What is a story point in product management?


Definition Of A Story Point

Story points represent the amount of work it will take to complete a backlog item in the agile development process. They show how much time it will take to complete the project, and it is short for “story point estimate.” They are used to make sure that everyone on the team communicates & understands the work.

Some agile teams use numeric sequences such as 1,2,3, 100, 200, 300, etc., to show story points. In reality, the number given to a backlog item has no value.

Why Should You Use Story Points?

●      Each team estimates work slightly differently, resulting in differing velocities.

●      Once you’ve decided on the proportionate work required to achieve each story point value, you can assign points fast and efficiently.

●      Story points are awarded to team members for successfully resolving challenges depending on their difficulty, not on time spent. This encourages team members to focus on delivering value rather than wasting time.

Keep Three Critical Elements To Consider When Evaluating Story Points

Quantity of the work: All development team members should gather and agree on the scope of work to be completed. If the backlog item is a simple web page development, the effort required will be less than if the item requires creating an entirely new log-in system.

The complexity of the work: The team must determine the complexity of the task about the amount of work using a story point. Is the job challenging only due to the number of human resources required, or is it difficult because each step represents a substantial effort in and of itself?

The risk or uncertainty of work: Many new advances are inherently riskier. There will be more uncertainty when you introduce a new product than when you update an established, thriving piece of software.

Estimation Techniques Of Story Points

Dot Voting: Ordering products from the product backlog is not always straightforward. Agile teams can prioritize items using the dot voting method. It enables them to prioritize their efforts. It would help if you visualized all stories on a board or a simple wall. Your comments should include a description of each level and be visually distinct to allow voters to differentiate them readily.

Attendees should be provided with 4-5 points to contend with. They should set drops next to the story they choose to work on and distribute them according to the available possibilities. The facilitator should next rank the user stories in order of preference. Additionally, you can categorize items into three categories based on their priority: high, medium, and low. The team members should then vote on the high-priority stories again until consensus is reached.

Poker: Planning poker is a widespread practice at Atlassian. The team will select an item from the backlog, have a quick discussion, and each member will mentally estimate it. Then, each person holds up a card with a number corresponding to their estimate; If everyone agrees, fantastic! If not, devote some effort to comprehending the rationale behind various estimations. Bear in mind, however, that estimating should be a high-level task. If the team becomes bogged down in the weeds, take a deep breath and refocus the topic.

Take Note Of Previous Estimates

Retrospectives allow the team to incorporate lessons learned from previous iterations–including the accuracy of their estimations—software like Jira tracks story points, which simplifies the process of reflecting & reevaluating estimates. Consider retrieving the team’s most recent five user stories with a story point value of 8. Discuss whether each of those tasks required a comparable amount of effort. Utilize this information in future discussions about estimating.

Give a rough estimate for items that are further down the backlog. The requirements may have changed when the team began working on those items. As a result, your application is guaranteed to have been altered. Prior estimates will therefore not be as precise. Don’t waste your time estimating work that is prone to change. Give the product owner a rough estimate to prioritize the product plan effectively.

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