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Agile Estimating

Agile Estimating in Scrum – Why Estimate Twice?

In my series of posts “How to Implement Scrum in 10 Easy Steps“, I refer to two stages of estimating: Step 2 is how to estimate your Product Backlog. Step 4 is estimating tasks in Sprint Planning. Someone recently asked me a very good question – why estimate twice? I thought it would be worth addressing this question here… The

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Agile Software Development Estimating Experiment

I recently came across this agile estimating experiment by Lance Walton. The article is quite old now but I still found it very interesting… In recent years, I’ve had quite a fascination with the concept of velocity and estimating in points. To be honest, it took me quite a while to really get this concept! But once I understood the

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Agile Estimating: The Secret To Delivering On Time

For decades, delivering on time has been the holy grail of software development. I’ve been doing agile software development for quite a few years now. I’ve seen many benefits, but one of the most remarkable things of all, is how so many teams can quickly get good at delivering on time. It’s the art – and/or science – of predicting

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To Estimate or Not To Estimate? That is the Question!

Lean software development shares many of the key principles of agile software development. Although one of the key aspects of lean development is all about identifying and eliminating waste from the development process… One of the most hotly debated aspects of this is estimating. It clearly doesn’t contribute to the end product itself, but is estimating really waste? Or does

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Estimating in Agile Development

I’ve written quite a bit about various aspects of estimating in agile development. I think it’s about time I joined up the dots… Product Backlog The Product Backlog is a feature list. Or a list of User Stories if that’s your approach. Either way, it is a simple list of things that are of value to a user – not

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Planning Poker – Agile Estimating

Planning Poker is an estimating technique used by many agile software development teams. Like many agile development techniques, Planning Poker is very simple. Simple, but effective. First of all, agile teams should ideally estimate together. As a team. If the team is big, and people are working on different products, it’s okay to split the team into smaller groups. But

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Burndown User Stories, Rather Than Tasks

I was very interested to read this blog post from Ron Jeffries about burning down user stories rather than tasks. Excuse the pun, but this is a hot topic for me at the moment 🙂 If it’s possible to avoid the time spent in Sprint Planning, breaking user stories into tasks and estimating them in hours, this would reduce the

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Estimating in Points Seems a Bit Stupid!

A while ago I blogged about “What’s the Point in estimating?“. To be honest, I didn’t understand the concept of estimating in Points when we first adopted agile. Actually, I thought it sounded a bit stupid! But I get it now, and it makes a lot of sense. I would add to my original blog post now, that developers are

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Agile Project Planning

Projects are a necessary evil 🙂 But necessary they are. Some people really feel the need to understand precisely what the project will cost and exactly long it will take. If this is the basis for investment, of course that’s a completely understandable feeling. For years, traditional waterfall projects have been sold on the false pretense that projects are predictable.

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Agile Release Planning

A software release may result from multiple iterations (or ‘Sprints’ in Scrum). Sprint Planning is about planning what’s included in the next iteration. Whereas Release Planning is about planning multiple Sprints, in order to predict when a release (or releases) might be delivered. Release Planning is a very simple way of doing some top-down planning. Much less complex than a

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