Story Point Estimation and Planning Poker

  1. User story: What the story is saying? Is the understanding common across the scrum team members?
  2. Design: Is it required to come up a new design or small modifications are sufficient?
  3. Coding: Should we create many classes? Does user interface need extensive changes? Should i call one database or multiple databases? Is data transformation complex? How clean is the data?
  4. Unit Testing: How many test cases should be written? Is the current testing framework sufficient?
  5. System Integration Testing: Are the interfacing teams ready with data? Will we get timely help from them? What should we do if external teams delay?
  6. User Acceptance Testing: Are users readily available to test? Is acceptance criteria clearly written for story? If users are not available should the team do UAT?
  7. Deployment: Is there is a CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery and Deployment) pipeline available? If it is manual, how much time should we spend?
  8. Skills and Knowledge: Was this type of work done earlier? Do we have right skilled people in the team? Should we take one off help from external experts? Will they have time to help?
  • It is OK to have differences: Not everyone thinks same and estimates same. It is OK to have differences. Accept the difference as diversity but not as being dumb.
  • Time box: Once Picasso said, A painting can never be finished it can only be abandoned. Same with estimates. Each user story should be time boxed. Sometimes intuition is the best tool.
  • Do not force your ideas: It is good to have opinions and views. Do not force your’s on to other developers. Have a dialogue. Understand the real reason for the number. It is absolutely ok to lose your number and accept other’s number. This shows you are open to new ideas. Keeping the egos at check is the success mantra for planning poker estimation. At the end, team should do a great job and win the game of sprint.

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Ravindra Elicherla

Geek, Artist, Fitness enthusiast, Amateur investor and Simple human