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Friday, April 20, 2012

Points: conclusions and hypothesis

As anyone with time to spare will know I’ve recently spent a lot of time thinking, and writing about story points. This was in response to Vasco Duarte’s Story Points Considered Harmful blog from a month or two back. For completeness here are the links:
Some conclusions I draw from this:
  • There is far more work to do on Abstract/Story Points than we, as a community have done to date
  • There are many more nuances to the assignment of points, the breakdown of work and the management of the outcomes than I think I previously realised
  • I must go and see what Mike Cohn actually says about Story Points before I say any more about his approach
  • Stable teams are crucial - but then I’ve been saying this all along
Given all this I’d like to pose a few questions and hypothesis of my own

Q1: When does the correlation between story points and number of cards become stable?

Hypothesis: I would expect a team new to “Agile”, stories and points to start off with erratic point scores and number of stories complete per sprint. Thus I would not expect the correlation to be stable. As a team settles down I would expect points to become stable, then stories completed and thus establish a correlation.

Q2: Is there any serious research into story points out there?

In the same line as my recent post “Agile: Where’s the Evidence?” it would be interesting to know if anyone has examined the use and accuracy of story points. Again, I should seclude myself in an academic library and review the data. But again, I have to find time.

More problematic, I suspect, OK another hypothesis, that some of the reason why story points work - which I listed in part 3 of my posts - will make it very difficult to determine if they are accurate because the thing story points are measuring will change.

1 comment:

  1. Good series! Regarding "accuracy" hypothesis, I have some data to publish on that (one data point only, I'm afraid). The results are surprising, but I have to find the time to write that down :)

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