Story Points are a unit of a relative, rather than absolute, measure. They are used as a way to evaluate software development efforts without assigning specific hours or days to task estimation. They measure work, not in hours or days, but in relative complexity.
Story points are used to evaluate User Story effort and can be used as a velocity metric over various time periods. This is an alternative approach to estimating the amount of time required to complete a piece of work. It also helps the team to focus on what is important and helps teams in being more flexible with estimates.
The purpose of this article is to explore some of the approaches used and provide guidance on what are story points in agile. By sharing various approaches and techniques, this article hopes to help you become more effective in your estimates. And ultimately reach your project goals more quickly and efficiently.
What is a Story Point in Agile?
Agile development is a methodology for developing software rapidly. It emphasizes collaborative development and separates the Product Owner from the Project Manager in a unique way.
Agile allows you to move fast and fix things faster when they’re broken. Story points in agile is an estimation metric used for agile software development. Creating estimates using story points is often much more accurate and useful than using estimate hours.
The key to accurate estimation is by focusing not on how long you think it will take to complete an item but instead evaluating the size and complexity of what needs to be done.
Story points are one of the most popular techniques used to convert conceptual work into a single, standardized unit of measure. This makes it easier for the teams to estimate work, track progress and implement changes that can improve the projected velocity.
Story Points are based upon these three points:
- Risk: determines those demands that are unclear, unrelated tasks, and changes in requirements.
- Complexity: relates to the struggle, time, and resources a task takes to develop a feature.
- Repetition: involves how well the team member understands the feature and how repetitive the tasks are.
Why estimate in Story Points?
Story points are a crucial step in any agile project. Estimates can help project leaders set the stage for their team leaders, and give everyone on the team a sense of what they need to accomplish.
They can also be a good way to gauge progress during the sprint cycle since each sprint is typically broken into small chunks and each piece of work should be allocated some number of hours (or minutes).
Without story points, it’s difficult to connect threads or problems effectively. They can also help explain how someone else could act or react in a particular point as opposed to you just being you.
Let’s dig into this a little bit and find some benefits for using story points. These are some of the benefits of using story points in agile.
- Create agility by changing velocity
- Story points help create better estimates
- Helps to identify and solve business problems
- Great for estimating and planning iterations
- Provide better and effective business records
- Story points are very helpful for the project estimation
- Helps to remove dependencies and encourage granular thinking
Here are some common mistakes of story points that every newbie makes. These mistakes may damage your project if you do not pay attention to them.
- Measuring story effort not complexity
- Inconsistency in the estimation process
- Story point value is meaningless with no units
- The team don’t take responsibility for their stories
- Adding too many stories and using a vague approach