Estimation Techniques to Use in the Agile SCRUM World (The ART of WAG-Ing)

This article is dedicated to assessing the product backlog. Search Google or YouTube to learn more about SCRUM. There are many sites and videos that instantly give the big picture. This article looks at two methods of building your ratings or WAG from a Agile/SCRUM perspective.

What is a WAG?

If you’re from the UK, you might think it’s an acronym for “Girlfriend” or “Women of Famous Footballers” (football), but from the point of view of software development, THE WAG is an acronym for Wild and $$Guess.

Evaluation methods:

Table sizes of T-shirts (S, M, L, XL)

Each item of backlog is recorded on a 3 x5 card and placed on the table.

Identify a smaller item that can be used as a reference point (S).

Group each card together, each group to be about twice the size of the first.
(M S S, L, M M)

Anything bigger than the XL is too big to be appreciated.

(They need to be re-evaluated and divided into approximate sizes)

Once all objects (cards) are placed in their groups. Points are awarded for each size.

Fibonacci numbers can be used or simply doubled, for example:

Double: S q 1, M q 2, L q 4, XL q 8
Fibonacci: S 1, M 3, L q 8, XL q 13

Poker plans

Each element of backlog is discussed with members of the participating team.

Each participant has a deck to plan a poker card.

After discussing the backlog on the product, everyone shows their card.

If the scores are close to each other, the score is higher. If there are large discrepancies between estimates, higher and lower ones discuss out loud why they think their score is more accurate.

For distributed commands, there is software to perform this exercise.


In physics, speed is the speed of position change.

In Scrum, speed is the amount of product lag that a team can handle for a sprint.

Example: product lag of 1000 points
The team burned 300 points in three sprints.
Speed of 100 points per sprint.

At current speed, this team expected them to finish the remaining 700 points in 7 sprints.

Brian Lawrence – 8 years of business experience, 5 years of agile development practice. He has worked in a variety of roles, from the administration of computer labs, the creation of prototypes of technical software feasibility, in-depth development of demonstration versions, development of production code, development of the framework of modular testing and automation to technical management of projects. Currently Scrum Master.

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