Cover image for Baseline for Effort Estimation - How Do You Do It?

Baseline for Effort Estimation - How Do You Do It?

lpbayliss profile image Luke Bayliss Updated on ・1 min read

My team and I have recently been running some sessions to determine a fresh baseline for estimating our work. I'm curious how others on DEV come to a baseline for their estimations.

So, how do you come up with a baseline for your estimations?

Image courtesy of Annie Spratt on Unsplash


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Obtaining a 'baseline' in planning poker or any other finger-in-the-air method is a fallacy. To estimate properly you need to address a number of different factors: technical, environmental and human-related.



I figured I should add to my own discussion.

My current team have been using estimations from previous sprints to gauge what each point value should represent. Literally going through card after card until we come to a unanimous agreement on what a 1, 2, 3 and 8 point story looks like. Keeping a confluence page as a reference to what our baseline stories are.

My team prior had a very different approach. We took a single story and broke it down into the smallest deliverable pieces of work we could manage. We decided what was the easiest task and considered that to be 1 point. We would then estimate based on how a new card compared. A card double the effort would be 2, and a card double the effort of that card would be 3 and so on.