How much and when?

January 21, 2011 CollabNet VersionOne

Have you ever wondered why VersionOne provides a numerical Estimate field at the Story level and a Detail Estimate field for Tasks and Tests? What’s the difference?

A Story estimate is usually described as a measurement of relative complexity from one story to another in a project. More often than not, using Story Points is recommended because of the complexities involved in trying to determine exactly how many days or hours something the sized of a story should take to complete. Here’s one of the best explanations I’ve read: Agile estimation – story points vs. hours.

Once it is time to decompose that story into more granular tasks and acceptance tests, it would then become appropriate to estimate how long each task and test should take, in hours. This is where the Detailed Estimate field in VersionOne comes in. As a team is decomposing the story and estimating the tasks and tests, the system is rolling up the detailed estimate at the story level. In the end, you will have both an Estimate (story points) and Detailed Estimate (hours) for each story. Later, during a retrospective, it would be worth comparing the story points to the detailed estimates, and then comparing the detailed estimates to the Actuals (if you are tracking effort) to help the team understand how they are estimating and make corrections so that they can get better.

The Sprint Burndown

Finally, it is noteworthy to understand the the Sprint burndown in VersionOne is derived from burning down that detailed estimate (adjusting the ToDo on a daily basis).

The Project Burndown

The Project burndown comes from closing a story…the teams will gain credit of the Estimate for closing the story.

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