Well not prizes in this case! No, I’m referring to story points. One of the next things on my to do list is to look into exemplar stories with points to give us a baseline to start from as we move to estimating development in points rather than hours.
In some ways this seems pretty easy:
1) define a 1 point story
2) define your scale
3) think of some things that fit at the higher story points.
One is OK. The smallest piece of Moodle work that I can think of is to update a language string, or change a style on a discrete screen element. These are the sort of thing that take a few minutes to do, plus a bit of testing. Maybe an hour in total. So that’s what I’m starting from as a single point.
Two is OK. We’ll use the common fibonacci approach, so our scale will be 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34. And that’s probably far enough. If one point starts off looking a bit like 1 hour, then 34 points is a little over a week’s work. And the theory says that if you’re estimating something as more than a week’s work, then its an epic not a story. We might quote for epics in bigger numbers – lets say 55, 89 and 144. At 144 story points, we’re talking about 4-5 weeks work and our ability to estimate accurately is probably quite poor. Then there would be 233, 377 and 610. Now we’re in the region of 5 months work which we would probably describe as a theme with even less accuracy. And there’s not a lot of point of counting points after this, so the next step is infinity or “nobody knows”.
But for my current focus, I want to categorise up to 34. And it is at step 3 that it starts to get a bit more challenging. Here are the kinds of things that I’ve been thinking about:
* add a configuration setting to control an existing feature
* write a block to display a message
* add a capability to control permission over an existing feature
* add a field to a form and save the result in the database
* add a log event on a specific page
I seem to be able to think of lots of really little things, and lots of really big things, but I’m rather struggling with the things in the middle.
So, do you use story points to estimate Moodle development work? If so, are you willing to share what yours look like?