34 votes
Accepted

Is it a good idea to show a 'story points by developer' graph at retrospectives?

TLDR: The team should be a team. We are not 'shamed' [...] developers don't want to look bad See the problem here? Whether or not your developers are being 'shamed', your developers are afraid of ...
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  • 14.7k
21 votes
Accepted

Why use both story points and hours?

Story Points Estimation and Hours Estimation have different purposes. We use Story Points during Product Backlog Refinement. Story Points are good for high-level planning. When we make an ...
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21 votes
Accepted

Should velocity increase with time?

TL;DR Should velocity increase with time? The simplistic answer is that a project's velocity should only increase until the team has developed a stable, predictable cadence that can be maintained ...
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  • 47.3k
20 votes
Accepted

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

When estimating user stories, everyone should be estimating the complete effort it will take the team to get the story to Done. So, the back-end dev should not just estimate the effort it will take ...
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20 votes
Accepted

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

The only certain answer is: sometime before the story is added into the sprint. After that the story point estimate doesn't add much value. Common times that Scrum teams estimate stories: Backlog ...
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  • 16.7k
18 votes

What are "Consumed Story Points" in Trello?

Consumed Story Points: An Agile Anti-Pattern "Consumed points" are a sort of burn-down metric that some practitioners use to track progress of a story against its original estimates. It's intended to ...
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  • 47.3k
16 votes
Accepted

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

Working software over comprehensive documentation. In general, I'd say that it just gets fixed and considered part of the work needed to complete the story. When you found the bug, you added a ...
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  • 1,390
16 votes
Accepted

Story Decomposition Granularity

Ask yourselves this one question. Is there any possible way to do anything less, and still deliver value? If yes, write that smaller thing down. Then, ask yourselves again. Is there any ...
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  • 1,390
15 votes

Definition of a Story Point

Story points are a relative measure of effort rather than an absolute one. However, each member of the team should have the same understanding of the size of a points estimate. A common understanding ...
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  • 5,662
14 votes
Accepted

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

In order to make the burndown chart useful to the Product Owner (or the customer or the user or another stakeholder), then burning down based on stories is going to be the better option. Since a story ...
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  • 17k
14 votes
Accepted

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

TL;DR Velocity is simply a proxy for measuring team capacity over time, and shouldn't be used for historical time accounting. Always estimate based on the current level-of-effort and complexity, and ...
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  • 47.3k
13 votes

How can you estimate a spike story?

Two things jump out at me. First, the end result of a Spike is not a shippable product. Spikes are used to learn, and do research. The end result is an answer to a question or finding some ...
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  • 17k
13 votes
Accepted

How to convert (volume of work, risk, complexity, uncertainty) to story points?

in your practice, do you use the aforementioned disaggregation? Why or why not? I encourage teams to focus on estimating consistency rather than on having a complicated estimating approach. There are ...
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12 votes
Accepted

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

You can't be faulted for being confused. It is very common for organizations to try and directly match story points to a real-world measurement. This exactly defeats the purposed of using story points ...
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12 votes
Accepted

How to estimate a project budget using story points?

TL;DR For agile projects, a basic formula for estimating budget is: (totalStoryPoints / velocity * teamHoursPerSprint) + nonLaborCosts = budgetEstimate The results should be reported as an ...
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  • 47.3k
12 votes

How can story points be "non linear" in relative size

Perhaps a more accurate way to put it would be that story point estimates are imprecise. If you have a 5 and a 3, that may or may not be the same size as an 8. To make this less confusing, let's ...
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  • 16.7k
12 votes

Definition of a Story Point

Let's be serious, people don't usually care how you do estimates. What they care about is how much it takes and/or how much it costs. Time and money. That's what they want. The estimates is just ...
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  • 13.4k
12 votes

Is it a good idea to show a 'story points by developer' graph at retrospectives?

TL;DR Your organization is fundamentally misusing the story point metric, and also conflating story points with velocity (which is also being misused). Please stop doing those things before you ...
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  • 47.3k
11 votes

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

Typically, yes. The amount of estimated work in the Sprint represents what the Development Team believes it can accomplish during that Sprint. If new work comes up, it's not like the Team suddenly ...
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  • 14.7k
10 votes

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

The answer is really simple and really complex: Simple Answer: In Scrum you don't Complex Answers: If you know the extra tasks before the sprint starts and the team decides that it's necessary to ...
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  • 376
10 votes

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

Below is my answer to the question What to do with estimation of incomplete story? on Software Engineering Stack Exchange. Although the question is worded slightly differently, it is asking ...
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  • 17k
10 votes

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

The definition of done should be something that your team can do. Having external dependencies in a definition of done is a nightmare. If you want to test your story thoroughly, which is great, you ...
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  • 7,475
10 votes
Accepted

What metrics can we generate from t-shirt sizes (rather than story points) when estimating user stories?

Summary To calculate velocity when using non-numeric relative sizing, you first need to map your story sizes to numeric values. I provide a working example of how to do this with tee shirt sizes, and ...
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  • 47.3k
10 votes

How to convert (volume of work, risk, complexity, uncertainty) to story points?

Relative estimates (points) are useful because they tend to give a better approximation than absolute estimates and tend to be easier to work with. Points are just an approximation however, and they ...
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  • 5,662
9 votes
Accepted

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

Mike Cohn in Agile Estimating and Planning describes estimation using story points vs ideal days in Chapters 4-5, then compares them in Chapter 8. Regarding research: There is credible evidence that ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Scrum uneven distribution of work hidden in a unified effort

trying to wrap my head around this question, so forgive me if I go off base. I'm going to tackle this assuming your billing as a team. I'm going to also assume a designer is a UI person. The team has ...
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9 votes

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

Based on previous experience with lots of different approaches, I would agree with your last paragraph - showing anything except true value delivered (tracking tasks, hours, points etc.) often leads ...
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9 votes
Accepted

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

I would walk the team through the Story splitting flowchart. Often someone has an idea how to split it, utilising the full team to split is often better than just trying to split it by yourself. Split ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Story Points flaw?

The official answer to the problem is: There is no fixed numbers. If it makes more sense to have a big story be 100 points, go for it. If it makes more sense to have stories that are 1/2 point, use ...
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  • 7,475
9 votes
Accepted

Is it better to deliver many low-value stories or few high-value stories?

You've encountered two important facts about planning: 1) Priority and value are not the same thing. You have a number next to each story. If those numbers do not have the property that 10 stories ...
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