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]]>- Grab a random sample of 40 stories.
- Break each of those stories into tasks and estimate the tasks.
- From the task estimates come up with an average number of hours per story.

- It’s important to remember that the relationship between points and hours is not an equivalence. It is not that 1 point equals 4 hours (which is what our example showed above). It is that 1 point equals a mean of four hours with a standard deviation of plus or minus say 45 minutes. This would mean that most of the time (68% of the time) the relationship would be that 1 point takes from 3:15 to 4:45 to finish. It would mean that almost always (98% of the time), one point would take between 2-1/2 and 5-1/2 hours to finish (two standard deviations).
- The above approach assumes that 1-point stories and 13-point stories are estimated perfectly in relative terms. In other words, it assumes that if the mean duration of a one-point story is 4 hours, the mean of a 13-point story will be 13×4=52 hours. For many reasons, this is unlikely to be true. And the data I’ve collected from a variety of teams, shows that–as we’d expect–teams are not perfect, even though many are amazingly consistent.

Points | Hours Per Story | # of Stories | Total Hours |
---|---|---|---|

1 | 3.2 | 5 | 16.0 |

2 | 8.6 | 8 | 68.8 |

3 | 12.3 | 7 | 86.1 |

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