Chapter 12. Decomposing Stories and Tasks

Writing stories and tasks that are right-sized can mean the difference between succeeding with Scrum and failing miserably. It’s that important. What’s worse is that the symptoms of wrong-sized work elements (not finishing, poor estimation, painful standups) don’t at first seem related to story and task size at all.

During one of my first projects, we found we were having problems completing our work by the end of the sprint. Our first inclination was to blame the sprint length—we assumed a longer sprint would solve our problems. Through a serendipitous encounter we discovered that it was actually our tasks and stories that needed to be resized, rather than our sprints.

The Story

In 2005, the team and ...

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