Bucket System

Business Agility Office

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

  • It is a good technique when a large no. of items are to be estimated by large no. of participants. It is faster and more reasonable than Planning Poker.
  • Different buckets are created with values: 0,1,2,3,4,5,8,13,20,30,50,100, 200.This can be extended if required. These buckets are nothing but cards representing values arranged sequentially on a table.
  • The stories need to be placed within these where the estimator finds them suitable. All the items to be estimated are written on the cards.
  • Pick an item at random and put it in bucket 8. This is used for reference only. Pick another story at random, discuss all its features and requirements with the group and upon consensus, place it in the appropriate bucket. Similarly, third item is picked and placed at an appropriate bucket.
  • The bucket sequence can also be changed, in case the group feels the first item chosen, should belong to the bucket 1 instead of bucket 8.
  • Divide and Conquer approach is followed. All the remaining items are divided among all the participants. All participants can place the item without the approval of other participants.
  • The items should be placed properly. No item can be placed between the buckets.
  • If a participant does not understand the product backlog item or if the other participants have finished up placing their user stories then the user stories can be transferred to the other participants.
  • At last Sanity check is performed by all the participants. If any participant finds a wrong bucket assigned to an item, then they can bring it to the notice of other participants and discuss with them. This is done until a consensus for the whole product backlog is achieved.
  • The facilitator should make a check that nobody moves the items unless sanity check is done.
  • This is also done to achieve the priority order of the product backlog items.
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