In agile development, a ticket is a unit of work that is planned and tracked as part of a project. Tickets are often used to represent user stories, defects, or tasks that need to be completed. In traditional agile methodologies, tickets are often sized using relative units such as “story points” or “ideal days.” However, there are also benefits to not sizing tickets in agile development.
One benefit of not sizing tickets is that it can reduce the amount of time and effort spent on estimation. Estimating the size of tickets can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if the work involved is complex or poorly understood. By not sizing tickets, teams can focus on delivering value to the customer rather than spending time on estimation.
Another benefit is that it can help teams to focus on the value of the work rather than the size of the ticket. In traditional agile methodologies, the size of a ticket is often used as a proxy for the value that it will deliver. However, this is not always accurate, as the value of a ticket can depend on many factors beyond its size. By not sizing tickets, teams can focus on delivering the highest value items first, rather than being constrained by the size of the tickets.
Not sizing tickets can also help to promote a culture of continuous improvement within the team. When tickets are sized, it can create a sense of “getting the work done” rather than constantly seeking ways to improve the process. By not sizing tickets, teams can focus on continually improving the way they work rather than just completing the work that has been defined.
Sizing and Refinement
One benefit of not sizing tickets is that it can give you more time to refine the tickets themselves. When tickets are sized, it can be tempting to move on to the next item on the backlog as soon as the size has been estimated. However, taking the time to fully refine and understand the work involved can lead to better outcomes. By not sizing tickets, teams can spend more time on this refinement process, resulting in more accurate and actionable tickets.
Refining tickets can also lead to more ticket splits. In some cases, a single ticket may be too large or complex to be completed in a single iteration. By taking the time to refine the ticket and break it down into smaller pieces, teams can create more manageable and actionable tickets. If you split all tickets down, then in the end the size of all your tickets is the lowest it can possibly be, so why bother sizing them? This can help to improve the flow of work and increase the team’s velocity.
Overall, there are many benefits to not sizing tickets in agile development. While sizing tickets can be useful in some contexts, it is important to consider the trade-offs and decide whether it is the right approach for your team.