Estimation is a critical part of a scrum project thanks to the slew of factors it takes into account including amount, complexity, risk and uncertainty. Scrum being a minimal framework does not dictate the way estimation is done.

 

Scrum teams use story points as opposed to the time format in days, week or months as used by traditional project management. Story points rate relative effort to work in a Fibonacci like format.

 

Story points are the estimation grey area. Often scrum teams struggle to come up with a common understanding. If you are looking for a role as a scrum master, this is one of the critical skills to master. You need to understand how you can help the product owner in coming up with the right estimate. The right estimation and correct sizing limit the effort you need to put as a scrum master in resolving conflict around estimation. There are always unforeseen events/issues/complexities which team discovers as they move forward. You need to take everything into account and focus on learning.

 

We asked this question in our Scrum Interview challenge level 1 and got 1000+ response from real scrum masters. Here is the compilation of top responses.

 

Anand Vyas , Head of delivery

Civica

Story point cannot be measured. It is relative. It is for the team to get idea of complexity involved. Consider going to Ahmedabad from Vadodara, some may prefer car, train or bus. Based on individual’s complexity you may rate them comparatively


Umesh Kumar Monga, Deputy Manager

While estimating story points, we assign a point value to each story. Relative values are more important than the raw values. A story that is assigned 2 story points should be twice as much as a story that is assigned 1 story point. It should also be two-thirds of a story that is estimated 3 story points.

Scrum Challenge


Hansraj Pareek, QA Manager

Synchr Inc. California USA

Story points are measured based on the complexities, risks, and efforts involved of a story in compare to other stories. Each member of our development team gives a story point based on their views about the story and when the numbers are different the team discuss and justify why they gave the specific number and at end development team reach to the point to give a story point where whole team agree on that.


Raghav Julka, Sr. Business Analyst

Zee Media

Story points can be measured by 3-point approach where time is not the criteria.
  1. The amount of work to do
  2. The complexity of the work to do
  3. Risk, uncertainty or bottle neck of the work to do
Ex: Story point for a user story. As a user I want a login page which I use to login to my account. The page should allow me to login from my registered credentials or Facebook, or Google or LinkedIn account as well. The story explains the login page to be made where login page is required and the login can be done in different methods. this explains the amount of work.
  1. Login Credentials
  2. Facebook Credentials
  3. Google Credentials
  4. LinkedIn Credentials
Complexity of the work is the work is to keep check for all different methods and keep them intact as individual and in a group as well.
Uncertainty of the work is working around with third-party logins as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.


Ajay S, Sr Advisor, Product Management

Dell

Story points are a unit of measure for expressing an estimate of the overall effort that will be required to fully implement a product backlog item or any other piece of work. When we estimate with story points, we assign a point value to each item. What matters are the relative values. A story that is assigned a 2 should be twice as much as a story that is assigned a 1. It should also be two-thirds of a story that is estimated as 3 story points.


Ankit Sharma, Senior Systems Engineer

Infosys

Team agrees on the story points based on complexity. e.g. Relative estimation technique can be used. Fibonacci series is one the way. Team can come up with SP based on effort required and that story can be used to relatively estimate other stories. If team is new, max 4 hours worth of effort can be considered as 1 SP and then relatively estimate other stories considering complexity.


Prashant Sharma, Delivery Manager (Agile Coach)

Poker planning. The team estimates the story points against a story. Two members who rate highest and lowest story points discuss and reach to consensus for story points. For example, a simple login page creation story can be given 1 story.


Bhaskar D, Advisory System Analyst

IBM

Relative Sizing. Choose one story which resembles known in terms of functionality/complexity or in other parameters. Take that story as ideal story, give some Story Points and comparing other stories with the ideal story and give Story Points in increasing/decreasing in terms of functionality/complexity or other parameters.


Shailesh Maheshwari, Expert Engineer

Allscripts

Based on complexity. We take the context of any story done in last release or iteration and then try to compare it to the current story. Reference is not always required. If work is repeated then complexity reduces. On top of that, we play poker negotiation.

Scrum Challenge


Sujit Pathak, Strategic Test Lead

Story points are used to represent effort that we use to develop a story. As per me, this story point is influenced with these –
  1. The quality of a development task or other tasks
  2. The Nature or Complexity of task
  3. Unplanned risk that may occur or any risk that is expected during the task accomplishment.

If I take an example :

The development of story is big influencer – the development of one page is much higher than the development of other page. The complexity may be less or high than of other page. (Example – Login page has mainly 3-4 actionable links, whereas homepage has maybe 60links. )
Story point simply represents category of efforts


We have published all the 3 blogs of Level 1 :
  1. What technique do you follow for the retrospective meeting?
  2. What is the Difference between Traditional Project Manager and Scrum Master?
  3. How do you measure the story points? Provide examples.
Would you like to answer this question, send your answer on atul@izenbridge.com, your answer will get reviewed by Expert and if your answer qualifies that will be published in the same blog with your name.