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We are team of 3 Back-end developers, 3 Ios developers, 1 QA, 1 Product Owner and 1 SM, working on a Social App. We are interested to do this using the agile methodology with the Scrum framework. We are new to agile/Scrum and are having some difficulty implementing them. We are in Sprint 0 and already wrote user stories and wanted to estimate them.

We have the following questions:

  • Who should be included in the estimation process other than developers?

  • How can ios developers estimate the effort of back-end developers? Same goes for Designers and QA.

  • If everyone will estimate his/her own effort then how can the SM get a single story point estimate?

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Who:

Estimation in Scrum is done by the whole "development team". Scrum says that this is a cross-functional group "with all the skills as a team necessary to create a product Increment". So this would include developers, QA, designers, etc. This would not include non-contributing managers (contributing managers is a whole other conversation), product owner, scrum master, etc.

How:

There are a lot of different techniques. One of the most common is that everyone shares their estimate at once (often written on cards that are revealed simultaneously) each person's estimate should be based off of their understanding of all the work, including that which may not rest in their area of expertise. Once everyone has shown their estimate, the team can discuss different points of view on the size of the work. This can raise challenges or opportunities that some team members may not have considered. This can be difficult at first, especially if team members have never considered the context of others before, but it gets much easier with practice. What most teams find is that you don't have to be able to do someone else's work to be able to consider how work will impact then and that level of understanding comes fairly fast.

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Who should be included in the estimation process other than developers?

Both anyone involved in getting that story Done (likely including QA), as their effort is part of the estimation. And the Product Owner, who may reprioritize stories based on their estimates.

How can ios developers estimate the effort of back-end developers? Same goes for Designers and QA.

I believe this has already been answered on pmse. My suggested approach would be to foster knowledge-sharing so that your developers can become T-shaped.

If everyone will estimate his/her own effort then how can the SM get a single story point estimate?

Look into Planning Poker. Everyone estimates, and if a discrepancy is found, the story is discussed then the estimate repeated until consensus is reached.

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The story points need to be estimated by each and every member of the Scrum Team and then they must collectively come to a conclusion on the most likely number of story points.

However, the developers who say the max and min story point estimates can explain what they view the complexity of the story to be, and why.

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What I like to do for new features or big changes in the UI: have a design or wireframe ready before the team starts to estimate the story. This helps them to see what needs to be implemented and which features are needed. This in turn helps them to determine if new endpoints (back end) or components (front end) need to be created, this information can be used by testers to determine the scope of testing. E.g. if a component is reused it does not need very extensive testing because it already existed, but something that is completely new needs more testing. Having the design ready before the estimation also makes sure that the PO approves the solution (UI wise) and that we are not wasting time building something that needs to be refactored in the next sprint

Then use the planning poker, mentioned by Sarov, with all team members (front end, back end, QA and PO).

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Estimation process will be done by all development team (developer, tester, designer..), every one estimates the story from his point of view (tester will imagine the testing effort, he imagines all possible testing scenario). Not the estimation is the main goal rather than to clarify the story for all team.

Scrum master has the choice to make the process timed-box (5 minutes to each story, or by two round if you playing Poker) this is no standard, you can with your team and PO select estimation time but not long time, As i said the main goal is to share the user-story understand by all team members.

The most important thing in the estimation process is the conversation between PM and team. For example if "for some story" the tester estimate the story by 8 points, developer by 3 points, and those the min and max estimates, scrum master will ask these boundary value, why 3 for developer? why 13 for tester? that is, maybe the tester will explain testing scenario absent from developer, and then -at the next estimation round- the developer may volume-up the size. Scrum master will select the estimate from different team values according to the conversation about the story, if they don't estimate the same effort.

Ios developers estimate the effort that only they responsible for. QA estimate the effort that only they responsible for, and so..

please you can find more by Mike Cohn How Can We Get the Best Estimates of Story Size?

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