Affinity Mapping

Business Agility Office

Is an estimation technique used in Agile with the next characteristics:

  • A good technique when the team is small and no. of backlog items is less.
  • First step is Silent Relative Sizing: On a wall, a card with ‘Smaller’ written on it, is placed on the leftmost side and the card with ‘Larger’ written on it is placed on the rightmost side. Product Owner provides a subset of the items to all participants. All participants are asked to size each item relative to the sizes on the cards on the wall, considering the effort required to implement them. It is the solo decision of the participant without any discussion with the other team members. Product Owner or stakeholder is present to clarify the doubts of the participant. Product Backlog items which are too ambiguous to be understood by the team members for estimation are placed separately. It takes 5-20 minutes.
  • Editing of wall: The team members can change the location of the items on the wall. They can discuss design and implementation requirements with the other team members. This activity can be closed when little change is happening on the wall. It takes around 20-60 minutes.
  • Placing items in correct locations: After the discussions, the team places the product backlog items in their relative and appropriate positions. We can use T-shirt sizing, Fibonacci series etc. here to relatively estimate the size of the items.
  • Product Owner Challenge: The Product Owner may find some discrepancy in the estimations done by the team and need to discuss more features or the requirements for an item with the team. After discussions, final estimations are made.
  • Export to Project Backlog Management Tool: To make sure the information about the final estimations is not lost, export it to a product backlog management tool.
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