One Ticket or too big!

This method is known also under the name Divide until Maximum Size or Less and under the name of Estimating in Tickets. The idea behind this method is that people tend to correctly estimate the amount of work that they can fit into one working day. However one day seems natural, the method is focused on One Ticket as a basic measuring unit. One Ticket can be whatever the team decides that fits best.

One Ticket or too big estimation.

Prior to estimating any set of stories or tasks with this method your team has to agree on what is their Definition of One (similar to Definition of Done). Commonly used definitions:

  • One ticket means that you can do everything in one working day. If you are lucky it means you will have spare time. If you are unlucky it means overtime.
  • One ticket means a work you can do without breaks (usually from an hour to half a day).

When your team has such an agreement, they go through the whole backlog and ask themselves one question. Is this task going to take us up to One Ticket? If you agree – that’s fine, you have an estimate. If you disagree, you have to divide the task into smaller subtasks and repeat steps for every single one of subtasks.

When to use One Ticket or too big estimation?

This method is ideal for maintenance teams that handle lots of bugs and small requests instead of large features. Consider using One Ticket or too big estimation technique when you are running Kanban instead of Scrum, as dividing tasks to smaller, quicker finished tasks improves lead time.

Dangers and cons.

Although binding One Ticket with one day seems a perfect way of creating some basic efficiency metrics of team members I warn you to do such things carefully. Implementing such a metric without transparency can cause a lack of trust, and estimates inflation.