Agile T-Shirt Estimating cards

To help teams with the transition to ‘relative estimating’ I created these T-Shirt estimating cards. Tired of explaining to Product Owners why an job estimate of 8 does not equate to 8 hours of work? Struggling to understand the difference between an absolute scale versus a relative scale of estimating? T-shirt sizes are great because they convey the idea a Large body of work is going be to bigger than a Medium body of work yet is smaller than an XLarge body of work.

It, also, helps most people have personally experience and are culturally aware of the concept of different T-shirt sizes so it is a natural ‘fit’ to use T-shirts as a reference.

What’s included in each pack?

Each pack of T-shirt estimating cards include the following:

  • One pack is suitable for a Scrum team of up to 9 people
  • The cards are printed on high quality 280gsm premium matte paper
  • I deliberately chose paper (rather than plastic) because it feels more comfortable
  • 6 cards per suite: Extra Small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L), Extra Large (XL) and finally a question mark (?)
  • 9 different coloured suites for a total of fifty-four cards

References

[1] If you’re struggling to understand the difference between absolute and relative estimating this video might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk6iVVwhzos
[2] Here are some old articles that mention T-shirting at Microsoft … where I was working as a vendor (“v-dash”) at the time: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/larryosterman/archive/2007/06/01/missed-metaphors.aspx and http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2009/05/12/9605143.aspx