Story Points Estimate Effort Not Just Complexity

Story Points Estimate Effort Not Just Complexity

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A client asked me, "When will my team be done with this project?" This is probably the bazillionth time I've been asked that agile project management question in one way or another.

A client asked me, "When will my team be done with this project?" This is probably the bazillionth time I've been asked that agile project management question in one way or another.

I have never once been asked, "How hard will my team have to think to develop this project?" Clients, bosses, customers and stakeholders care about how long a project will take. They don't care about how hard we have to think to deliver the project, except to the extent that the need to think hard implies schedule or cost risk.

Teams Think Story Points Are Just Complexity
I mention this because I find too many teams who think that story points should be based on the complexity of the user story or feature rather than the effort to develop it.

Such teams often re-label "story points" as "complexity points." I guess that sounds better. More sophisticated, perhaps.

But it's wrong.

Complexity is a factor in the number of points a product backlog item should be given. But it is not the only factor. The amount of work to be done is a factor. So, too, are risk and uncertainty.

Taken together these represent the effort involved to develop the product backlog item.

 

https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog/its-effort-not-complexity

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