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Questions tagged [story-points]

For questions about applying or interpreting relative measures of work-effort, known as "story points," to user stories or project milestones.

142
votes
18answers
86k views

Why use story points instead of hours for estimating?

After using hours to estimate our projects for a long time and rarely coming within 20% of actual "work-to-ship," I have been told by a handful of people that "points" work a lot better at gauging the ...
77
votes
9answers
75k views

Why would teams use the Fibonacci sequence for story points?

Why do some teams use numbers from the Fibonacci sequence as story points? Is it just a preference, or is there something more to it?
27
votes
2answers
45k views

Why do Scrum user stories only use the Fibonacci series?

I know that user stories in Scrum are measured with a Modified Fibonacci sequence (0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40...). Why does Scrum only use Fibonacci numbers to estimate stories?
20
votes
7answers
4k views

Why use both story points and hours?

I'm a new scrum master for a team that is using story point estimation and hours. We do story points first during grooming and then hours during planning. I always thought of story points as being ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

How should a team handle disagreements about story-point estimates in Scrum?

During estimation, the Product Owner presents a user story that seems clear to a team that usually knows their strengths and weaknesses, and that is not hostile. What should the Scrum Master do if the ...
17
votes
4answers
8k views

In Scrum, how to estimate research stories?

In our Scrum team, when there is uncertainty about a story or the team is not sure about how to implement it, we take up a research story first. Based on the findings of this research story, we are ...
15
votes
7answers
11k views

How can developers and testers agree on story point estimates?

Previously we used duration for each story, but in our current sprint we are using story points (effort) keeping test team effort separate from the development team effort. Story points are based on ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Should velocity increase with time?

Some scrum masters are concerned with "bumping up" a team's velocity during a sprint, as if a higher velocity is better. But points are a relative measure of the work that a team needs to do for ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

In scrum should incomplete stories be re-estimated or does the original estimate get burned down when it's finally completed?

If I have a story that's been estimated at 10 story points and we don't manage to complete it in a sprint how do you handle estimates for the sprint in which it's next included (assuming it gets ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Should a burndown chart be based on stories or tasks completed?

TL;DR; As the title reads: do you base your burndown chart on stories completed, or on tasks completed? Some background on why I'm asking this: I currently work in a software development team of 4 ...
11
votes
7answers
846 views

Story Decomposition Granularity

We are having a hard time meeting Sprint comits, one reason I suspect is that we are not doing a good job estimating and one of the causes of this is that we don't do a good job decomposing the story ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Can we have zero point stories?

Our Agile/Scrum team follows the Fibonacci sequence for story point estimation. However, it is not clear whether we should have any zero point stories at all. Even though a story may have minimal ...
10
votes
3answers
573 views

How to use Story Points, if User Stories are completely different?

Story Points (SP) is a good measurement, that allows estimating User Stories. SP (in my understanding, it's an important note) is convenient because it is relative and not related with time. All ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How can story points be “non linear” in relative size

I've read in several places that story points are not necessarily linear. i.e., an "8 point" task is not the same as two 4 point tasks and so on. I totally get the argument about these being an ...
9
votes
1answer
780 views

Do you consider a defect an actual defect if it occurs in Dev prior to the acceptance of the User Story as Done?

A fully agile centric question. If an exception, error, defect or bug occurs prior to the completion of a user story; do you log it is a bug or do simply consider part of the work required to make ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any published research about story points vs time estimation?

We're getting started with Scrum and have had a few debates about whether we should estimate in story points or ideal hours. The team is pretty divided, so I'd like to know if any real studies have ...
9
votes
6answers
470 views

Is it okay to have a sprint where the team commits to zero story points?

Our two Scrum development teams are located in India. Our shared product owner is permanently relocating to the US, and we're just about to finish our first sprint. Him and the team suggested ...
9
votes
2answers
702 views

User Story Mapping and Sprint Prioritization

With User Story Mapping, If we start our sprint with the MVP, by definition the stories will be musts. In a fixed time-scale without shoulds and coulds, then how can we hit our targets if estimated ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

When does a Scrum Team assign story points to the stories in the Scrum methodology?

I am in the process of learning Scrum. I got stuck with a question: on which stage does the Scrum Team assign story points to the user stories?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What are “Consumed Story Points” in Trello?

Some Scrum add-ons allow you to enter both estimated story points and consumed story points. What are consumed story points and how do you measure/estimate them?
8
votes
3answers
7k views

How to estimate a project budget using story points?

Current workflow in our company: I create Given/When/Then scenarios or User stories Developers estimate Scenarios/User stories in hours, by giving minimum and maximum amount of time for 1 scenario/...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I effectively track story points with Trello?

I'm exploring Trello as a Kanban tool, and am hung up on how to track story points with it. This isn't something that Trello natively supports, so I've been re-purposing labels to carry this ...
7
votes
2answers
241 views

Sprint story point from PM perspective

As a project manager, I am interested in the effort (estimated and actual). While Sprint based estimation is story point based, how can I translate them to effort so that I can track and report them. ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a good total size for a Product Backlog?

General I realize the size of a product backlog will vary with each project. But assuming a project that is large enough to require a significant length time, is there any research or statistics on ...
6
votes
5answers
354 views

Should I trade points when adding a new story mid sprint?

Suppose a task shows up mid sprint that is high priority. It must go into the current sprint and take top priority. Suppose the task is estimated by the development team to be a 3 point task. When ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Jira story points versus sub task estimation

We are using Jira for agile PM, but are having problems working with both story points and sub task hours estimation. Articles like this and this just don't seem to help. The second article has a ...
6
votes
4answers
201 views

Dealing with stories/functionality that will spread across the entire lifetime of the project

I'm trying to determine how I would deal with a story/epic that appears to potentially spread across every sprint. As a user I wish to have see help information against data inputs so that I can ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Changing backlog story point estimates mid way through a release

Background: We are mid-way through a development which was estimated for a customer on a fixed price contract. To come up with the estimate we built a backlog by trying to list all user stories and ...
6
votes
3answers
162 views

Story point on team with separate technologies

Currently we do like this: we estimate backlog in hours on sprint planning we fill backlog by assign tasks to persons as each one has different technology background and we need to know how much of ...
6
votes
3answers
624 views

When to add tasks to stories and how to estimate tasks?

In our agile team we frequently encounter the issue where the Scrum Master points out that all of our stories should be fully tasked and estimated prior to an iteration and once these tasks have been ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

Aligning story points' value

We've ended up with non-linear weighing of our points. I worry this makes reporting velocity data erroneous. Background: A fairly traditional deck is used: ?, 0, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100, ...
5
votes
1answer
286 views

Scrum uneven distribution of work hidden in a unified effort

I'm currently a developer at a small software development firm, and we are starting to adopt Agile (specifically, Scrum) philosophies into our culture and project management style. We have only a few ...
5
votes
4answers
878 views

How does a team (new to product and domain) estimate user stories of a ten year old product?

I am the scrum master for one of the products in a software development company. Our team, including me, operates from India. However my product owner is in USA. We are working on the feature ...
5
votes
1answer
328 views

Why measure in story points (being a relative measure is not an acceptable answer)

When I read about story points it is always mentioned that they should be used because they are a relative measure with examples like: It takes me 60 minutes to run a trail while you only take 30 ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Using the Stacey matrix to capture agile metrics

I recently encountered the Stacey matrix in an answer by Stephan Weinhold. After looking at the linked image provided & doing a bit more reading that describes it as a way to characterize ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

How to factor in story points/tasks for non sprint related items?

I understand that in general you create stories with story point complexity, and then define tasks and subtasks in which to mark time against, but how does this translate into items that are outside ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How to manage story points when several developers work on 1 story?

My team consists of 2 backend devs, 1 front end dev and designer. Lets pretend we have next user story: As a user I want to sign-in/sign-out to use the system Designer says that it is equal to 2 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Story Points to Ideal Days

History 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
173 views

Can 'QA approved' count towards your team's definition of done?

I'm a ScrumMaster running a development team using scrum. We are working in 3 week sprints and at the end of the sprint we often do not release our code to production right away. It could be a number ...
4
votes
5answers
262 views

Can story points remain constant between the initial estimate and later planning sessions?

Background We have a bunch of epic stories. We have a fixed term to do the project. We have to get approval from a project board. We don't know the velocity of the project team yet. The project ...
4
votes
4answers
536 views

Should a team estimate tasks based on the executor's capacity or on the team average?

My team is adopting Scrum. When estimating story points for a backlog item, we use planning poker to reflect the team's average vision of the story's complexity. When estimating task hours within a ...
4
votes
1answer
440 views

Hot swapping stories

Is it acceptable to swap out stories from the current sprint to the backlog and replace them with stories of the same estimate size from the backlog, because of changing priorities in the business? ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Exchanging equivalent user stories (Story points based) in a sprint

In the middle of a sprint right now, the following problems have arose: Urgent bug has cropped up that needs resolving Stakeholder urgently needs a requirement integrated which is preventing a ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it a good Scrum practice to use large story-point numbers for effort estimation?

Is it generally a good practice to have large story-points for user stories in a sprint? We are following a modified Fibonacci series of 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100. We estimate the effort ...
4
votes
3answers
156 views

Are story points achieved a good individual quarterly goal?

Our company is starting to set quarterly goals at a more individual level. For many engineers on the team, these goals will include product impact, automation and code coverage, new responsibilities, ...
3
votes
6answers
953 views

Alternatives to estimating in hours/story points

We are looking to change our approach on estimates. Now we estimate in hours/days, but we would like to change this and make our process more flexible. We are working based on Scrum, where stories are ...
3
votes
4answers
368 views

How to break down an 8 point story into smaller stories in Scrum?

My team and I are struggling with breaking down a user story that we have estimated to be 8 points. The user story is : "A user can sign up to the app using a registration form so that he is ...
3
votes
4answers
432 views

Best measurable units for non cross-functional team estimation

I have a new development team and I want to use Story Points for high-level estimation. But I have two problems: My new team is not cross-functional (we are trying to solve this, but this is a slow ...
3
votes
2answers
218 views

How to get team agreement about what story points mean to said team

Mike Cohn suggests having workshop and estimating 2 dozen stories. I was thinking of adapting this idea for one team. The objective is to get the team agreeing/understanding about what 1, 2, 3 and 5 ...
3
votes
4answers
328 views

Can we allocate time to story points?

I am the scrum master, using the following system loosely: 0.2 points approx < 1 hour 0.5 points approx > 2 hours but < 3 hours 1 points approx > 4 hours (half a day) 2 points approx > 8 ...