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How Do You Create Story Points for Multiple Teams?

Creating story points is challenging, and the task is more difficult when you are doing it for multiple teams. The teams must collaborate and come up with a mutually inclusive plan. The product owner then relates the strategy to stakeholders and prioritizes tasks accordingly. In this article at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn discusses how you can create story points for multiple teams.

Managing Multi-Team Story Points

Before you create story points for multiple teams, you have some questions to address. For instance, how do you handle their differences in experience and skills? Do you need to involve everyone in every meeting? Can you estimate ahead without knowing which team would work on it finally? Let’s look at some common mistakes you might do while developing user stories:

  • Estimates Do Not Match Team Capabilities: Only a handful of people decide tasks for the rest of the team members. This practice is prevalent in various organizations. So, you end up with estimates that have ridiculously tight deadlines. Having low expectations also ruins the game when stakeholders see that the project is overshooting its expected end date.
  • Story Points and Hours Are the Same: To maintain uniformity, you tend to provide the same hours to similar user stories for multiple teams. The development team can take three hours, while the testers might need only 45 minutes for the same lines of code. So, you cannot count story points based on hours.

Things You Should Do

  • Shortlist an experienced and skilled individual from every team to suggest a good roadmap. Though senior members are more likely to make correct estimates, involve fresh faces too.
  • Work on different PBIs to prevent teams from working on similar tasks. They might reach different conclusions and would have different backlogs every sprint. It would be hard to track progress then. When the meeting ends, each representative should have 10 to 20 backlog items to work on.
  • Do not expect the individual to understand each task. A senior architect might not know new coding languages. However, the professional has enough experience to know how long it might take to code.

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