I was sitting in my Operations Management class yesterday, and we were discussing statistical quality concepts such as the Six Sigma movement which the business world has been obsessed with for the last several years. As we were going through the concepts and the statistical calculations, I realized that the same calculations could demonstrate the value of some key ideas in the agile software movement, such as team size and the value of pair programming.
I have had occasion in the past few years to participate in several different teams that were cutting their teeth on agile and Scrum for the first time. One thing that always seems to trip people up when they are first learning about agile is the concept of a “Story Point”. In this article I’m going to attempt to add some clarity to what story points are, what they aren’t, and how they should be used in agile project.