Another true story about the art of Agile Estimation
About 14 months ago, I wrote this story card:
We should sell estimation cards online, to offset the cost of producing them
We gave it an estimate of 50 points as it seemed “do-able”, but no-one was exactly sure “how” to do it. Amazon was a likely choice, but so was the Storm website, or even eBay. The business value was only “should”, so it got moved down the priority list.
By springtime we had released a shopping cart to the website so users could mix and match training course modules. Selling cards was moved back up the list and a product page designed, created and released. Since nobody had chosen modules using the cart during the summer, we removed it and the “sell cards” card headed back down towards the bottom of the list.
Two weeks ago, SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENED. I bought a plug on-line, noticed a “sell on Amazon” link and clicked it to see what I could learn. 20 minutes later and our cards were listed for sale on-line!
It's OK to get it wrong
Five minutes after that and ooops, I realised I had changed the pricing of another vendor’s cards and replaced theirs with pictures of ours. But by then I was completely hooked (and somewhat concerned about the security of a product listing, but that’s another story). It took another couple of hours to set-up a completely new product and our first sale happened just two days later.
Having experienced all this, I’m now something of an expert at selling products online through Amazon. I know about product fulfilment, barcodes, European identity numbers, delivery options and pricing. My next estimate of the effort to sell online, via Amazon will be just 5, not 50.
Three Cs Cards, Conversation and Criteria
Make sure your team talks about each User Story so they can discover the insight and experience that’s available. Storm’s Agile Estimation Cards are a great way of starting that conversation. Wrap-up the talking with written criteria for acceptance such as: cards available for sale online; when bought on-line they arrive within 3 days.
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