After years of estimating things every kind of wrong way (e.g., time-based estimates), I’ve learned that there is one method that always yields better results, faster, than any other method: Relative Estimation with Reference Stories.
It works based on two principles:
Our brains are naturally good at estimating the size of things relative to each other.
We can learn from experience to make better decisions about the future.
But there’s a lot more to the story. That’s why I’ve put together a short collection of essays on the subject below along with my go-to downloadable Reference Story Board, a key piece of the Agile estimation toolkit.
Estimation is hard. Even the most experienced development teams miss the mark with traditional time-based estimates. The most popular alternative, Planning Poker®, sounds fun, though it falls short in practice.
Relative estimation works for two reasons: 1) Our brains are naturally good at estimating the size of things relative to each other, and 2) We can learn from experience to make better decisions about the future.
This game allows a team to quickly review 5-15 items, organize them in relative rank order, and then assign a value scale to those items. Relative estimation is completed by comparing an item to the items around it to find where it falls in the prioritized list.
Agile release planning requires more than picking dates on a calendar. In this how-to guide, my colleague Kevin Rosengren provides a comprehensive review of the process and helpful frameworks to get the job done.
Joel Bancroft-Connors is a Principal Consultant at Applied Frameworks. His passion is to unlock and maximize the inner potential of others. He believes his roots in customer service, and its singular focus on serving the customer is where his enthusiasm for Agile comes from.
In the classroom, Joel combines his passion to unlock the potential of others with decades of theater and game design experience to create engaging workshops for the participants. By leveraging his unique background, Joel can explain Scrum and Agile concepts in a way that ensures learners can immediately apply them to their professional lives. When he is not teaching, he spends time with his family in the Pacific Northwest. Read Full Bio