Agile points are a quick way to estimate the effort you’ll spend on a given task. Each company can come up with their own scale. Let’s say that our scale is a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being an easy task, 5 being about five times as hard.
When we make our tasks, we just need to make a quick estimate of where on the scale it lies. Is it a 5 point task or is it a 2 point task or is it a 1 point task? As we add tasks, we’re not going to spend much time figuring this out. We’re figuring that even though we may not get it exactly right, it’ll average out about right in the end.
When we look at our project level, we can see there’s also an ‘agile points capacity’. This is how many points we think we can accomplish in this project.
In many agile methodologies, you define the scope of the project at the beginning and then you add the tasks until your scope is full. So for example, we have 50 points capacity here. We’ve only assigned eight so we can in fact add a whole bunch of more tasks and we’ll see when we start reaching the 50 limit.
There’s nothing that prevents you from going over or under the amount of allocated agile points in a project. But you can always check and see if you are over- or under-budgeting for what your initial estimate was. If you’ve planned a project that’s 50 agile points in size, start adding tasks until you fill it up. Then you know you’ve estimated about the right size of the project.
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