Estimating for Iteration

Story Points and Thin Vertical Slices


DrupalCon 2019 Seattle Session Info / Evaluation

At Four Kitchens, we use Scrum to manage most of our projects. In doing so, we've learned to break down business requirements into *thin vertical slices* of functionality, usually written as user stories. In doing so, teams can ensure that planning, frontend components, backend functionality, and user training/demos come together in sync by being worked on with a unified focus, even as requirements fluctuate through the life of a product or client engagement.

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

I am tsmith512 on Github, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.