Slicing, Dicing and Estimating User Stories: Getting Ready for the Next Sprint with NK Shrivastava

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this training, learners will be able to: 

  • Perform slicing, dicing, and estimating user stories so they are right-sized for the next sprint.
  • Explain/educate the user story splitting techniques to other members of their team.
  • Develop/improve/enhance the definition of ready (DoR) for their team, working collaboratively with other team members.


Do you miss your sprint goals quite often? Do you struggle to complete stories within a sprint? Are you challenged to break larger stories into smaller stories? Would you like to improve your estimation and planning skills for your agile projects? If the answer is “yes” for one or more of these questions, then this training is for you. You need more guidance to get a deeper understanding of backlog/story grooming which includes slicing, dicing, and estimating user stories. Smaller and right-sized user stories help in developing a more realistic sprint plan that the team can deliver without leaving stories incomplete at the end of the sprint or moving them from one sprint to the other. This training is not only beneficial for Scrum teams, but any agile team using any methodology (such as XP, Kanban, or even hybrid approaches), since breaking larger requirements into smaller chunks helps everyone.

Grooming is a step-by-step process of taking high-level (“coarse-grained”) requirements and refining them to lower-level user stories and tasks (“fine-grained”) that are ready to be consumed by the team. Backlog grooming is typically a product owner role that requires skill in prioritizing requirements and breaking down requirements into smaller chunks (stories) with the help of the customer and development team. In this training, which includes hands-on exercises and fun activities, you will learn different approaches and techniques for slicing and dicing larger user stories or epics into smaller stories. You will also learn how to estimate requirements, features, epics, and user stories so you can right-size them for sprints. The key to success is leveraging knowledge, tools, and techniques as well as the expertise of your team to refine requirements iteratively so you can achieve your sprint goals without any stress or surprises.



    • Introduction and Expectation Setting
    • Quick Agile Overview
      • What is and what is not agile? 
      • Why agile? Benefits of agile
      • Values, principles, and practices 
      • Methodologies and frameworks – Scrum, XP, Kanban, Lean, Scaling Agile
      • Video: What is agile?
      • Fun group activity – Paper plane game
    • About User Stories
      • What is a user story?
      • Why are user stories needed?
      • Features, epics, and user stories
      • Three C’s of user stories
      • How to write a good user story
      • Good user story criteria – INVEST
      • Selection of a case study (one for each group)
      • Video – Using user stories to make decisions
      • Group exercise  – Writing user stories based on the case study
    • Slicing and Dicing User Stories Part 1
      • Overview of splitting (slicing and dicing) user stories
      • When to slice and dice
      • Story-splitting patterns
      • Video – How to split user stories quickly
      • Group exercise – Identifying patterns in the team’s user stories
    • Retrospective/End of Day 1
    • Review Day 1 and Refine Plan for Day 2
    • Slicing and Dicing User Stories Part 2
      • Common approaches
      • Step-by-step approach
      • Examples of slicing and dicing
      • Story splitting checklist
      • Group exercise – Splitting (slicing and dicing) 2–4 user stories for the case study
    • Estimation/Sizing
      • Cone of uncertainty in estimating
      • Three levels of estimation/sizing (roadmap, release, sprint)
      • Relative sizing/affinity estimation
      • Sprint-level estimating and ideal time
      • Business value points
      • Bang for your buck
      • Outcome versus output
      • Calculating velocity
      • Antipatterns
      • Video – Estimating and sizing
      • Group exercise – Estimating features/epics/stories with relative sizing/affinity estimation
      • Group exercise – Right-sizing user stories
    • Definition of Ready
      • Why do we need a definition of ready (DoR)?
      • What does it mean for a user story to be “ready”?
      • Video – What does it mean to be “ready-ready”?
      • What is a DoR (example)?
      • Who creates a DoR?
      • DoR checklist
      • Individual/group activity – Develop a DoR for the case study project
    • Retrospective and Final Q&A
      • Fun activity – Quiz
      • Course retrospective
      • Final Q&A

PDU Allocation Table

The table below displays the number of professional development units (PDUs) awarded for each PMI® credential, as they align to the PMI Talent Triangle®. Power Skills and Business Acumen PDUs apply evenly across all credentials and Ways of Working PDUs apply only to specific credentials. PDUs will be added in full to all eligible credentials. *Please note that the asterisked row below applies to the PMI® Agile Certification Journey and includes Disciplined Agile® Scrum Master (DASM), Disciplined Agile® Senior Scrum Master (DASSM), Disciplined Agile® Coach (DAC), and Disciplined Agile® Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC) certifications.
Ways of Working Power Skills Business Acumen Total
CAPM® / PMI-CP™ / PMP® / PgMP® 10 4 0 14.00
PMI-ACP® / Agile* 10 4 0 14.00
PMI-SP® 0 4 0 4.00
PMI-RMP® 0 4 0 4.00
PfMP® 0 4 0 4.00
PMI-PBA® 0 4 0 4.00
Ways of Working Power Skills Business Acument Talent Triangle



Narendra NK Shrivastava

CEO of RefineM LLC and an experienced Project Management Consultant, Trainer, and Agile Coach. He is a highly accomplished, strategic, and business-savvy consultant with more than 25 years of experience in project management, risk management and process improvements. NK is an experienced instructor/trainer on project management topics and specializes in PMP exam preparation, project management fundamentals, risk management, earned value management and Agile.

Training Information

20 - 21 November 2024
2 Days


Member Price
(US$1385.00 before 7 October)
Nonmember Price
(US$1585.00 before 7 October)
Government Price
Student Price

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