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Estimating with Story Points

Estimating with Story Points

Be the first to access my new course.

Take your team from good to great with this step-by-step framework for creating accurate estimates

Application for the beta program is now closed

 

Thank you for your interest in being part of the beta launch for Estimating With Story Points. If we accept your application, you’ll have the unique opportunity to work through the course before anyone else. You’ll also be helping other agile teams know what to expect when we launch to the public.

Here are some things you need to know before you decide to apply.

Important: We can only accept 25 people. We have limited places for this beta group, but I don’t want you to rush the process to try and guarantee your spot. It’s important that you read the information on this page, are happy that you meet the criteria, and have reviewed the course outline before sending in your application.

Application for the beta program is now closed

What is Estimating With Story Points?

This online video course deals with the biggest frustrations I see teams facing again and again when trying to estimate with story points.

Earlier this year I sent out a survey to my audience asking for story points challenges and 2,397 people had problems including...

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Linking points to a unit of time

Probably the biggest problem there is - teams constantly converting story points into time. Many people suspected that even when teams were estimating in points, they were subconsciously using hours in disguise. We’re so used to measuring work in terms of time that this is one of the hardest habits to break but you’ll never succeed with story points unless you do get over this obstacle. Unfortunately, simply explaining it to people rarely works. You need to know how to walk them through examples which helps them really understand.

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Team resistance

To get the best estimates, you need everyone involved, but that means more than getting everyone together to estimate. It means making sure each team member actively participates, doesn’t worry that an estimate will be a commitment that haunts them, and can estimate without a subjective bias. To overcome this problem you need to know how to reset people’s expectations of story points, and then show them how to create accurate estimates quickly so it doesn’t become an unnecessary overhead or seen as process waste.

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Estimating with different skills and abilities

How do you get a senior developer to agree with someone brand new to the job? How does a tester know how long it will take to build a particular feature? Aligning everyone on their understanding of story points so that they can make meaningful estimates that have value to stakeholders and customers can feel like an insurmountable task.

You can solve these problems

In Estimating With Story Points I walk you through a process that helps you understand what story points are, and shows you how to coach your team to use them as well.

This course takes you through the following modules:

Modules

Why Use Story Points?

If so many people struggle to estimate with story points - shouldn’t we just abandon them? No. Once you get past the problems outlined above, you’ll see there are many benefits from using story points.

What Story Points Are

This module breaks down story points, so that you can understand (and explain) what they are, what key elements to consider when estimating, and also what type of estimate you want to provide as a team.

Creating Estimates

Once your team understands story points - how do you estimate with them? Discover how to establish a baseline (making sure it’s not tied to time), use Planning Poker and Affinity estimation, and know when to provide estimates (and if you should ever re-estimate).

Improving Estimates

When teams are tempted to give up the process of estimating, it’s usually because they don’t realize that their estimating skills can improve… a lot. This module shows you how to avoid some common mistakes that can make teams quit before they ever see success with story points.

Introducing Story Points

How you talk to your team about story points can make all the difference. Whether your team is resistant to using them, or has been using them incorrectly, this module shows you how to have those conversations in a way that overcomes resistance and makes teams more receptive to using story points (in the right way). You’ll also get a presentation that you can use to train your teams, making it easy to coach them from good to great.

Troubleshooting

This final module helps you understand problems of using non-additive scales, how to know if you’re estimating too much (or not enough) or the product backlog, how to avoid estimate inflation and whether or not bugs should have story points assigned.