Maintaining the story points scale

After applying the James Grenning’s companion planning poker games to estimate our releases, I became concerned about how to maintain the story points scale in the next estimation meeting, since we’ve dropped the traditional “an easy story as base”, and jumped to “an easy column of stories as base”.

The fact is, the solution is simple. I’ve just brought all the stories of the last sprint to serve as a base, and the team used it as column examples. The difference between this estimation meeting and the first one is that in the first one the team had no base, and just organized the stories in columns of similar difficult. Using the last sprint as a base, the team just slided the new stories under the already estimated stories, using the old ones as parameters. This even eliminated the need of planning poker for a good amount of columns, since we had enough stories as examples.

Also, I was in doubt if I should bring all the stories of all last sprints to use as a base, or just the stories of the last sprint. The thing is, the larger the range of points we bring as examples, the better the team will be able o maintain the story points scale. And also, fresh stories are better parameters than very old ones.

My conclusion is that we can apply the techniques proposed by Grenning every time, obtaining very good estimates every time! Just keep bringing the stories of the last sprint to help maintain the story points scale.

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2 Responses to “Maintaining the story points scale”

  1. Jack Milunsky Says:

    Interesting. And interestingly enough, in Agilebuddy that’s exactly how estimating is implemented. At the top are all previously estimated stories sorted into “size buckets” And you can cycle through them making it really easy to compare.

    And then estimating is just a single click.

    Here’s a sample screen clip…

    I find your posts to be very practical. Keep up the good work

    cheers
    Jack
    blog.agilebuddy.com

    • tiagomjorge Says:

      Thanks, Jack!

      It’s very nice to see that my posts are contributing to the agile community!

      Regards,
      Tiago.

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