Agile Estimation and Planning

Went to Martine Devos’ seminar on Agile Estimation and Planning last night and as always she was excellent.
For me it was not that the subject matter was new because I had heard it previously when she took us through our Scrum Master certification course,
but sometimes you need to hear things more than once, and when you come back to it you see it in a new light.

It also keeps the axe sharpened!

Some useful things I observed, which were a nice refresher:

1) You can estimate in multiple places, during the day, the sprint, the release and the portfolio ( for larger corporations)
2) You can align Story Points with a budget in a corporation by first talking about Relative Points (sounds easier on the corporate ear) and having some history
of velocity.  Then you can use “yesterdays news” to plan out what will be delivered in a sprint. This will allow Product Owners to estimate based on velocity.
3) The most important story, will have the most detail available as its on the Product Owner’s mind.
Other stories will not have as much detail so beware false precision with that, and you can use the Fibonacci styled sequence to help you.
4) The Fibonacci styled sequence will add buffer for you, 1,2,3,5,8,13,20,30,50…. but when  you get to the larger numbers forget the “odd number” eg. 21 as that can give the impression of false accuracy again.
5) The highest priority user story may have some low priority details that can be rescheduled
6) A good way to break down MSC out of MoSCoW, is that Must = delays to project if not done, Should = no bonus if not done, Could = a competitive advantage is lost if not done.

All good stuff!

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