PlaceHolder Story

[pleys-hohl-der stawr-ee, stohr-ee]

Definition of PlaceHolder Story

A PlaceHolder Story is a Story that represents a ‘known unknown’ (or contains StoryPoints to be used for ‘known unknowns’). One of the most common issues for Scrum Teams is what to do about work that it expects to have to do during a Sprint, but doesn’t actually know the details about yet, such as fixing bugs in existing systems, or expected sales support efforts. Using PlaceHolder Stories is a form of buffer and is used as part of contingency planning.

Examples

These PlaceHolder Stories are Stories that hold StoryPoints to be used for as-yet-unknown work.
One of the most common types of PlaceHolder Stories is the ‘Bug to be Named Later’ Story, which simply reserves some StoryPoints to be used to fix bugs (probably in other systems) that the Team will be obligated to fix during the Sprint.
We knew we had a few sales calls coming up, but weren't sure about the size of the story. We used a Placeholder Story to hold a budget of StoryPoints for these calls.

Cite This Term

"PlaceHolder Story." ScrumDictionary.com. Accessed Mar 26, 2019.
https://scrumdictionary.com/term/placeholder-story/.