T-Shirt Sizing Use as a Product Owner to Estimate Delivery

The fantastic thing about Agile is that it isn’t prescriptive. As soon as organizations have understood the crux of Agile, they’ll tailor it to go well with their wants and outline processes that may guarantee most output. Agile estimation is one such instance. These easy, but efficient, methods set the tone for all the Agile mission and assist groups navigate advanced initiatives simply.  

T shirt sizing in agile is a relative estimation approach that helps for long run efficient planning. On this weblog we try to deep dive into T-shirt sizing estimation and attempt to perceive its advantages and downsides.

What’s T-shirt sizing estimation?

Agile Estimation Techniques   A Deep Dive Into T-Shirt Sizing

Agile usually begins with a high-level estimate or a macro view of the mission. This helps groups and stakeholders come to a long-term plan for the mission. One of many ways in which Agile does this high-level estimate is although T-shirt sizing agile, in different phrases estimating story factors utilizing a relative estimation approach.  

T-shirt sizing, as talked about earlier than, is a relative mission estimation approach to estimate what a mission will want by way of time, price range, and power. It’s a good approach for groups which are new to agile and wish to carry out a relative estimation of the mission. T-shirt measurement planning will be additional damaged down into story factors for dash planning. Story factors will be damaged down additional into hours for dash execution. Whereas t-shirt sizing is nice for launch planning and defining mission roadmap, story level estimates are extra correct and higher for dash planning.  

What’s a narrative level? A Story level is a unit of measure for expressing an estimate for the general effort wanted to finish a specific person story, dash, or product backlog merchandise. Whereas in conventional mission administration  strategies the trouble is conveyed in a time format like days, weeks or months, Agile makes use of story factors to offer estimates and these will be offered by contemplating the quantity of labor, the complexity of labor and related dangers. That is the place story factors differ from estimating in person-hours which can not take into account the complexity or danger which will delay the duty. Additionally, story level estimation is extra versatile and is ideal for prime degree estimation.

T-shirt sizes for introducing relative estimation

Selecting a t-shirt if you stroll right into a retailer is straightforward. You’ve gotten clearly labelled sizes like S, M, L, XL and all it is advisable to do is choose one. Whereas this can be a relative sizing and every T-shirt measurement can match a variety of shoulder sizes, it’s a lot simpler than having numerical t-shirt sizes like 38, 40, 42 and many others.  

Equally, for agile initiatives, groups can classify gadgets or person tales as extra-small, small, medium, massive, extra-large, or double extra-large. This T-shirt sizing estimation eliminates the numerical rating related to story factors and helps builders to be extra versatile and dynamic in regards to the effort related to a narrative. 

Relying on the dimensions of the duty, the builders will assign a t-shirt measurement. It’s essential that every one builders arrive at a consensus on the T-shirt measurement assigned to every activity. The tales are all positioned in S, M, L, XL buckets and the time taken to finish all of the duties within the buckets is estimated. Groups can get a relative understanding of how massive or small the story is.

The draw back of T-shirt sizing PBIs

The issue with T-shirt’s sizing is that it’s a relative estimate, so groups would solely get a ballpark determine or a variety and never a precise estimate of effort wanted to finish a person story.

Additionally, since product backlog increments or PBIs are indicated by way of T-shirts sizes, it could be troublesome to estimate or assessment how a lot work is completed. Like for instance, your report could present that for this dash you’ve gotten accomplished 2 small, four medium and three massive PBIs. This will make it troublesome to measure the rate of labor.

Advantages and pitfalls


  • Helps in fast estimates for substantial variety of gadgets
  • Helps groups new to agile higher carry out estimations
  • Is versatile as estimation doesn’t change even when velocity adjustments
  • Offers estimates in relative phrases
  • Is straightforward and efficient for first degree of estimating and huge backlogs.


  • Relative estimates should not absolute
  • Could should be transformed to numerical worth if velocity must be calculated
  • Aren’t uniform. One workforce’s t-shirt estimate could also be completely different from that of one other workforce.

Supply planning with T-shirt estimates

The t-shirt sizing is an effective way of offering preliminary estimates and can be utilized as a primary spherical of estimating, offering stakeholders and the workforce with a relative or broad concept of effort and time required for the mission.

As talked about above, it’s usually the primary spherical of planning and begins with the mission being break up into excessive degree epics which can be given t-shirt sizes. Chances are you’ll give an estimate vary for epic measurement in a lot of days.

For instance:

  • Small = 1–four days
  • Medium = 5–10 days
  • Massive = 10–20 days

You need to use this estimate and suppose that your first supply of the product will take round 26-54 days.

The second spherical of planning

Sprint Planning Meeting

After getting created a broad estimate it’s time to do the second spherical of planning and develop the product backlog gadgets akin to epics. The epics will be additional damaged down into person tales for sprints. Every PBI will be estimated with story factors to get a extra correct estimate for the PBIs.

Easy methods to use T –shirt sizing to find out mission scope

T-shirt estimation is an effective way to grasp the general scope of your mission. For instance, a purchasing listing that may be a small t-shirt measurement would imply shopping for a few gadgets like a toothbrush and a cola, whereas a big t-shirt measurement concept can be shopping for fifty or extra gadgets from a purchasing listing. So, slotting these numerous duties into t-shirt sizes will assist the workforce perceive the general scope of the mission and what have to be achieved. It helps to grasp the trouble required by every workforce member to perform the duty.

Getting the Proper Match: The Do’s and Don’ts

T-shirt sizing, similar to Agile, isn’t a one-size suits all technique. Groups should work out find out how to use it relying on their mission and protecting in thoughts previous initiatives and retrospectives.

There are some do’s and don’ts for t-shirt sizing that have to be adopted for fulfillment:

  • Get the larger image: You’ll be able to assume massive and dream throughout this course of. Your end result will probably be a tough estimate so you may let your self go.
  • Be sure that to stay to the scope: It’s simple to get derailed with so many concepts coming in from so many individuals. However ensure that to maintain your eye on the mission purpose and be certain that the sizing is getting you nearer to the purpose.
  • Wouldn’t have too many sizes: This train is meant to simplify your decision-making course of, so there isn’t a level in complicating it by including too many t-shirt sizes.
  • Don’t get inflexible with T-shirt labels: You will get artistic with the names when you don’t need t-shirt names. Go for fruit names when you discover it higher! You’ll be able to estimate by way of a grape for the smallest tales and a pineapple for the bigger ones. Alternatively, consider animals in case your workforce likes them higher. You’ll be able to have all the things from rabbits to giraffes to outline your epics and sprints.

Assigning velocity for product backlog gadgets

Improvement groups work round this by assigning every measurement a numerical worth such S=1, M=three, L=5, XL=eight. Assigning numerical values makes it simpler to calculate the rate. So, if workforce has accomplished 2 Small, four Medium and three Massive PBIs then the rate will be calculated as:

  • Velocity= S+M+L= (2*1)+(four*three)+(three*5)=29

T-Shirt sizing is quick

T-shirt estimation permits a particularly quick, virtually prompt estimation with fundamental data. In comparison with extra absolute sorts of estimation that require extra data from stakeholders and customers and may end up in appreciable time consumption and energy, t-shirt sizing is fast and saves near 80% occasions in some circumstances.

How does T-shirt sizing work?

T-shirt sizing begins off with the portfolio administration workforce defining the dimensions of the mission, they usually categorize the mission as being further small, small, medium, massive, extra-large and many others. The product proprietor first will get along with the stakeholders and defines just a few high-level epics. The epics are given t-shirt sizes primarily based on their perceived complexity. The event workforce additionally makes use of historic knowledge from earlier initiatives to categorise duties into completely different sized buckets.

T-shirt sizing is a good possibility for groups new to the entire estimating enterprise. It’s quick and easy, and groups can use it until they study the ropes of the extra correct types of estimation. Splitting initiatives into generalized buckets helps the workforce to interrupt down advanced duties, helps in communication and permits the workforce to have a look at a long-term roadmap for the mission. When achieved accurately, t-shirt sizing can increase productiveness and save the workforce a complete lot of effort.

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