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Agile evangelists frequently skip the realities of the world. This is especially true when it comes to estimation. It often appears as if authors and presenters live in a world in which the customer is always a deep-pocketed in-house resource, with an abundance of confidence in the development team.
The realities, however, is that whether doing in-house development or contracting, the customer expects estimates for the development work. Potential benefits have to be weighed against estimated costs.
This talk deals with why estimation is crucial also in an Agile world.
Agile projects are hardly immune to overruns, delays and bad business decisions based on poor estimates. Before one can sit down and use “Planning Poker” or similar techniques for estimating sprints or releases, it is often necessary to provide a relative accurate estimate of total project delivery schedule and costs.
The talk presents five collaborative techniques to use for estimating software projects up front:
All techniques have various strengths and weaknesses. They have been detailed to a great extent in the literature, but actual experiences and scientific results for use in Agile projects are scarce.
Combination techniques also supplement each other, and may be appropriate to use at different stages of a project. I.e. some techniques are more suitable for estimating projects up front (e.g. in bidding), some are good for release planning, and some are good for more detailed sprint planning.