How to estimate task effort with points in agile planning

1 min read
  • Using a Fibonacci Sequence is helpful – because the sequence in not linear, it forces us to make clear cut choices where values have meanings: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.
  • the objective is not to try to estimate the time tasks will take, but rather to factor in the levels of complexity and uncertainty of these tasks into the planning process.
    • Low complexity, low uncertainty: 1 or 3 point.
    • Low complexity, some uncertainty: 3 or 5 points
    • High complexity, no uncertainty: 3 or 5 points
    • High complexity, high uncertainty: 8 or 13
    • No idea about complexity and/or uncertainty: requires a spike before an estimate 🙂
    • etc.
  • Depending on its velocity (familiarity with the development at hand, level of expertise of individuals, quality of team work, etc.), your team will manage to deliver a finite number of points in a sprint. This number of points will rapidly become obvious as your sprints unfold.
  • Then, your teams points estimates will help determine what number of tasks (from your backlog) can reasonably be expected to be completed within a sprint.