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Agile Estimating

Estimation – Bad Advice

Here’s a fun article on PMI.org.  By omission, it gives some very bad advice about estimation.  What is it missing?  Asking the people who are going to do the work!!!  Any estimation method or approach that fails to ask the actual human beings who are going to do the work about the effort required is […]

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Simulating a Project by Resampling Velocity

I normally write about a new technique only after I’ve used it for a couple of years and have found it successful in a couple of different contexts. In this post I want to share something just such a technique. It’s a statistical technique called “resampling” that I’ve become quite fond of for making predictions […]

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Who Owns the Risk?

Back in my late 20′s I was a project manager in a pretty good sized IT shop. I worked under a great VP that put me in situations that were really beyond my abilities.  He fundamentally believed that I’d do a good job for him. He trusted that I’d learn what I needed to learn […]

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Seeing How Well a Team’s Story Points Align from One to Eight

The topic of how well a team estimates two point stories relative to one point stories (and so on) has come up in a couple of comments and replies on this blog recently, so let’s discuss it. Here’s a graph showing relevant data from one company: Each column of data and pair of bars shows […]

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The Real Reason We Estimate

Over the past few months, various blog posts have popped up talking about estimation, how estimation is unnecessary, how estimation is waste… and that maybe we should stop estimating entirely and just get down to the business of writing software. If our estimates are always wrong, and most of the time they are, why should […]

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Estimating a Full Backlog Based on a Sample of It

I want to address a question I was sent recently and that I get asked about once a month. The question has to do with how we estimate how many hours it will take to deliver a given product backlog if we have no historical data at all. My first bit of advice is always […]

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Estimating Non-Functional Requirements

A few weeks back I promised someone I would blog about the unique challenges of estimating non-functional requirements. First, let’s remember that a non-functional requirement is a requirement that is more about the state of being of the system than about one specific thing the system does. Non-functional requirements often have to do with performance, […]

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Why Estimate?

Most people think about estimating as a way to figure out how big stuff is, so we can decide what we are going to build and when we are going to build it. More often than not, I find myself using estimation to help teams figure out what we are NOT going to build. Rather […]

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Determining How Many Task Hours an Agile Team Can Accomplish

Note from Mike… I want to welcome Jim Magers to the LeadingAgile team.  Jim is doing a project with me in Minneapolis, and I asked him to join me here and share some of his experiences from the field.  You can learn more about Jim on his bio page. Your team is new to agile. […]

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5 Reasons Why You Should Stop Estimating User Stories

1. You don’t waste time on estimation Estimation takes time. Even if you do planning poker and use story points, it still takes time. What do you do to improve estimation accuracy? You gather some data, analyze the data and discuss the results. You are spending time on all that. But are you sure that […]

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