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Allocated Story Points 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Actual Duration (days) 6 7 7 8 8 10 11 11 12 15 15 17 19 19 Allocated Story Points 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 8 8 8 13 13 13
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Story 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
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Story 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
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Table 14-1 Investment Management System Upgrade Project: Story Durations and Story Points
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The organization wishes to use the size results for comparative benchmarking against either its own history of non-Agile projects or against projects from other organizations Because story points are a relative size measure, they cannot be easily compared across organizations or even across different development teams within the same organization
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Development Team Velocity
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To create Agile project estimates, it is necessary to know in advance how quickly the development team can deliver project stories This speed is referred to as the development team velocity, or simply the velocity, and is expressed as story points (delivered) per iteration Velocity is used in conjunction with the story point sizes of a project s stories to both estimate overall project schedule and cost, and to allocate stories to individual project iterations
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Determining Development Team Velocity Using Past Projects
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Velocity is ideally based upon past project performance from within the same organization and for the same development team To determine the velocity achieved on a past project, determine its story point sizes, and calculate the average number of story points delivered by a project iteration
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practical Software project estimation
To ensure that the determined velocity is appropriate, it may be necessary to consider several past projects Once again, the past projects need to be both similar to the target projects to be estimated and to have had delivery that progressed at a typical rate Remember, different types of projects are likely to have different velocities Example Table 14-2 shows the stories and story points previously delivered by the completed Investment Management System Upgrade project across the project s five iterations Based upon this data it appears that this development team has a typical velocity of around 22 story points per iteration Although this velocity could now be used for estimating future Agile projects, it would probably be wiser to investigate several more past projects before finalizing the velocity estimation figure For Agile projects sized using Function Point Analysis, it is possible to determine likely speeds of delivery (velocity) from external sources This book includes descriptions of several different techniques to aid in selecting an appropriate speed of delivery from the ISBSG Repository
Allocating Story Points to Stories
The Agile approach to software development requires that individual developers take personal responsibility for the delivery of their components of the software product In keeping with this principle, all developers involved in a software project or individual project iteration are encouraged to actively participate in the estimation of that project or iteration This, of course, requires that all developers have a clear understanding of what each of the story point sizes means in the context of their software projects
Iteration 1 2 3 4 5 Total: Average:
Number Stories per Iteration 2 3 6 6 8 25 5
Number Story Points per Story 13, 13 13, 8, 2 5, 5, 5, 3, 2, 2 8, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2 8, 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1 per Iteration 26 23 22 19 21 111 222
Table 14-2 Investment Management System Upgrade Project: Development Team Velocity
14:
estimating for agile Software Development
Agile project estimation utilizes a modified Wide-Band Delphi approach for allocating story point sizes to each of the project or iteration s stories A typical Agile estimation session would progress as follows: 1 All the developers involved in the estimation session come together An effective number of developers is between six and ten One of the developers acts as a facilitator for the session Business representatives may also attend the session Their role is to provide explanation and clarification of the details of particular stories, not to participate in allocating story points or determining estimates 2 The facilitator selects the next story to be estimated, and its requirements are discussed by the group The discussion should be limited to a few minutes If after this discussion, and input from the business representatives, the story s requirements remain unclear, the story is put aside to be clarified later and the next story is selected 3 All developers now produce their estimates for the current story using the agreed story point scale A useful tool is for each developer to have a set of cards, each card showing one of the numbers from the story point scale When asked to produce his or her estimate, each developer simply places the card showing the chosen story point number face up on the desk in front of him or her 4 The developers story point estimates for the current story are now compared and assessed If all the developers estimates align, then the estimation process is completed for the current story The number of story points allocated is recorded, and the next story is selected If the developers estimates do not align, then various techniques can be used to move the group toward an agreement: If the estimates differ from each other by only one value on the story point scale, then one of the larger, smaller, or more frequently occurring values may be selected as the estimate The rationale for selecting the larger value is that this is a safer, more conservative approach The rationale for selecting the smaller value is that it encourages the estimators to think carefully before selecting smaller values, because they know that in doing so they may be committing themselves to the delivery of more functionality, and hence, more work, within an iteration The rationale for choosing the more frequently occurring value is simply that it reflects the group s majority view
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