Sizing for New Projects

How to Quickly get Started with Sizing a New Project

Congratulations on your new project–now you have a bunch of user stories to size–and FAST!

New projects are challenging because they may involve unfamiliar technology, infrastructure, or interfaces. The team may be new as a work group, so you may not have an established velocity. Assuming you have good user stories with acceptance criteria, the first task is to calibrate your sizing yardstick with the team. Try these steps:

1) Pick 10 familiar tasks from your backlog. Think of standard tasks such as creating a login page or creating a data-entry web form.

2) Select a single task. Begin with a small task, but not the smallest.

3) Assign a relative value to the selected task. This may end up being 3 or 5 story points.

4) Select another task. Ask the team to assign story points to that task, keeping in mind the comparison to the points assigned in step 3.

5) Adjust and repeat until all 10 are sized.

6) Use these stories as exemplars to determine sizing for your future stories, keeping in mind that your “yardstick” may evolve over time.

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This is our third post in a series on demystifying sizing and story points, by Joyce Carr Schwab, one of Dev Technology’s project managers. Read other posts in this series:

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