Improves on the popular Agile estimation methods

  • Removing confusion from points estimation

  • Remaining precise over time

  • Removing the need for re-estimation

  • Reducing estimation time

  • Supporting more robust predictability and planning

Instead of estimating each Story one at a time, CrumbScale distributes the effort Points in a two step process involving all of the Stories.  CrumbScale has no need for reference Stories to initiate the “estimation” process and thus gets rid of "points vs hours" confusion.  As an extra benefit, once the initial point distribution is done, a byproduct is the creation of a rapid estimation tool used for all future estimation in the project. 

Here’s a 10 minutes video explaining CrumbScale:


Use the following cheat-sheet to start estimating with CrumbScale and get more information by reading Rally-Point Backlog.

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Here is the CrumbScale estimation method in a nutshell:  

  1. Size Ordering: Starting from the original (unordered) list of Epics and Stories; Drop the stories one by one in a new list while keeping the following order: the biggest story at the top and the smallest at the bottom. The only question you need to ask yourself is, "Is this bigger than that?"
    Note: The programmers among you understand that this is a simple Insert Sort

  2. Effort Points Distribution: This step is done using the following points scale: 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40 and 100. Starting at the bottom of the list, give the value 1/2 to the "crumbs" stories, so small they have no impact on your daily schedule. Going up the list, as soon as you find a story bigger than a "crumb", switch to the value of 1 and continue your way up. When you find a Story twice as big as the 1 Stories, switch to the value of 2 and continue moving up the list now assigning the value 2. Continue this process all the way to the top of the list, incrementing to the next scale value (3, 5, 8 and so forth) as the Story size doubles. The only question you need to ask yourself is, "Is this twice as big as that?"

2 steps, 2 questions, repeated many times.  Though CrumbScale looks simplistic, the Development Team will discover its many benefits after the first couple of usages.

Learn how to use CrumbScale in the Rally-Point Backlog book