Story points

Last post 08:15 am July 1, 2015
by M G
4 replies
06:28 am June 9, 2015


I have been the appointed to the new scrum master for a team, the team have some knowledge about scrum, but I have previously worked in scrum teams but never as a scrum master.

One problem I have come across in previous projects is story points. I have read everything from story points are a measure of complexity to one story point is equal to one ideal day of work, but I still don't feel comfortable with story points. In a previous project we used complexity, and it did not work out so great. We found out that even though some things was not complex the could be time consuming anyway (the scope to get one slice done was time consuming, a lot of code to be written but not complicated code, there for not complex). But then if the project owner was suppose to prioritize the different stories then this time consuming low in complexity still would not stand out , and when we break this story into tasks and hours it will push a lot of other things out of the sprint backlog (we only have a specific amount of hours available). And then the PO is not so keen to have this done....

When it comes to ideal days, that does not have to be the same for all the developers (due to experience and skill), so then you got the time aspect again...

So how do you solve this issue with story points?

And yes I know stories is not by default a part of scrum, but perhaps someone can help me anyway?

Thanks in advance

08:02 am June 15, 2015

Instead of estimating with "complexity" points, you can estimate with "effort" points.
for instance : easy to code + difficult to test = same effort as difficult to code + easy to test ;-)

08:18 am June 15, 2015

It actually is effort that should be scored - the effort needed to meet the definition of done for the story. As these points are conceptual they don't necessarily relate to days but the teams ability to process x points worth of stories in a sprint should emerge.

05:09 am June 16, 2015

Hi MG,

Story Points is based on a number a parameters. It's an aggregated gut feeling that is base on Risk, Complexity and Repetition.

You can find more info about this on:

I'm a scrum master and with my team we don't try to have a correlation between SP and ideal day. We select a referenced user story (1 or 2 SP) and the other stories are relatively estimated. And we try to adjust our estimation - looking at all 3 SP stories, 5 SP stories ... to see if there are on the same class of complexity, risk and repetition.

It works very well for us!

It is not very easy to estimate and there is no general solution/method that works for everybody


08:15 am July 1, 2015

Thank you for our input, should bring up this with my team :)