is derived from
                                        charting an "ideal" burndown? I used to do that, but someone persuaded
                                        me that it wasn't adding value and when I've tried just charting the
                                        task (or story) burndown I see no effect from removing the ideal line.

                                        --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Angela Druckman
                                        <angela.druckman@ ...> wrote:

                                        >
                                        > Hi Matt -
                                        >
                                        > I can't speak for Luciano but, since I started the thread, I can
                                        tell you how my teams do this.
                                        >
                                        > We chart "ideal vs actual story point" burndown. For example, let's
                                        say there are 15 working days in the sprint and the team commits to 30
                                        story points (for simple math). So an "ideal" or even burndown is 2
                                        story points each day, for 15 days. That is our baseline.
                                        >
                                        > Against that we chart how the story points actually got completed.
                                        My experience is that story point burndowns look a bit like stair
                                        steps, not a smooth line, but gives you even more useful information
                                        that traditional burndowns because, at the end of the day, what
                                        matters are the number of stories complete--
                                        >
                                        > --Angela
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ----- Original Message ----
                                        > From: Matt McClure <mlm@...>
                                        > To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
                                        > Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 5:27:14 AM
                                        > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points,
                                        hours or both?
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Luciano,
                                        >
                                        > On Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 8:38 AM, Luciano Felix <lucianofelix@
                                        gmail.com> wrote:
                                        > > For the tasks we don´t estimate at all, we just identified as many
                                        tasks as
                                        > > possible and commit with a number of stories to be done by the end
                                        of the
                                        > > sprint, and don´t worry if a task gonna take 4 or 6 hours. The
                                        important is
                                        > > to try to deliver what was committed on the planning.
                                        >
                                        > This sounds like a compelling way to simplify iteration planning
                                        > meetings. But how do you chart your iteration burndown without task
                                        > estimates?
                                        >
                                        > Matt
                                        >


                                      • hmeftah
                                        Hi Angela, Use story points to estimate your backlog, apply your team velocity, translate in days or hours if you want to. Don t worry about tasks duration,
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Sep 3, 2008
                                          Hi Angela,

                                          Use story points to estimate your backlog, apply your team velocity,
                                          translate in days or hours if you want to.

                                          Don't worry about tasks duration, some of them may be longer than
                                          expected, the aim is all should be done at the end of the Sprint.

                                          The best thing in Scrum is stories are time boxed, coupled with an
                                          iterative development to deal with the uncertainty of the requirements.

                                          Have a look to the good book, Agile Estimating and Planning.

                                          Don't forget the first Scrum quote: " Inspect and Adapt".
                                          Each project and team are unique, some concept may work with one
                                          team/project but fail with an other.
                                          H. Meftah
                                        • Angela Druckman
                                          Yes, thanks - I have a technique that works well for my teams- we estimate only with story points and don t use hours at all.  My teams have consistently
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Sep 3, 2008
                                            Yes, thanks -
                                             
                                            I have a technique that works well for my teams- we estimate only with story points and don't use hours at all.  My teams have consistently estimated worse with hours than with a more relative scale.  I was more curious what others are doing and what they have found effective.
                                             
                                            Thanks--
                                             
                                                 --Angela

                                             

                                            ----- Original Message ----
                                            From: hmeftah <hmeftah@...>
                                            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                            Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 2:52:43 AM
                                            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points, hours or both?

                                            Hi Angela,

                                            Use story points to estimate your backlog, apply your team velocity,
                                            translate in days or hours if you want to.

                                            Don't worry about tasks duration, some of them may be longer than
                                            expected, the aim is all should be done at the end of the Sprint.

                                            The best thing in Scrum is stories are time boxed, coupled with an
                                            iterative development to deal with the uncertainty of the requirements.

                                            Have a look to the good book, Agile Estimating and Planning.

                                            Don't forget the first Scrum quote: " Inspect and Adapt".
                                            Each project and team are unique, some concept may work with one
                                            team/project but fail with an other.
                                            H. Meftah


                                          • James S. Fosdick, PMP, CSP
                                            Late to the party, but has anyone mentioned T-Shirt sizes? That s almost always my preferred method as it s the most abstract and the hardest to game . Of
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Sep 3, 2008
                                              Late to the party, but has anyone mentioned T-Shirt sizes? That's
                                              almost always my preferred method as it's the most abstract and the
                                              hardest to "game". Of course it's predicated on doing commitment based
                                              planning rather than velocity based planning which some teams don't
                                              like. In my view getting the team wrapped up in velocity numbers
                                              (which we really only care about for long range planning of releases
                                              and such) is high risk and low value. But that's just me. :)

                                              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Angela Druckman
                                              <angela.druckman@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Yes, thanks -
                                              >
                                              > I have a technique that works well for my teams- we estimate only
                                              with story points and don't use hours at all.  My teams have
                                              consistently estimated worse with hours than with a more relative
                                              scale.  I was more curious what others are doing and what they have
                                              found effective.
                                              >
                                              > Thanks--
                                              >
                                              >      --Angela
                                              >
                                              >  
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ----- Original Message ----
                                              > From: hmeftah <hmeftah@...>
                                              > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                              > Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 2:52:43 AM
                                              > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating - with story points,
                                              hours or both?
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Hi Angela,
                                              >
                                              > Use story points to estimate your backlog, apply your team velocity,
                                              > translate in days or hours if you want to.
                                              >
                                              > Don't worry about tasks duration, some of them may be longer than
                                              > expected, the aim is all should be done at the end of the Sprint.
                                              >
                                              > The best thing in Scrum is stories are time boxed, coupled with an
                                              > iterative development to deal with the uncertainty of the requirements.
                                              >
                                              > Have a look to the good book, Agile Estimating and Planning.
                                              >
                                              > Don't forget the first Scrum quote: " Inspect and Adapt".
                                              > Each project and team are unique, some concept may work with one
                                              > team/project but fail with an other.
                                              > H. Meftah
                                              >
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