Estimating in Agile: Experimentation is Key

  • Story Points — where you measure the complexity of a user story based on comparison. This method often uses the Fibonacci sequence and a game called Planning Poker.
  • Ideal Man Days — this is where you try to estimate based on an ideal day; with no interruptions and work is completed efficiently.
  • Task Decomposition — this method is where you would break a user story down into small tasks and try to estimate each little part of work that needs to be completed.
  • Parametric Estimating — this uses statistical relationships between data and other variables, for example estimating volume by number of lines of code, multiplied by complexity multiplied by time.
  • 3 Point Estimate — this is where you make an estimate based on previous experience, and come out with 3 outputs: best case scenario, worst case scenario and probably scenario. These are combined to give a probability for completion.
  • Experienced Senior Programmer Days — This is where you estimate what you think an experienced programmer would estimate, this is similar to ideal man days, only you are estimating what someone else would estimate.

Estimating in Agile: What Works Best?

About the Author



Product leader. A strong advocate in innovation, experimentation and building great products with the use of qualitative and quantitative research.

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