Scrum task and User story

Anthony Lucia
Anthony Lucia used Ask the Experts™
My understanding from reading the literature is that the difference between a story and a task is that a task may take between 4 and 12 hours and may be directly associated with a user story.  However, if the story would take too long, the story would  be broken down between several tasks.  

The definition I am reading seems a bit nebulous,.  Is this correct?

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Yes that's correct. It is a bit nebulous.

Development teams can set their own guidelines for what works well. My last company had a size limit of 2 people for 2 days. My current company uses story points and we don't have an explicit guideline for max size.
The biggest difference between a task and story is not associated with time. Mark is right that teams should self-organize to decide on the guidelines that work best for them.

- A task is something you can check off a to-do list, like running a cron or changing copy.
- A story is a new feature, or some sort of value, and focused around the end user. It's a description of high-level requirements that should start a conversation. It tends to be more open-ended than a task and allows a team to collaborate on how to deliver the value. You're right that stories do tend to get broken into tasks, or subtasks, once that collaborate has occured.

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