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Estimating story from trenches

In today’s user story writing workshop my client asked me how do you estimate a user story?

To me, Complexity, Effort and Time are three key things we need to consider while estimating any user story. You look at the complexity of a story to derive the effort required to estimate the time it will take you to finish the story.

To use an analogy of carrying a log of wood from point A to point B:

COMPLEXITY: “How BIG and HEAVY is the Log of wood?”

EFFORT: “How much horsepower is required to pull this log?” This is where Story point comes in.

TIME: Say it takes 2 Horsepower, “how quickly can 6 horses move the log from A to B?” And this, we all know is velocity which can only be derived after a few Sprints.

Complexity cannot be seen in isolation and effort cannot be measured without knowing the complexity.

P.S. I can assure my readers that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

2 replies
  1. Judith Walsh
    Judith Walsh says:

    Like this simple way of reflect the user story concept.
    Also, have to comment that in the explanation, did you know that the happiest ‘horses’ are those that have a job and perform it. Your members like knowing they are doing the job as a team and will get to point B with your guidance.
    Just more to feed the analogy. 🙂

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