The Short and Sweet

Cards are the primary unit of measuring work for tracking, planning and estimation purposes.

By breaking cards down to between one to three days worth of work the cards are sufficient. It is not practical or accurate to break tasks down to less than this.

Regression to the Mean

The Moral Hazards of Estimation

Optimism Bias


  • The purpose of estimation is not really to measure productivity in the traditional sense but rather it is to estimate how much scope can be delivered in a period of time.
  • Story points and poker are a waste of time.
  • Estimation must only be considered in a broader sense as scope is variable from iteration to iteration and even from day to day in order to pursue maximum business value in the face of inherent uncertainty.
  • Estimation is fraught with the potential to create negative incentives an moral hazards. See the Freakonomics of Estimation.
  • Deeply involving the business in the development project removes any skepticism about productivity.
  • Break work down into deliverable chunks on requirement cards that represent one to three days work.
  • Count how many cards get done on average per iteration.
  • Track the average number of new cards per iteration and if they come from splitting of other cards that turned out to be bigger than three days worth of work.


See Also

Post: The Freakonomics of Estimation

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