agile story point estimation

Estimation sync and Alignment


Agile development have revolutionized the way software is developed by emphasizing iterative, collaborative, and adaptive approaches to product management. One of the key practices in Agile development is story point estimation, which involves assigning a numerical value to user stories based on their complexity, effort, and risk. Story point estimation is critical to effective sprint planning and team velocity tracking, as it enables teams to prioritize and deliver value in a predictable and transparent manner.

In this post, we’ll explore how T-shirt sizing can be used for Agile story point estimation, and how it can help teams simplify and streamline their estimation process.

What is T-shirt sizing?

T-shirt sizing is a technique for estimating the size and complexity of user stories by using a simple scale based on T-shirt sizes (i.e., XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL). T-shirt sizing is a relative estimation technique, which means that it does not require precise measurements or absolute values, but rather compares the relative complexity of user stories against each other. For example, a user story that is assigned an XS size is considered less complex and requires less effort than a user story that is assigned an L size.

Why use T-shirt sizing?

T-shirt sizing has several advantages over other estimation techniques, such as numerical point estimation or planning poker:

  1. Simplicity: T-shirt sizing is easy to understand and requires no specialized training or tools. Anyone can participate in the estimation process, regardless of their technical background or experience.
  2. Speed: T-shirt sizing is a quick and efficient way to estimate user stories, as it does not require detailed analysis or documentation. Teams can complete story point estimation in a matter of minutes, rather than hours or days.
  3. Flexibility: T-shirt sizing is adaptable to different project contexts and team dynamics, as it allows teams to adjust their estimation scale and criteria to fit their specific needs.

How to use T-shirt sizing for Agile story point estimation

Here are the steps to follow when using T-shirt sizing for Agile story point estimation:

  1. Define your T-shirt sizes: Start by defining your T-shirt sizes and their corresponding values. For example, you might use the following scale:
  • XS: 1 point
  • S: 2 points
  • M: 3 points
  • L: 5 points
  • XL: 8 points
  • XXL: 13 points
  1. Select a user story: Choose a user story from your product backlog that you want to estimate.
  2. Discuss the story: Discuss the user story with your team to ensure that everyone understands its scope and requirements.
  3. Assign a T-shirt size: Ask each team member to independently assign a T-shirt size to the user story based on its complexity and effort. Encourage team members to share their rationale for their estimates to foster collaboration and alignment.
  4. Discuss discrepancies: If there are significant discrepancies between team members’ estimates, facilitate a discussion to clarify any misunderstandings or disagreements.
  5. Reach consensus: Once the team has discussed and shared their estimates, reach a consensus on a final T-shirt size for the user story. The final estimate should reflect the team’s collective understanding of the user story’s complexity and effort.
  6. Repeat for other user stories: Repeat this process for other user stories in your product backlog until you have estimated all the stories you plan to work on in the next sprint.


T-shirt sizing is a simple and effective way to estimate user stories in Agile development. It enables teams to quickly and collaboratively estimate the size and complexity of user stories, which in turn helps them prioritize and plan their work more effectively.


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