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Estimation Techniques Inspiration for your next meeting

Get your team on the same page with different agile estimation methods and scales. 

Parabol agile estimation techniques hero

Take the Guesswork out of Agile Estimation


Accurately estimating tasks and projects in an agile workflow is crucial if your team is going to stay productive and your stakeholders are going to stay happy.

Coming up with clear estimates using established methods helps prevent nasty surprises and a lot of wild guessing.

Here at Parabol, we've built our agile estimation templates around some of the most popular estimation methods and the most common sizing scales. But you can also BYOM (bring your own methods) and make your own template to suit your workflow. 

These approaches to estimation help teams build a common language, and in time can reduce the cognitive clutter and missed expectations of improperly sized projects. 

But before you start sizing things up, you’ll need to pick a method…

Agile Estimation Techniques

Parabol estimated effort agile estimation technique

Estimated Effort

Focus on how much effort stories take

With Estimated Effort you’ll size stories (tasks, projects, etc.) based on how much work they’ll take to complete via an agreed-upon scale.

This estimation technique helps you get a handle on how much work to include in the next sprint. 
Learn more about Estimated Effort
Parabol weighted shortest job first estimation technique

Weighted Shortest Job First

Estimate and prioritize at the same time

WSJF estimation enables your team to size work, and then prioritize it by value – to the team, the company, the users, or whomever you choose!
This estimation technique helps you easily identify those sweet, sweet user stories that are high value and low effort. 
Learn more about Weighted Shortest Job First

Agile Estimation Scales

Parabol fibonacci estimation scale-1

Fibonacci Scale

A classic scale for all purposes

This sizing scale is based off the Fibonacci sequence – where each number is the sum of the two preceding it.
This scale can help you reduce complexity because you’re not forced to split hairs between two very close numbers.
Learn more about the Fibonacci scale
Parabol five fingers estimation scale

Five Fingers

A simple scale you've always got on hand

The Five Fingers scale is a great way to estimate stories using the tools mother nature gave us! Each finger represents a different response or a different number.
All you need to do is raise the appropriate number of fingers for each task you size.
Learn more about the Five Fingers scale
Parabol t-shirt estimation scale

T-Shirt Sizing

Find the right fit for your stories


The T-Shirt scale uses a scale you’ll see in any clothing store – or your own closet.

From small all the way up to extra-large, you’ll use shirt sizes to make sure every story’s dressed properly.

Learn more about T-Shirt Sizing
Parabol custom estimation scale

Create your own

Do it yourself with our custom builder

You can use our Sprint Poker template with your own sizing scale.
Size with any scale you want – sedans, vans and trucks, or small dogs, medium dogs and big dogs. The power is in your hands.  
Learn more about custom scales

Try it yourself with a free account 


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