Agile processes have enabled development teams to bring major benefits to software customers by delivering functionality faster and closer to business needs than was possible with the old ‘waterfall’ processes. But Agile processes have one significant weakness, namely their use of ‘Story Points’ for performance measurement and estimating. Story Point measurements may be meaningful and usable within individual teams but they cannot be relied upon to help measure performance across teams. Nor can the resulting data be used for helping with budgeting, or estimating a new project in its early stages – in other words for managing ‘Agile-at-Scale’ activities.
All the essential processes that management relies on for budgeting, estimating and controlling Agile-at-Scale activities need a more reliable and objective measure of work-output (i.e. of software size) than Story Points. Any one of the ISO standard methods for estimating or measuring software size can meet this need. Three developers of these methods (COSMIC, IFPUG and Nesma) have collaborated to produce a White Paper that shows how their methods can be used to manage Agile-at-Scale activities. This can be achieved whilst leaving existing Agile processes unchanged at the team level.
For more, download the White Paper.