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Story Point Capitalization

Last post 12:23 am December 15, 2020 by Suri Kumaran
8 replies
04:40 pm June 14, 2018


I'm looking to get in contact with a company/organization that uses Story Point Capitalization in lieu of logging hours to a timesheet. 

The approach I'm aware of is as follows but I'd like to understand other approaches and if possible understand how other organizations have implemented this concept.

Points are assigned to stories that have business value. Bugs and spikes are not sized and therefore remain Opex. Costs are calculated relative to velocity, e.g. a 5 point story delivered from a team with a velocity of 50 points means that 10 percent of that teams’ cost for the sprint can be capitalized. This can be used at the story or Epic level.

06:01 pm June 14, 2018

The purpose of estimation is to help a team figure out how much work it can take on. When estimates are used to proxy for value then something is amiss.

Value lies in the increment actually delivered to stakeholders. If that value justifies the cost of running the team Sprint by Sprint then a Product Owner may deem it worthwhile to continue. If the PO can’t account for value, and seeks a proxy measure, then that is the problem to be solved.

10:18 pm June 14, 2018

Awesome explanation Ian. I indeed learned something new today. Kudos to your precise & simplified explanation. Cheers !!



01:38 pm June 25, 2018

Thank you, Ian. I'm afraid my question was misunderstood. I understand the purpose of estimation. We currently size product backlog items. In this case, we're hoping to use our existing practices to leverage the concept of story point capitalization to get CapEx and OpEx data instead of timesheeting hours. 

04:32 pm June 25, 2018


Do you have a method or metric to identify the business value delivered?

If I understand Ian's comments correctly, he was pointing out that something is wrong if you are just trying to bill for effort without confirming that the team's time is being utilized to produce business value.

06:01 pm June 25, 2018

That’s right, it’s the very idea of story point capitalization which is suspect and it ought to be challenged. There are surely more appropriate ways of measuring business value.

12:06 pm June 27, 2018

Thank you both for your guidance. We use EBM metrics to measure agility and value. At the story level, those metrics may not be useful. I'm not sure if you're calling into question the idea of CapEx and OpEx or just story point capitalization in general. I'm looking to work within my current parameters before I suggest new ones. I'm looking to understand ways to provide my Finance and Accounting team members what they need while trying to remove the burden of timesheeting for the Scrum teams. In order for me to learn more, I am looking to get in contact with anyone from an organization that has done both timesheeting and some alternative to get to CapEx and OpEx.   

04:02 am June 28, 2018

It may be worth questioning why there are finance and accounting “teams” and why they have an interest in capital and operational expenditure. This is indicative of an organization which is still aligned to projects and the tracking of expenses, rather than one which is focused on products and the earning of value.


10:41 pm December 14, 2020

Hi Nicholas Easton - did you proceed with using Story Point Capitalization in lieu of logging hours to a timesheet. This is in reference to your post in June 2018. I am thinking of implementing this and was wondering whether you did go ahead with this approach.


Suri Kumaran.

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