When you try to estimate and then track how much time a software engineering project and individual tasks within it will take. You need an agreement for that on your team. For years I have used something I made up when I worked at an Agency because story points didn't work well for my needs. Later, that was revised by the engineering team at Ekho to be easier to understand and use. I thought the method might be useful to others so I'm posting it here. This is nice for estimations and simple, since you can just take anything > 10 and divide by 10 to get number of sprints. This can be translated easily to calendars, gantt charts, etc.
Each request that flowed into our issue tracking system and got assigned to a sprint was assigned an LOE when it was accepted or estimated. This gave the team the ability to gauge if they were on track as well and make reasonable promises about due dates. I would generally say that once your team is good at using this scale to estimate you can reliability predict the data of a project by +/- 5% and that isn't easy.
Any single feature or job that scores in that high range of 8-10+ really should be carefully analyzed before assignment and every attempt made to break it down into smaller pieces. Sometimes, to do big things, there will be big multi-sprint LOE's. But, that should be rare in most software development projects.
Level of Effort (LOE) SCALE
This scale assumes one week sprints. It's easy to adapt to different length sprint schedules.
LOE 1 = 1/2 day for one Full Time Employee (FTE)
0 - A quick fix
1 - Some work that will take about one half(1/2) day for one FTE
2 - Some work that will take about one day for one FTE
4 - Some work that will take between about 1/2 sprint for one FTE (about 2-3 days)
8 - Some work that will take a little longer than 1/2 sprint (around 3-4 days)
10 - Some work that will take 1 full sprint (i.e. 1 work week)
10+ anything over 1 sprint (1 week) (i.e LOE 20 = 2 weeks, LOE 30 = 3 weeks)