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Dividing Stories and Story Points

Last post 02:52 pm March 11, 2016 by Timothy Baffa
2 replies
12:14 pm March 11, 2016


This is my first post. I searched for an answer to my "problem" but didn't find exactly what I was looking for. Now for my question ...

A story is deemed to be a 2XL and worth 21 points. Being too big to fit into our sprint, it is divided into three smaller stories. Each smaller story is deemed to be an XL and worth 13 points each. The result is a 21pt story that is now worth 39pts.

There is no more work or value in the three sub-stories. Why should the team be awarded more story points? Which point total makes sense to use for planning? I'm leaning toward 39pts. Once concern is that the team could potentially use this "technique" to artificially inflate the value and Sprint Velocity.



01:34 pm March 11, 2016

> Why should the team be awarded more story points?

Why should the team be "awarded" story points at all? Where is the value?

In Scrum, the purpose of estimates (such as story points) is to help the team forecast how much work they can take on in a sprint. Value lies in the increments that are delivered and how they are put to use, not in forecasts. It is through the release of value that a team's success ought to be measured.

02:52 pm March 11, 2016

Smaller stories are much more beneficial than larger ones. Better flow, greater focus, less ambiguity, and actually lessoverhead managing smaller stories as opposed to larger ones.

In almost all cases, when a story is split, the resulting stories add up to more relative points than the original story. This isn't an "artificial" means at gaming the team's velocity. It is a result of the team undergoing additional story grooming to increase story focus and granularity, and increasing certainty around the story.

Keep in mind that the story points are only relative to that team, and are to be used by the team (along with velocity) to determine how much work they are comfortable forecasting for completion in a sprint. It is a helpful metric to them, and to their Product Owner who can use the team velocity to forecast.

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