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Story points are a kind of estimation about the pros and cons based on the time and effort that will be consumed according to the difficulty and complexity of a particular task assigned to specific groups or teams of the company. Let's read and learn elaborately about the term "Story Points."

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What are Story Points is a question you may ask sometime in your life. Every organization executes its course of action that intends to attain a particular objective. The action plan is only successfully implemented after determining all sorts of pros and cons the companies may witness during the course. 

Top findings about "What are Story Points?” 

What are Story Points in a broader aspect?

In broad and universal terms, "Story Points" are higher level estimations or proximities that are set by the Agile Project Management and Development teams. They measure the levels of difficulty to fulfill a certain task or business requirement. 

Who needs to use Story Points?

Most preeminently, Story Points are used by Software Development companies. These companies assign teams called the Agile Project Managers and Developers, who are responsible for predicting the amount of time required to complete a task keeping under keen consideration the potential effort required, the level of Complexity, and other uncertain and undetermined challenges. 

All in all, Story Points can never be set without taking the entire team on board. Each team member is essential as all workers specialize in specific fields. A unanimous input is required to come to a conclusion whilst setting the Story Points.

What are the basic elements to measure Story Points?

There are many factors that help project developers and company heads determine Story Points according to the domain their organization is associated with. A software and tech company might have a distinct set of story points than that of a marketing firm. 

In a nutshell, we can say that there are three major aspects to remember before deciding on any company's Story Points. 

  • • The complexity of the task, project, or objective
  • • The potential effort needed to accomplish the task
  • • Other miscellaneous risks, challenges, or undetermined factors 

Here, you may study the three pivotal elements to measure Story Points more comprehensively.

What is the level of Complexity?

What do you understand by the word "Complex"? Its definitive meaning tells us about a complicated link or connectivity. 

Similarly, developers can recognize the level of Complexity by categorizing tasks that are probably the same in quantity, but one demands interconnectivity, and the other suggests no integration whatsoever. 

Here, the task with a higher level of Complexity gets to score more on the Story Points scale. The quantity of work is not of much worth as compared to its Complexity. 

What is the level of Potential Effort?

The quantity of work is in absolute coordination with the number of working bodies required and the amount of effort required from each of them. The level of Potential effort is always determined after sensibly dividing work among the team keeping in mind the specialties, strengths, equal labor, and effort put in by everyone. 

For instance, the software development team gets a project of developing a website, designing the graphics of the website, creating competent content for it, and then marketing the brand. All domains are interconnected, raising the bar of Complexity already. But all domains require domain specialists, too, increasing the level of Potential effort. Story points for this factor will then be determined more vigilantly.

What are the risks and undetermined challenges?

It is vital and wise to always reflect upon the uncertain challenges that development management might come across during the time frame of the completion of a task. This may include petty but time-consuming factors such as outdated coding or developing software, too many customization revisions by the clients, or uncertain conditions of the physical environment. The values of estimated Story Points can be set with better clarity and vigilance.

How to deal with all three factors/ elements simultaneously?

It can definitely become a complicated and arduous journey to combine the three factors together and then decide on a Story Point.  This amalgamated estimation may make the target seem unachievable and unrealistic. So this is how professional developers actually decide the Story Points for each need.

It is compulsory to estimate the amount of effort primarily. Synchronizing the level of effort that can deal with a certain level of Complexity is the next beneficial estimation. Deciding the amount of effort in the form of labor and time is finalized effectively if the uncertain risks and challenges are recognized carefully. 

Thorough reference and counter-checking the story in full compliance with effort, Complexity, and unknown risks is a must for all Agile Project Management.

How are Story Points useful?

Story Points are presented in a metric, a measurable scale, or graph. This measuring scale is extensively purposeful for Agile Project Management and Development. This is a kind of numeric that allows managers and developers to calculate the difficulty levels by observing the levels of the story. 

Story Points are set for assisting the software development team of a company. This team is responsible for fulfilling a specific set of goals, business requirements. They utilize the algorithm of Story Points to determine how efficiently they can achieve the expected targets. 

Story Point estimations allow developers to determine a margin or bracket of time instead of a precise deadline. This bracket of estimated time is required to accomplish their tasks keeping in mind the three elemental factors discussed earlier; 

  • Complexity
  • Potential effort
  • Other unknown factors

Story Points are tricky to finalize, but they allow a generous amount of time in which a project can be completed. 

If a development team simply determines the deadline for completing a task based on its quantity and not taking into account the Complexity, the working labor, and working hours, there is a decent chance that the task will get delayed past the original deadline or it might require extra shifts to complete. This is considered poor planning and execution. It is not smart and efficient. 

On the other hand, if the developers and managers choose to follow story points, they involve a broader number of factors that all sum up to the finalized project. The story point scale has a bracket or time frame in which each task can be achieved after determining various valid factors.

How do we assign values to a Story Points measuring scale?

The metric or scale of Story Points is assigned with values, a scale of points in ascending order.

Each point carries a value of difficulty and effort. As you ascend towards the greater points, the value of difficulty and effort is doubled. For instance, if one particular task is given Story Point 2, its value is double the value of Story Point 1. 

This method makes it a lot saner, smart and practical to set time frames for achieving a task. 

Which types of Story Point Scales are used, and how do they function?

There is a range of metrics that are used today to measure Story Points. Here is a brief introduction to a few most renowned Story Point scales.

The T-Shirt Sizing Scale:

This scale, by its name, refers to the scales set just as the sizes of shirts. The following list tells us the actual order of this particular Story Point Sequence.

  • • X-Small
  • • Small
  • • Medium
  • • Large
  • • X-Large

The Basic Sizing Scale:

This scale follows the order of doubling the next point by the previous point. This doubling simultaneously reflects the doubled amount of effort, Complexity, and uncertain risks for completion of a specific task. This sequence goes as…

1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32… etc.

The Fibonacci Agile Story Point Sequence:

The most popular and widely acclaimed scale used to determined Story Points is the "Fibonacci Agile Estimation Scale". This measuring tool is developed in a very interesting sequence. Each number in its scale is the sum of the previous two numbers. Let's have a look at the initial values for better comprehension.

1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,59,85… etc.  

What are Story Points doing to get accurate outcomes?

Basically, the Fibonacci Story Points algorithm can cause serious confusions as well. Hence, it is not considered a final verdict by the companies. The Story Point only gives the team a broader vision and perspective, an approximate measurement of time and effort in accordance to the complexities and risks in order to complete the desired task. 

Once the Story Point Scale gets higher in values, it becomes harder to determine a fixed option that suits your findings of the tasks best. This is the time when teams can vote for the most suitable point and estimate the attainment of a target. 

Story points are not to be considered as viable and accurate readings with logical or statistical records. Story Points are simply tools to perfect the skills of planning, estimating, and executing tasks.

Operating Story Points effectively demands well coordinated and involved teamwork! Subconsciously, the Scoring Points prepare development and management teams to become unified and proficient and meeting targets. Hopefully, this descriptive information is of adequate importance on understanding the meaning and functionality of Story Points. 

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