What Are (Story) Points Worth?

A closer look at one of the most misunderstood parts of Agile planning

If you've ever worked in an Agile environment, you'll have heard of story points - and at some point, it's likely you'll have seen (or been involved in) a disagreement over what they actually mean. Story points are a great tool for estimating the effort involved in completing a piece of work, but they're very commonly misunderstood or misused in ways that can make them at least as bad as the problems they're intended to solve.


Becoming Agile: Last Things First

Sometimes, the best place to start is not at the beginning.

When you hear people talk about "Agile", what's the first thing you think of?


Getting The Story Straight - Part 2

The elements of an effective user story

Having established that the quality of our user stories is important, how can we ensure that the stories we're writing are up to scratch? It's one thing to be able to measure whether you're succeeding after the fact, but what we really want is to have some guidelines to follow so that we can avoid potential problems from the beginning. For this, it's useful to look at why they're called "user stories".


Getting The Story Straight

On the importance of good user stories in Agile development

Everyone likes a good story. We all know what to look for in a story, and it's not hard to tell whether we like a story or not. When it comes to Agile development, however, it seems that a great number of developers have difficulty recognising - and writing - good quality stories. This is unfortunate, because well-written user stories are crucial in unlocking several of Agile's key benefits.