When estimating with story points should developers and QA provide their estimate based on complexity?



  • The question was as follows (and from the QA member of the team): Should I think about how complex it is from a QA AND a developer's perspective? Or just from a QA's perspective?

    Since story points account for effort + complexity my answer was that QA should provide an SP estimate based on their own understanding of how much effort it will take them as an individual. Especially since there's no way QA could know what the dev effort consist of and vice versa. Then, once everyone gave their estimates, we talked about the reasoning behind each person's estimate and rounded up to the highest estimate if there were differing responses.

    Another related question: Should I think about the effort for just my work or the effort it would take for the story to be moved from in progress to done? For this one I also said that it should take into account just your piece of the overall dev effort. The combined and rounded up number will then capture the relative amount of time it will take something to move from in progress to done.

    I wasn’t quite happy with my responses and want to see if anyone else out there has had similar questions from their teams.

    Thanks!



  • A healthy conversation when estimating might go something like this:

    Developer: "This is pretty simple, so I think it is a 3 point story."

    QA: "I'm thinking about how we will test this story. It looks tricky to me."

    Developer: "Talk me through your thinking on this please."

    [technical discussion]

    Developer: "OK, now I understand the story is more difficult than I first thought. How about we make it a 5 instead?"

    Sometimes it may be the developer trying to convince the QA to change their estimate or any combination of team members doing this. The key is for the team as a whole to get an understanding of the overall challenge of the story and then estimate accordingly.



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