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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 10 months ago

Session: Let's Practice Agile Estimation

Host: Chris Sims, Technical Management Institute



This session was a chance to practice agile estimation skills. Chris Sims, of the Technical Management Institute, facilitated the session. We spent time comparing the merits of various approaches to estimation, and playing planning poker.


We examined various units for estimation, including: ideal days, ideal hours, t-shirt sizes, and points. The consensus was that relative units were best. Some were uncomfortable with the notion that we don't start off with a clean conversion from the relative scale to real time. The more experienced practitioners in the group expressed that this was best, and that the 'conversion' would emerge over time, based on the team's velocity.


We also noted a variety in the size, or granularity, of the points used for estimation by different teams. Some favored an approach where estimates are sized from 1 to 40; others used a wider scale. Some estimate only stories, not tasks. Some estimate stories on one scale, and tasks on another. Chris shared that he has had the best luck with estimating stories and tasks interchangeably on the same point scale.


We also played planning poker, creating consensus estimates based on a visual model of relative task sizes. It was interesting to see that even though the items being estimated were much simpler than software development stories, many of the same dynamics emerged among the participants as would in a real team estimation session.

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