Agile and Scrum FAQ

Joshua Tree overlook

What's the difference between using hours versus using story points to estimate?

Time estimates are used to estimate how long it will take to complete a task or project. They are typically expressed in hours or days and are used to help plan and manage the project timeline.

Story points are used to estimate the relative complexity of tasks or stories. They are expressed in a numerical scale and are used to prioritize tasks and help allocate resources.

"How many hours is a point?"

There isn't a formula to calculate this as it is overprecise and misleading. Instead, calculating team velocity can be used to provide stakeholders with an understanding of how long a 3-point backlog item will take.

What's the difference between "Definition of Done" and "Acceptance Criteria"?

- A set of criteria that must be met before a product, feature, or user story is considered complete.
- The criteria should be measurable and verifiable.
- The criteria should be agreed upon by the development team, the product owner, and other stakeholders.

Definition of Done: applies generally to all work items (all User Stories)
- Verified by QA
- Unit Tests written and passing
- All iteration bugs are fixed before closing

Acceptance Criteria: applies to each specific work item (each User Story)
- User can do a particular action

Differences between Scrum and Kanban?

Two main differences:
- Scrum is iterative, while Kanban is continuous.
- Scrum focuses on sprints and time-boxed iterations, while Kanban focuses on visualizing workflows and limiting work in progress.

From what I've seen typically, Scrum is used for software projects where features are being built and delivered in increments, whereas Kanban is used for ongoing maintenance, less-defined projects, and infrastructure※.

※ - Infrascrum can also be used for infrastructure projects, which is like a hybrid between the two.