Epiphany…

Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

I’ve always struggled with accepting the concept of estimating using story points and NOT effort hours. I could never get my mind around the concept and yes, I’ve read a lot about how estimating with hours is bad (people pad, management argues that real time <> estimated time, team members feel pressured etc etc…), and I believe this, however I did not understand how bad it was until today.

During our estimation (still doing hours effort estimation) we were trying to define the tasks necessary for a story to be completed, however the story had a “task A” that would lead to several “task B’s” that were known, however no-one could (and neither should they be expected to) estimate the hours effort on the “task B’s” simply because the input from “task A” was critical to the timing! Now you’re stuck with tasks that are KNOWN, but cannot be TIMED. And then the light went on and I realized why estimation with time was so bad…You may KNOW everything you need to do (the complexity), however you may not necessarily know how LONG everything will take (the effort), in other words, you know COMPLEXITY but you cannot measure the EFFORT. It now makes sense…

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