Estimation & Scrum

Scrum Estimations vs. Request for Accuracy

by Pete R.

Estimation is something significant when it comes to getting the tasks completed. However, there are cases where an estimate turns out to be wrong during the process. When you start working on a backlog item, there will always come the point where you will realize that something had been left out from the planning process. It can happen during the actual sprint or task level sprint estimation.

When you work on task-level estimation, you might end up discovering that there are some tasks which had been left out or are not needed and it would lead to initial estimate being adjusted to account for the changes.

Estimation by Scrum

Now, if we look at Scrum, then we will realize that it handles estimation easily and quite well. However, there are chances that a single sprint might not go as you had previously promised. If you fail on the sprint more than two times, then it is essential for you to find a reason for it and a feasible solution which will help solve the problem. It does require the team to sit down and discuss all of the issues beforehand and might take up to one day to reach a decision.

Estimation skills aren’t needed in Scrum as there will be plenty of changes which will occur through the sprint process. Whereas it is different for the Waterfall concept as you would be given an estimated time, and you will be responsible for keeping that promise.

Estimation Accuracy is a Contradiction

The truth is that estimation accuracy is a contradiction. It doesn’t exist and doesn’t need to as it is impossible to be completely accurate. Therefore, what can one do, well the answer is simple, it is crucial to estimate the chances of variances, and to the level, they will occur.

Workaround Limitation

A great thing about agile methodologies like scrum is the fact that they allow you to work around the limitation. In scrum, there is a priori estimate which provides an understanding of the complexity of product backlog items such as product owner requirements, user stories, and relevant things. The job of the team is to provide the product owner with an idea of how the stories will be, instead of an accurate depiction of such.

Every Task is Broken Down and Estimated

Scrum encourages the team to break down every task to estimate it. Thus, one would get a rough idea of how long it would take and the type of work which would be completed. A critical path is established so to reduce the cost of delay. The product owner will define the stories so that the best product features can be worked on as soon as possible.

Request of Accuracy

It is vital to request the product owner for accuracy to have an idea of what he desires. It is the job of the product owner to provide you with all the details that you need to estimate.


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