I work within a IT Team for my business that delivers (Develops & Unit Tests, QA, UAT and Releases) either system improvements or new systems to different areas of our business.
The team I work for have implemented various areas of the Scrum Framework over the last couple of years:
- Roles: Product Owners, Scrum Master and Scrum Team
- Artifacts: Product Backlog, Burndown Chart
- Ceremonies: Daily Standups, Sprint Planning and Sprint Retrospectives
The Product Backlog is made-up of work that estimated using a Plan Driven system, whereby work is authorized. This is because we are one of many different teams within IT (Operations, Infrastructure etc) that don't use Scrum/Agile/Lean Frameworks and reply on this Plan Driven system to have System Change authorized. This system, explained is:
- Our Super Users log a change request.
- We run a requirements workshop to get a "sense" of how big the job is.
- The change request is then assigned to our 1st authorization stage which is made up of business/IT staff who either authorize it or reject it.
- It is then assigned to us to quote. We have to quote based on hours which translate into pounds it will cost them.
- The change request is then assigned back to the business to either authorize or reject the quote.
- If the quote is authorized, then the change request is assigned to another committee to say "yes" or "no" based on current IT priorites
So as you can see, alot of committe's and upfront design before we even get for us to add the item to our Product Backlog.
My Question (Finally!)
I want to introduce better estimating and more efficient requirements capturing, which should lead to better PLanning. Now i wanted to use Planning Poker, User Stories and Story Points with a proper Sprint Board and to capture the required data (story points) to measure our Velocity. My constraints are they must fit within this Plan Driven system described earlier.
What I'm trying to ask really is can i use Story Points within this system as we need to quote upfront Hours for a Backlog item during the Plan Driven system. Is there a way of using Story Points AND Hours together? Reasons for wanting to use these Scrum parts:
Planning Poker - Improve our group estimation process in the negotiation of better estimates. Trying to reduce the "larger than life" characters from influencing our group estimations.
User Stories- I like the idea of breaking out our Epics into small concrete pieces of work which we can decompose later into tasks. This should help our QA exercise greatly and help us see the forest from the trees in terms of breaking out backlog up into smaller shunks so we can run smaller iterations.
Story Points - This makes sense to me as a good way of measuring our velocity without using Ideal Days and getting bogged down with thinking about time when measuring effort for stories.