Story Weight Reduction Toolkit

Stories often start out too big. Big stories are a challenge, and it is not always obvious how to deal with them. Its important that stories be small enough to estimate, to fit easily into an iteration and to have a decent definition of done. This article explores why some stories don’t fit this mold and what you can do about it.

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Planning Poker Party (The Companion Games)

High-Low Story Showdown, Deal and Slide, Developer Guts, and Customer Guts

It’s sprint zero and you have a stack of stories needing a first estimate? You need an initial release plan. What should you do? It’s kind of hard to start on day one with Planning Poker. There is a missing baseline to estimate against.
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Agile 2008 – Wisdom of Crowds Keynote and Planning Poker

At Agile 2008 James Surowiecki, the author of Wisdom of Crowds, gave the opening keynote address. If you have an opportunity to hear him speak, take it. He did a great job. No power point slides with a compelling style and message. Continue reading

Story Points win Over Ideal Days

Should a team use story points or ideal days for estimation. Story points have clear advantages.

An ideal day is this thing that never happens. You get to work, everyone else took the day off, except when you need to ask them a question, then the needed person is immediately available and willing to help you. On this ideal day your goals are clear and so is your head. So really, there is no such thing as an ideal day except in our imagination. Continue reading