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Content tagged with: estimating

[20 Sep 2012 | Comments Off on Story Points or Task Hours | ]

In this article, Chia Wei Cheng discusses the common controversies about story points and task hours during Scrum sprint planning. He defines story point as a high-level estimation of complexity made before sprint planning. On the other hand, he wrote that “the task-hour estimation is a low-level estimation made to represent the actual effort in hours needed to accomplish all the requirements of a story.

[13 Aug 2012 | Comments Off on 10 Deadly Sins of Software Estimation | ]

Steve McConnell presents 10 of the worst ways estimates go wrong and provides time-tested rules of thumb for dramatically improving estimation accuracy. The average project overruns its planned budget and schedule by 50%-80%. In practice, little work is done that could truly be called “estimation.” Many projects are scheduled using a combination of legitimate business targets and liberal doses of wishful thinking.

[7 Aug 2012 | Comments Off on Retrospective Velocity | ]

In this article, Brian Tarbox and Heather Mardis try to answer the classical question: “how long is this going to take?” They discuss the notion of velocity in Scrum and how to use it to estimate future sprints. But not all projects use the Scrum framework and people rarely record past estimates. They suggest to use the data of the requirement tracking system, bug database, and source code control system to calibrate velocity in traditional projects. Their conclusion is that you don’t have to be doing Scrum to get the …

[9 May 2012 | Comments Off on Individual Project Estimation | ]

Historically, estimation methods have focused on effort at the team level. Recent agile software development practices have shed light on taking individuals – who are acting as part of a team—into consideration. A lot of software – mobile device apps, services, components – is now written by one-person teams, thus demonstrating the need for engineering discipline at the individual level. Emerging trends in software development for mobile devices suggest effort estimation methods can be employed for one-person endeavors and those methods can benefit teams, but those methods are still very …

[7 May 2012 | Comments Off on Agile Estimation | ]

We’re agile, so we don’t have to estimate and have no deadlines, right? Wrong! This session provides a review of the problem with estimation in projects today, and then an overview of the concept of agile estimation and the notion of re-estimation.

[13 Apr 2012 | Comments Off on The Psychology of Estimation | ]

Estimation in software project management is often an issue. This blog post discusses some psychological aspects of estimating in software development. It explains the following effect that impact our estimation activity: The “halo” effect, framing effects, overconfidence, attribute Substitution, base-rate neglect and anchoring. It defines what they are and give hints on how to improve our estimation capabilities.

[23 Feb 2012 | Comments Off on Why Agile Estimates Are Better | ]

Is there a relationship between the dependency of project tasks and the achievement of work close to the estimated date? This is the discussion that Assaf Stone carries in his blog post “Do Agile Estimation Techniques Really Account for Scrum Projects’ Successes?“. His conclusion is that a project with multi-dependent tasks has an increased tendency towards being late with each added task. As Scrum tends to specify work with user stories that have with no dependencies between them, Agile projects have an increased tendency towards the estimate.

[16 Nov 2011 | Comments Off on Estimating the Unknown | ]

“Almost every manager I know wants to know when a project will be done” says Johanna Rothman at the beginning of this series of blog posts that deal with project schedule and budget estimation. The answer is that you don’t have to gamble to provide estimates to managers. You do have options to manage this situation, but all of them require iterating on the estimates and the project.

[8 Nov 2011 | Comments Off on Successful Agile Planning: An Iteration How-to | ]

This video explains how to get on the right track with planning, executing, inspecting and adapting your Agile iterations. It presents: proven techniques for leading a team, or teams, through an effective iteration planning meeting, hands-on exercises for building product vision and backlog, and answers to the most common stumbling blocks for new Agile teams, including writing user stories and estimating.

[22 Sep 2011 | Comments Off on Transitioning From Time-Based to Relative Estimation | ]

Your team has adopted the relative story point estimation and you are now ready to jump into your first planning poker session. Where do you start? What is a 1-point story? What is a 3-point story? What is a 13-point story? Your team is looking to you and this process is almost as new to you as it is to them.