task explicit implicit

Agile QuickTip: Implicit Task Estimates Instead of Explicit Ones

Implicit Task Estimates Instead of Explicit Ones by Giora Morein 

You’re about to learn how changing your task estimates from explicit to implicit could make all the difference to the productivity and experience of your Scrum teams.

Sprint planning is where most Scrum or Agile teams will take a story or a different backlog item and break it down into individual tasks or implementation activities. A lot of teams will then take these tasks and estimate the amount of time they will take in hours to help them with their planning.

If you’ve ever been part of these discussions, you know that it can often result in a contentious experience, where team members can struggle to agree or align their workload, and the whole thing can even end up being pretty painful.

One thing which can really help is to switch to implied or implicit estimates instead of explicit ones.

Here’s how it works.

Pick a task and break it down until none of the resulting parts are greater than a day or half a day. This way, you don’t have to assign estimates, because you know that no matter what, none of the tasks will be greater than a day or half a day.

A way to make this even more visual and valuable is to create burn-down charts which use the number of tasks left in a sprint instead of the hours. This way your sprint planning can be a lot more focused, an overall better experience and even result in a more effective sprint overall.

I really hope you enjoyed that Agile QuickTip, and will be giving it a chance during your next Sprint planning session. If you liked it, make sure to check out our other YouTube videos by subscribing to our channel, and head over to subscribe to our blog on ThinkLouder.com. You can also follow us on Twitter, @GioraMorein.

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