Cost Estimation

The cost of completing a story can be estimated both in terms of the amount of effort (aka work) and in terms of money. The primary objective of estimating cost should be to give a better overview for planning and prioritizing stories, rather than post-completion registration of actual time and money spent.

Cost estimation is related to Value estimation. All estimation is configurable per circle to allow you to use only the parts relevant for you. Read more about Cost warnings and Cost synchronization for delegated stories.


Effort Estimation

Effort is the amount of work required to complete a story. Effort is often estimated in story points (e.g. using an agreed story as a common reference for a “2”) as a relative unit, but Agemba does not mandate this. Effort can be estimated in hours, days, etc.  The effort estimate can either be selected from a number series or just set freely, depending on the circle configuration. It is encouraged to estimate effort with an uncertainty, setting both an expected and worst-case estimate – read more about working with uncertainties and how to configure this.

Until an effort estimate is set, the story will count as requiring no effort – unless a provisional/default estimate is set for this circle. This estimate will be shown in brackets e.g. (2) until a real estimate is set.


Monetary Cost Estimation

The monetary cost is the financial cost to complete a story, which is not directly work. It is estimated using the configured currency of the site.

Until a monetary cost estimate is set, the story will count as having no monetary cost – unless a provisional/default estimate is set for this circle. This estimate will be shown in brackets e.g. (2) until a real estimate is set.


Cynefin Complexity Estimation

The Cynefin Framework is a principle developed by Dave Snowden for complexity assessment. The framework divides complexity into Obvious, Complicated, Complex and Chaos (and states in between) as increasing levels of complexity, which should be approached in different ways.  Evaluating the complexity of a story can prove a useful tool along with the effort estimate for planning to ensure that the more complex items are not postponed. Read more about Cynefin.


Accumulated Cost Estimation

Cost estimates can be set for all stories, ideas and issues, and is automatically accumulated for releases, sprints and collections. 

Effort and monetary cost estimates may be set for epics just like for stories. However, an epic should be split into smaller stories and epics to decompose it (read more here). Once these children are fully estimated, the epic should be switched to accumulate cost in order to represent the full cost required, rather than the original (preliminary) estimate. The original estimate will still be visible for comparison. Read more about cost accumulation.


In order to highlight how much of the work is Must-have, separate effort estimates for Must-haves are accumulated. Read more about working with Must-haves.


The cost estimates of a story will not count in any accumulation as long as its state is Draft!