Sunday, January 12, 2020

What's the Easiest Way to Estimate Story Point?

Story point is unit measurement in User Story level, it's used for team to understand effort and complexity on user story. It might be bit difficult to understand, especially for someone that new in agile implementation. 

We can use this illustration to understand about Story Point:
  • Question: what is relative distance between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore?
  • Everyone need to provide answer with measurement of NEAR, MEDIUM, or FAR.
  • Each person might have different opinion to answers it.
Each person then can explains themselves with their answers:
  • Person A answers with FAR, because he only has motorcycle and never go to Singapore before, so he might not know the process/way to go there (e.g. land immigration process, road/highway, etc.).
  • Person B answers with NEAR, because she has gone to Singapore multiple times and normally take flight to go there, so she knows all the process or way.
  • Person C answers with MEDIUM, because he has car and quite techy guy, and might roughly know how to go there (e.g. using Google Maps).

Key importance points:
- User story CAN NOT be translated into time (e.g. hours, days). We can measure the time to complete the activity in Task level. 
- It's NOT comparable between team, it's only exist within that team.
- Velocity is counted ONLY upon completion of user story, if user story not complete then it can't be counted as team velocity.

For me, normally I use Fibonacci number with t-shirt sizing as guideline. If the story point is estimated as XL, I will ask the team to break it down into multiple user story to make sure each story is small enough to be completed in one iteration. 

The most importance thing about this story point estimation is everyone in team knows the complexity of each user story, and once it's put in active iteration, it will be a team commitment to complete it.
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