Estimating is hard. In fact, estimating is sometimes considered one of the hardest aspects of development. While for reasons beyond your control you can never guarantee the accuracy of our estimates, you can control how well you deliver and defend the estimates you provide. In this episode we are not talking about how you can provide better estimate numbers, but the processes you can develop in yourself so that you can be confident about the estimates you deliver.
Why estimating is an important development skill
- Something that you will be constantly asked to do in your development career
- Helps you to think more critically of your development work
- Provides opportunities for collaboration and communication with our team
Before creating an estimate
- Establish what you know vs. what you do not know
- Ask questions to remove as many gaps as possible
- Have the mindset that your estimates will never be the actual number
Methods of estimating
- PERT system: Optimal value, Nominal value, Pessimistic value. Averaged.
- Planning Poker: work with team to discuss and agree upon a value.
- Comparative: Look at similar previous work, how long did that take you?
- Breakdown: Split item into smaller workable pieces then estimate the pieces.
How to deliver estimates
- Establish that you are providing your best guess based on what you know
- Provide context and information around your estimate
- Defend your estimate with your assumptions and experiences.
- Record and get sign-off of your estimate from stakeholders.
- What methods/tools do you use to develop estimates?
- What are your opinions about estimates?
- Write some code to generate a PERT number for your estimates.
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Previous episodes mentioned
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