Dot Counting

Dot Counting is one of the most prominent estimation techniques that you can find in the agile development landscape. You must have come across situations where you voted for something based on dots. You can use the same concept when estimating user stories as well. That’s where Dot Counting would come into play.

You can call Dot Counting as a simple approach available for user story estimation. It is also a highly effective approach available for following. That’s because you will be able to use dots and express how much effort you will have to put on something. Based on Dot Counting, you can go ahead and set up the suer stories visually. You can do that with one of the digital boards or on a whiteboard. Then you can assign a color to each user story.

Before you go ahead with Dot Counting, you should come up with a scale as well. For example, you can proceed with a simple scale of 1 to 5. Then you can ask all the team members to understand the scale and vote with the dots. This is where you will be asking each and every team member to add the number of dots that are representing a story. The number of dots should reflect the effort that is needed to complete the story. Once all the team members have voted, you will be able to overcome the discrepancies associated with it.

One of the biggest challenges associated with Dot Counting is preventing the cognitive bias associated with anchoring. Hence, you will need to come up with a way to hide the votes during the voting stage. Then you will be able to remove the bias, which will provide better results to you with the estimates.

— Slimane Zouggari