Data Consistency with Story Points?

Software Estimation is a topic that draws a great deal of interest and discussion – something I’ve noticed from running recent webinars and blogging about the topic. Implementing effective estimation can be a complex undertaking, and at DCG we are happy to offer advice and share our point of view.

We received a question in a recent webinar on estimation that we thought our readers might be interested in:


How can we keep the consistency of data on Agile projects when story points are a relative measure?

This question is very perceptive; it underscores the importance of normalizing your data across your entire measurement domain. The analogy is something like this: If you had 2 carpenters working on building a new multi-tiered bookcase in your home office, you’d expect them both to have the same tape measure, right? Well suppose one carpenter was from Europe and had a metric system tape measure and the other an English system tape measure. You’d have different scales of measurement, two different languages.

Having two separate SCRUM Masters giving you their story-point-based estimates is the same thing. Both SCRUM Masters are using different systems of measurement that are experience-based. An experienced-based story point is a relative unit of measure. The questioner understands that.

One of the simplest ways we have found to “normalize” story points is to introduce Quick and Early Function Points into the process and teach Agile practitioners to self-normalize their stories, use cases, and/or requirements. QEFP is a minimalist, speedy implementation of the function point concept. It creates a ‘common’ tape measure between Agile Projects with little “sizing” overhead – ideal for consistent data!

Register to attend this webinar here.

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Have questions? Need more information? Let me know in the comments!

Tony Timbol
Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Written by Michael D. Harris at 08:30



"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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