estimationI started to work with a new team few weeks ago and I felt like the team is taking long time to estimate (in SP). Due to this, the PO has problems to do any kind of planning.  Here is what I could detect, maybe it could help you in your team also. I will resume the issues and my approach. I will also come back and share the results.





  1. Team taking long time to estimate in SP. Estimation are far of be perfect, what it is ok for me as coach, but the team needs to realize that estimation are not better becouse they spend a lot of time doing it. Estimates are always estimates.
  2. Team asking a lot of information to PO before give the first estimate
  3. Backlog without stories estimated for the next 2 sprints (2-weeks sprints)
  4. Due #3, PO unable to do any kind of planning or progress at all
  5. Long backlog (this is other history, I will mentioned here, but I want to focus my actions getting some kind of planning, next step will be clean up the backlog)

As you can see,  issues I mentioned could pop up in any young team.

I am preparing the next training and grooming session to attack point 1, 2 and 3.

Training points:

  • What estimates means
  • SP is NOT complexity, it is the effort. Effort include: complexity, risk, uncertainty…
  • Estimates are NOT commitment
  • Fast estimation work well in agile
  • Agile Estimating and Planning book from Mike Cohn is a very good reference here

Grooming session:

  • Play “White Elephant Sizing” game with real backlog items.


I look forward to your thoughts, and your experiences.

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Thank you,

Omar Bermudez


About the author

Omar is an agile practitioner and lover. Certified Scrum master. Agile Coach & Agile Leader. He believes it is important to continually be learning and growing. His dream is to be a lifelong learner; growing each day. He is also passionate about leadership development and seeing people reach their full potential. He is also a good husband & father (his wife says that time to times). He has a wonderful wife and 2 fantastic kids. In his free time, if he does not have any plan ahead, he tries to apply agile methodologies at the family level :). He enjoys a lot to travel with his family and discovers new places for them.