Teams use story points to forecast when work will be ready. Let’s take a closer look at what they are…
Story points are the way our teams forecast the time it takes to complete work. It is a measure of relativity rather than a direct correlation to a number of man days, but it does consider the effort involved in the work. We use a variation of the Fibonacci sequence (1,2,3,5,8,13,20,40,100) to give us a numbering system.
We then work out roughly how many story points a team can complete within a set time, and we call this the velocity. Using the velocity and the number of story points in a project, we can forecast a date that the work will be completed on. The product owner then tracks this on a burn down chart.
Velocity is variable depending on holidays, sick leave and the number of members in a team, but we have a good sample of data to be able to model patterns. Story points can be confusing as many people try to convert them to a number of days, but that’s not their purpose.