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Why Story Points?

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  • Joseph Little
    Mike, I was leading a course and was asked why story points? . I said my usual things to a guy who generally seemed to be getting agile very well. Not sure
    Message 1 of 48 , Oct 22, 2008
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      Mike,

      I was leading a course and was asked "why story points?". 

      I said my usual things to a guy who generally seemed to be getting agile very well.  Not sure how much impact I had on this topic with him.  So, I am asking for more help.  (I won't tell you my "usual things"...could have been many aspects to what I said other than content per se.  And not all about me, also, of course.)

      His main come back, it seemed to me, was that managers could understand hours better.  He was using hours for Sprint Planning [tasks]. (I said that was great for beginning teams.)  He also said he was using H/M/L for story estimating.  So, I think he was left thinking..."oh, story points have some value in using velocity...", but I'm not sure I sealed the deal, as they say.

      I will tell you my old complaints about story points, as I remember them...
      (a) too vague.  "I live in the real world, not a relativity world, and I don't care what Einstein said."
      (b) managers understand hours and days
      (I no longer have these complaints, but can sympathize when others have them.)

      I also used to complain that velocity was not the most important metric; that business value delivered is much more important.  (I still basically feel this way, but now also see that knowing velocity is essential.  I won't explain why right now.)

      So, can we rehearse "why story points" here (again)?

      For me, for my friend, and for the community.
      If anyone wants to cite earlier posts, that's fine too.

      Thanks, Joe



      Joseph Little
      Agile coach, MBA, CST
      Kitty Hawk Consulting, Inc.
      704-376-8881 (Charlotte)
      917-887-1669 (cell)
      http://www.kittyhawkconsulting.com/
      http://leanagiletraining.com/
      Blog: "Agile & Business"

    • Graeme Matthew
      Ron I agree story points are just abstract so how do you research something that is abstract to come to a conclusive answer they just work based on velocity as
      Message 48 of 48 , Oct 28, 2008
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        Ron

        I agree story points are just abstract so how do you research something
        that is abstract to come to a conclusive answer

        they just work based on velocity

        as they say you could even use 1 frog, 1 small pond of frogs, a larger
        pond, and a lake of frogs

        Regards

        Graeme

        Ron Jeffries wrote:
        > Hello, Joseph. On Saturday, October 25, 2008, at 10:34:50 AM, you
        > wrote:
        >
        >
        >> I am assuming that Story Points are using averaged Fibonacci numbers
        >> with wideband Delphi (planning poker). Other number sets *might* also
        >> work almost as well. Interesting thing to do some (more) scientific
        >> research on.
        >>
        >
        > Has there been /any/ research indicating that these numbers work
        > better than some other numbers in software development? Or any
        > related field?
        >
        > Ron Jeffries
        > www.XProgramming.com
        > www.xprogramming.com/blog
        > Know what I pray for? The strength to change what I can, the inability to
        > accept what I can't and the incapacity to tell the difference. --Calvin and Hobbes
        >
        >
        >
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