Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Now this is a post title, "Teaching Relative Estimation by Throwing a Cat"

Scrum Alliance - Teaching Relative Estimation by Throwing a Cat

A quick and fun exercise that will help you teach relative estimation

I'm a big fan of relative measurements in software development. However, when teaching this idea, I've noticed that many developers who are used to estimating work in hours or days find it difficult to switch to using story points as the relative measurement of complexity. Many times I've heard comments like, "We use story points -- and one point is eight hours."

Old habits die hard
It's always challenging to learn a new habit and break an old one. Therefore I was constantly looking for a good exercise for my Scrum training that would let people compare work items without calculating effort. The ideal solution should be quick, usable with Planning Poker, and -- most important -- fun.
Hans Solo's Millennium Falcon and Mike Cohn's dog and zoo points


Throwing the cat -- what you should expect?

Things always get most interesting when you end your list with the cat from the title of this article. (If you have an avid cat lover in your audience, you might opt for a squirrel instead.)  ...


You might be wondering why we don't estimate how far you can throw objects. The reason is twofold. First of all, distance describes an effect -- the business value of throwing, not the complexity. And second, it's one-dimensional, so people can switch back to the unit measurement, where one point equals one meter.

Now when a family member asks how your day was, you can say, "We had a heated discussion at the office about throwing a cat!" Be sure to have fun -- and if you've enjoyed this exercise, let me know!


Really, I just loved the post title.. :)

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