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New in Pivotal Tracker: Custom Point Scales

You can now create custom point scales for your Pivotal Tracker projects. This is one of our most commonly requested features, especially from teams that practice, and/or use the planning poker form of estimation.

The default point scales of 1/2/3, 1/2/4/8, and 1/2/3/5/8 remain in place, unchanged. To use a different set of point values for your project, go to your project settings, choose ‘custom’ in the point scale dropdown, and enter a list of numbers, separated by commas.

When using a custom point scale, the estimate values will appear as numbers, instead of the usual bars that you see when using one of the default point scales.

Unestimated stories will show the first 5 point values as buttons. If your point scale has more values, you can choose one of them to estimate a story by clicking the ‘+’ button on the right.

In general, we believe in breaking down projects and features into fine grained stories, with small point estimates. This gives your team an opportunity to uncover and discuss all of interesting, and potentially risky parts of a feature early, and allow you to de-prioritize parts that are less important. However, we’re also fans of having choices when it comes to process, and customizable point scales will allow you to experiment.

We’d love to hear your feedback, either in comments here, via email, or over at Twitter!

  1. Tom O'Dea says:

    This is great news! We will use them for planning instead of writing (EPIC) in front of a story that we have in the icebox. This way we can pop these stories into the bottom of the backlog to get some sort of an estimate without having to break it up into small pieces (which we’ll do when we get further along).


  2. Vyktur says:

    Fractional point values! Allowing that would be a fantastic solution to a mature project that has been longing for this feature, but can’t take it without changing the meaning of a point. Why doesn’t this allow fractional values?

  3. Dan Podsedly says:

    Fractional point values will require an API version change, but we do plan to add 0.5 as a supported point value soon. Look for it as part of the APV V4 release, coming in the next month or so.

  4. Hernan Lopez Mereles says:

    Once I’ve almost persuaded my whole team to cut stories and estimate from 0 to 8 you come up with this Dan!! Come on!!
    Just kiddin’, it’s an excellent improvement and it let us set different models into our projects. This definitely suit us just right, thumbs up!!

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