New to sizing? Start here

New to sizing? Here is a fun way to get you started

Estimation is hard. Often, teams can get bogged down in estimation paralysis. But there are methods to sizing to make the estimation process easier for your team.

To introduce the idea of sizing in a fun way, try sizing the “honey-do” list. Most people are familiar with these tasks even if they have not done them. Ask your team to size the tasks below using a scale of dog breeds. This scale gets the team used to thinking in terms of relative size instead of numbers.

Install a new window treatment and make it level ?
Replace an ugly chandelier with a new one ?
Replace a faucet ?
Hang 3 pictures about the couch without Command strips ?
Paint a room (move the furniture, tape it off, cut in, paint) ?
Change a doorknob for an interior door ?
Install a ceiling fan ?
Size Scale (small to large):

The process

You may notice the team asking questions as they size, such as:

  • How big is the room we’re painting? How high is the ceiling?
  • Is there already an electrical box for the ceiling fan?
  • How high is the ceiling for the chandelier? Is the ceiling flat or vaulted?

This discussion reveals fundamental information the team wants to know about each task. For your project, these kinds of questions should be asked and answered before the sizing discussion in the user stories or their acceptance criteria. Acceptance criteria form a checklist to evaluate whether a user story has been completed successfully. They articulate how to tell if the feature designed and built meets what the users envisioned.

Learn more

This is the second post in a series by Joyce Carr Schwab on demystifying sizing and story points. Joyce is a Dev Technology project manager. Read other posts in this series:

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