What is a Story Point?

What is a Story Point?

A Story Point is a unit of measure for expressing the overall size of a User Story, feature, or piece of work. It is a relative measure of the size of a user story, and there is no set formula for defining this size.

Story Point Estimation – How to Estimate Story Points

Story Point Estimation considers the effort involved in developing the feature, its complexity, and its inherent risk. It is done collaboratively by the team, not by a single individual. Usually, Story Point Estimation is conducted during the Sprint Planning event. However, if the Product Owner has prioritized stories for the next sprint, the estimation can be done during Sprint Refinement sessions as well, saving time during Sprint Planning as the team discusses the user stories.

Story Point Estimation Techniques

Here are various Story Point Estimation techniques used by teams:

Planning Poker

Planning Poker follows the Fibonacci Sequence for User Story estimation. The Product Owner explains the User Story, and every team member selects a number on a card or planning poker tool. The number with the maximum votes is the finalized estimate.

What is Fibonacci Sequence?

It is a mathematical sequence where each number is the sum of the two that precede it.  Fibonacci sequence is as follows, it starts with 0. It is as follows – 0,1,2,3,5,8,13,21

T-Shirt Size Estimation

This technique uses T-shirt sizes to estimate User Stories. The sizes are typically Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large.

Flying Fingers

In this technique, the team reads a story and discusses it with the Product Owner for any clarifications. Then, each member puts one hand behind their back and holds up the number of fingers corresponding to the points they think the story deserves. On a count of three, everyone shows their fingers. If everyone shows the same number, the estimate is confirmed. For any disagreement, a follow-up discussion occurs to agree on a common number.


Story Point Estimation is common in teams following Scrum, even though Scrum does not explicitly mention Story Points. It is a complementary practice followed by many teams. Most Scrum teams use Planning Poker for Story Point Estimation, hence following the Fibonacci Sequence. The purpose of this article is to provide an understanding of Story Points and the estimation techniques used by teams. Estimation is essential as every organization needs a high-level estimation for planning and budgeting. However, it is prudent not to spend unnecessary time on estimating stories rather than focusing on actual work.

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