On Feature Sizing

Andre the Giant holding a beer.
Andre the Giant holding a beer.

At some point in the recent past – probably a steering committee meeting – I was asked about Feature sizing.  I didn’t have the estimates for each specific feature at the time, but I did find it helpful to have a general sense of what the effort might be like based on prior experience.

The list below is something I put together after our team started using Features.  Feature sizing is beneficial for providing preliminary estimates during early scoping and discovery sessions with the appropriate subject matter experts.  This isn’t really formalized across the organization and different teams will agree on different numbers, but it might be a starting point when it comes to Feature estimating and portfolio planning.

Two things to note:  hours – enough said on that!; and, it is hard to imagine a Feature taking 1 person a full year but realistic that a small team could take several iterations to deliver it for a release.

Having a baseline to start from and guide the process is helpful to many teams new to Agile, SCRUM, and portfolio planning; hopefully this helps a little.

On Feature sizing:

  • Extra Small: Effort equal to or less than 1 sprint or 80 hours
  • Small: Effort equal to 80 hours or greater and less than 160 hours
  • Medium: Effort equal to 160 hours or greater and less than 480 hours
  • Large: Effort equal to 480 hours or greater and less than 1860 hours
  • XLarge: Effort greater than 1860 hours

Read more:  Features and Capabilities