Estimating and Planning Agile User Stories
A 59 Seconds Agile Training Video
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Introduction to Estimating User Stories
A 59 Seconds Agile Article
This article provides an ‘Introduction into Estimating User Stories’ and looks to discuss what a user story is and the methods of estimation and planning within Agile projects.
Problems in Estimating and Planning Agile User Stories
If estimation is essential to good planning, what is good planning and what makes it so challenging? Ron Jeffries, an Agile Manifesto signatory writes that, “estimates are often misused. Estimates are often used as a bludgeon to try to get programmers to work faster. This leads to unhappy programmers and to poor software. No one wins”.
When estimates are held against the team, fear will set in, so teams will do their best to avoid estimates, or spend too much time up front gathering all the details needed to come up with an estimate. It is only natural for teams to go to one of these two extremes to avoid being blamed for providing wrong estimates.
For some teams, planning and estimating user stories is an exercise they do not enjoy, especially at the start of a project. Even where the Product Owner has explained the project to the team by describing the epics and what they are expected to deliver, there is a lot of uncertainty about how much effort is involved in getting each user story to “done”.
Especially when a team is new to Agile, or new to each other, there is a lot of apprehension as to what the team is committing themselves to and whether they will meet the stakeholders’ expectations. These fears are groundless, and with the correct approach to story estimation, it can be a simple and even fun process.
Estimating User Stories
A 59 Seconds Agile Video Animation
User Stories Applied
A 59 Seconds Agile Book Review
User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn is one of our favourite books on Agile User Stories. The book starts with an overview into user stories, and details what a user story is and the different aspects of them. He then discusses how to go about writing a user story, and provides details of the INVEST criteria that can be used to determine if the story is meeting all of its objectives. Next Mike gives an in depth discussion of who user stories are written for and where to begin when gathering the details for them. The book then discusses acceptance testing user stories, including how to go about specifying these criteria and the responsibilities of the development team and customers during this process.
What is Agile?
A 59 Seconds Agile Infographic
Our Favourite Agile Books
We found these books great for finding out more information on Agile Scrum: