Watch Now: How to Stop People Problems from Hurting Your Estimates

Today’s post is the final installment in a free series of training videos tackling common problems teams face when estimating with story points. The training will be available until Wednesday, April 21 at 9 p.m. Pacific.

So far in this series of training videos we’ve looked at:

And in this final video I look at one of the biggest sources of estimating problems: people.

Video #3 Overcoming People Problems to Get Good Estimates

Estimating is a human task, and humans can be complicated. No matter how clearly you define and explain the process, estimates still get influenced by bias, background, and individual perspectives.

We’ve all been on teams where someone won’t budge on an estimate, or new recruits are uncertain about the process and make it painfully slow for others. And some people just flat-out refuse to estimate anything that isn’t in their skillset.

If that sounds like your team, don’t give up.

There are still plenty of practical coaching solutions you can use to manage and even eliminate some of these common problems.

Jan shared her experience of estimating by skillset:

In this video I show you how to overcome some common people problems, including:

  • How to handle people who feel they can’t estimate outside of their skillset
  • Making sure everyone knows what stage of completion they’re estimating to
  • How to create a good baseline for people to estimate against
  • How to prevent new members from slowing down or frustrating the rest of the team

Last Chance to Watch

Remember, this free training will only be available until April 21. I’ve really enjoyed sharing this series and hearing how people are going to implement the coaching techniques:


Don’t miss this chance to watch all three videos, and let me know what you think.

Watch All Free Training Videos Now

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Mike Cohn

About the Author

Mike Cohn specializes in helping companies adopt and improve their use of agile processes and techniques to build extremely high-performance teams. He is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile as well as the Better User Stories video course. Mike is a founding member of the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance and can be reached at If you want to succeed with agile, you can also have Mike email you a short tip each week.