Define estimation points for work items | Zoho Sprints Help

Define estimation points for work items

Defining estimation points can be a crucial aspect to your agile project. It helps you weigh your work items. It needs to be done methodically with sufficient planning and understanding of how your wish to measure work.

In Agile, before starting a sprint, the team should discuss how many points to assign to each story and how many points can be taken up for completion within the span of the sprint. These points indicate the amount and complexity of the work required and its risks.  Agile teams usually define their points using the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc.) or in sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL). The effort required will vary across teams.The project management team might find the story easy, but the development and testing teams may find it more difficult to complete. Points are estimated by the team members during the sprint plan meeting.


Let's assume you need to develop a User profile page and Payments page for your software. Both these stories require creating numerous fields. Which of these two would require more effort? The Payments page is way more complex considering it has multiple fields that are correlated to each other. You'll likely need a credit/debit card details section, CVV section (input will vary by country), and the mobile number section to generate the OTP. There are multiple interdependent factors to complete this story. So the complexity demands an estimate of 10 points for this story, whereas the User Profile page would only need 5 points. Identifying the complexity of an item is key to defining estimation points.

Estimation points vs. time

In general, Agile projects can have work estimated in points or in hours. Zoho Sprints follows the former. Estimating the work in points is built around the work item's complexity or difficulty level, whereas estimating it in hours is based on the time taken to complete the task. Estimating the work in hours depends on the person's experience or skill, whereas estimating the work in points depends on the work's relative complexity.

If two people are assigned to the same task and they evaluate it differently, you can simply add their estimation points together to determine how many points a work item will have.

Let's assume two members of Zoho Sprints are assigned a task to write a series of blogs on a social networking platform about the fundamental principles of project management. It is a generic topic and needs a lot of research work before they write the blogs. The duo draw out a plan to analyze the topics to cover. They divide the work based on the experience of writing blogs: Member A does basic research on the PM process, contacts pertinent management personalities in town for an interview, whereas member B collects all the customer queries, different PM tools, gathers information on the most used features in PM, and businesses that require it. Once the work is divided, they start estimating the efforts required.
  1. A requires 5 days to complete the task and assigns 50 points to it.
  2. B requires 4 days to complete the task and assigns 40 points to it.
So, the total estimated effort for the task is 90 points.
The same work if estimated by time, they work 9 hours in a day: for 5 days, it's 45 hours. Likewise, for 4 days it's 36 hours.

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