We Don’t Sell Time, We Sell Scrum Points

Rather than selling time on custom creative and software projects we have now moved to selling points. Scrum points. Before we would estimate a project based upon hours and then have to tediously track time against the project to make sure we weren’t going over while in parallel breaking the work down into cards with points and setting the project up on our Scrum board. Two parallel processes whose value cancels each other out due to the loss from duplication of work. To resolve this we decided to move to a pure Scrum points quoting system. Every task needed to complete a project is quoted based upon how many Scrum points we think it will take. We know on average from our weekly Scrum velocity tracking how many points we typically ship in a day, what it costs to run the company on average per month and we how many full time equivalent employees we have for that month.  Dividing the operating costs by the full time equivalent employees and then again by roughly 20 business days for the month gives us our cost per day. Taking the average cost per day and dividing it by the average number of points shipped in a day gives us our cost per point. We then take the total project points estimate and multiply it by the cost per point and again by the markup or profit we want to attain and that gives us our project estimate. We manage how well we are doing against our estimates by tracking Scrum velocity on a weekly basis at the macro level, not at the project detail level. If it is going up, we are working faster than we thought, staying the same, okay, but not improving, declining, something isn’t right and we need to fix it.