Magic Estimation can work!

Today a team asked me on how to do a good grooming session. They were arguing on details and process.

After the team had spend an hour or two on estimation I asked them to join me in the afternoon to do a different kind of estimation session. What I did was suggesting magic estimation I did it some years before but it seemed right for this context , were the product owner wants an first estimation on his product backlog, which was filled with new epics. A couple epic with details some epics pretty vague.


I started with a little game (this to fresh up the brain). And explained how magic estimation works.

All the poker cards are on the table from 1 to 100. I gave everybody a set of stories / epics. In pure silence they lay down the stories on the table with corresponds to the correct number. After this all story have an initial estimation. Everybody had a good look at each estimation and we discussed a couple strange ones. Within 45 minutes we had estimated 30 stories / epics.

The product owner wrote down all the points and prioritized the list. Of course it is not a perfect and detailed estimation but that is not what the scrum team wanted.

DONE and a happy team.

About pascaldufour

Passionate Agile Tester
This entry was posted in Agile, coaching. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Magic Estimation can work!

  1. ISTQB says:

    Your magic estimation is pretty close to a formal process
    called Delphi / Group estimation.
    At one point of time, we used to do this in our teams as

  2. Andre says:

    Wikipedia has been very useful in my software testing study believe it or not.


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