Ramkumar Krishnamurthy

Estimation in Agile - Points to Ponder

Blog Post created by Ramkumar Krishnamurthy Employee on Nov 7, 2017

I am working in a Project that is being executed in Agile. Customer team and CA team executing the project are new to Agile and are learning. At the moment, Agile stories are estimated using hours and NOT points. I was discussing regarding hours based estimation in Agile with another scrum master and few interesting points came up:


  • Points facilitate to determine the velocity of the team
    • Though you can argue that hours can be used to determine the velocity, it leads to comparison because of our entrenched estimation habits
  • Velocity of one team should NOT be compared with that of other team
    • If hours are used, sub-consciously our mind does the math and compares the quantum of work churned out by different team and begins to be judgemental
  • Points are relative whereas hours are absolute
    • Typically, easiest story is taken and assigned a point(s). Then other stories are taken and assigned points relatively.


So, when you come across estimation using hours in Agile, keep the above points in mind.


What are your thoughts on using points for estimation in Agile?