Story Point Estimates – Under-Estimating Large Items

About Victor Szalvay

Victor Szalvay currently leads product development for CollabNet’s ScrumWorks® product suite. In that capacity, he works closely with customers, stakeholders, and the development teams to deliver high business value each release cycle. With more than 150,000 active users worldwide, ScrumWorks is used by more than half of the Fortune 100 and boasts the largest market share of any Agile management tool.

  3 comments for “Story Point Estimates – Under-Estimating Large Items

  1. March 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

    When you said linear scale, I thought you meant the gaps between the allowable numbers, not the atomic unit of measure. This is a good post; I just wanted you to know that the term might confuse people due to its alternate use.

    You triggered me to put up a thorough post about what makes a good story point scale including this clarification.

  2. Victor Szalvay
    March 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

    The title shouldn’t be “linear scale”, I’ll fix it up. Glad you found it useful.

  3. Michael James
    March 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I think the underlying reason is that the technical risk increases with larger effort items, and humans are psychologically uncomfortable calling this out.

    It’s more comfortable to go from 8 to 13 to 21 (the Fibonacci scale) than from 8 to 16 to 32 (powers of two) even though the latter will turn out to be more accurate.

    –mj

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