Estimating for Iteration

Story Points and Thin Vertical Slices


I often use Scrum to manage product builds. In this framework, we break down business requirements into thin vertical slices of functionality, usually written as user stories. This way, teams can ensure that planning, all elements of development (like frontend components or backend functionality), and user training/demos come together in sync by being worked on with a unified focus. Even better, framing work this way ensures we're always ready to address a pivot or change in requirements.

Estimating these "pieces of work" by using story points side-steps the pitfalls of hours-based estimation and equips Product Owners/Managers and Stakeholders to make better informed prioritization choices. Estimating is never perfect, but over time, a team will tend toward a predictable velocity which can be used to help plan sprints and releases.

After talking about these concepts and how to put them to work in theory, we will look at how Jira supports this method: using story points for sprint building, using reports for longer-term planning, and how sub-tasks can help aid a split workflow situation like component-driven design or the classic "backend vs. frontend" argument.

These are the two concepts I introduce to all my teams and clients as projects begin, so knowledge of Scrum or Kanban is not required! I encourage developers and managers alike to join for this conversation because the key to a successful project is a shared understanding of how it is structured. These techniques work for Scrum or Kanban style agile development and are not specific to Drupal or particular project management tools.

Thank You

Thanks for attending my presentation today. Compiled here, you'll find the slides, examples, and references I discussed.

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