Estimation or, "How to Dig your Grave"
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Estimation or, "How to Dig your Grave"

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Clients need to know how much a project will cost. Waterfall development is always late and over-budget. Agile development is done when it's done. You're left with estimates that you know are too......

Clients need to know how much a project will cost. Waterfall development is always late and over-budget. Agile development is done when it's done. You're left with estimates that you know are too low and then you squeeze them anyway. It shouldn't be this way. We'll look at how this happens, early warning signs, ways out and ways of avoiding it in the first place.

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  • 1. Estimation Or,“How to Dig your own Grave” Rowan Merewood
  • 2. Who
  • 3. Who● Software Engineer● & Team Lead● at Ibuildings
  • 4. Who● Software Engineer● & Team Lead● at Ibuildings● @rowan_m
  • 5. Why
  • 6. Why● Ive seen (& made) mistakes
  • 7. Why● Ive seen (& made) mistakes● You can avoid them
  • 8. Why● Ive seen (& made) mistakes● You can avoid them● Make your own
  • 9. What could possibly go wrong?
  • 10. Sales create estimates
  • 11. Sales create estimates ● Use skills correctly
  • 12. Sales create estimates ● Use skills correctly ● Send a dev with sales
  • 13. Sales create estimates ● Use skills correctly ● Send a dev with sales ● If youre sales & dev...
  • 14. Sales create estimates ● Use skills correctly ● Send a dev with sales ● If youre sales & dev... remember which hat youre wearing
  • 15. Lone developer creates estimates
  • 16. Lone developer creates estimates● Its ok, hes a ROCKSTAR
  • 17. Lone developer creates estimates● Its ok, hes a ROCKSTAR● Independent estimates
  • 18. Lone developer creates estimates● Its ok, hes a ROCKSTAR● Independent estimates● Or, at least review
  • 19. Estimate from detailed task lists
  • 20. Estimate from detailed task lists ● You know it will change
  • 21. Estimate from detailed task lists ● You know it will change ● Gives misplaced confidence
  • 22. Estimate from detailed task lists ● You know it will change ● Gives misplaced confidence ● Encourages micro- management
  • 23. Estimate a day as 8 hours
  • 24. Estimate a day as 8 hours● 16 hr. task == 2 days
  • 25. Estimate a day as 8 hours● 16 hr. task == 2 days (ha ha – youre cute)
  • 26. Estimate a day as 8 hours● 16 hr. task == 2 days (ha ha – youre cute)● You are not a code machine
  • 27. Estimate a day as 8 hours● 16 hr. task == 2 days (ha ha – youre cute)● You are not a code machine● Even if you are, your team is not
  • 28. Estimate a day as 8 hours● 16 hr. task == 2 days (ha ha – youre cute)● You are not a code machine● Even if you are, your team is not● Dev: 6 hr. Lead: 4 hr.
  • 29. Estimate in hours
  • 30. Estimate in hours● Still too much detail
  • 31. Estimate in hours● Still too much detail● Use ¼ days
  • 32. Estimate in hours● Still too much detail● Use ¼ days● ¼, ½, 1, 2, 3 days
  • 33. Estimate in hours● Still too much detail● Use ¼ days● ¼, ½, 1, 2, 3 days● 1, 3, 5, 7 days
  • 34. Estimate in hours● Still too much detail● Use ¼ days● ¼, ½, 1, 2, 3 days● 1, 3, 5, 7 days● Larger increments, larger projects
  • 35. Just estimate coding time
  • 36. Just estimate coding time ● Remember your overheads
  • 37. Just estimate coding time ● Remember your overheads ● Remember team overheads
  • 38. Just estimate coding time ● Remember your overheads ● Remember team overheads ● Think about dependencies
  • 39. Estimates as commitments
  • 40. Estimates as commitments ● Well, yes and no...
  • 41. Estimates as commitments ● Well, yes and no... ● List and quantify risk
  • 42. Estimates as commitments ● Well, yes and no... ● List and quantify risk ● Estimates != schedule
  • 43. Waterfall estimates are useless
  • 44. Waterfall estimates are useless● Fine, stop calling yourself an engineer
  • 45. Waterfall estimates are useless● Fine, stop calling yourself an engineer● Lots of work in “off-the-shelf” tasks
  • 46. Waterfall estimates are useless● Fine, stop calling yourself an engineer● Lots of work in “off-the-shelf” tasks● Cone of Uncertainty
  • 47. Agile means we cant estimate
  • 48. Agile means we cant estimate “Yeah, well, you know, thats just like, your opinion, man.”
  • 49. Agile means we cant estimate● Over-reaction to Waterfall “Yeah, well, you know, thats just like, your opinion, man.”
  • 50. Agile means we cant estimate● Over-reaction to Waterfall● Excuse to drop software engineering and just hack it “Yeah, well, you know, thats just like, your opinion, man.”
  • 51. Enough mistakes, time for a treat
  • 52. Help your client understand ● Estimates as a budget
  • 53. Help your client understand ● Estimates as a budget ● The Holy Triangle ● MoSCoW ● Kano model
  • 54. Holy Triangle GoodCheap Fast
  • 55. Holy Triangle Good Scope Quality CostCheap Time Fast
  • 56. MoSCoW ● Must ● Should ● Could ● Wont
  • 57. MoSCoW ● Must ● Should ● Could Density ● WontCapacity
  • 58. MoSCoW ● Must ● Should ● Could Density ● Wont
  • 59. MoSCoW ● Must ● Should ● Could Density ● Wont
  • 60. MoSCoW ● Must ● Should ● Could Density ● Wont
  • 61. MoSCoW ● Must ● Should ● Could Density ● Wont
  • 62. MoSCoW ● Must ● Should ● Could Density ● Wont
  • 63. Kano Model
  • 64. Kano Model● Basic functionality● Performance● Exciters
  • 65. Kano Model● Basic functionality High Satisfaction● Performance● Exciters Exciters Performance Feature Present Feature Absent Basic Low Satisfaction
  • 66. Earn their trust, then get agile
  • 67. Earn their trust, then get agile ● Low risk, fixed price to start
  • 68. Earn their trust, then get agile ● Low risk, fixed price to start ● Create a roadmap
  • 69. Earn their trust, then get agile ● Low risk, fixed price to start ● Create a roadmap ● Move to sprint-based work
  • 70. Gamble with Planning Poker
  • 71. Gamble with Planning Poker● The whole team makes the commitment
  • 72. Gamble with Planning Poker● The whole team makes the commitment● Combines independent estimates and review
  • 73. And now mistakes during projects
  • 74. Lose track of time
  • 75. Lose track of time● Developers hate time-tracking
  • 76. Lose track of time● Developers hate time-tracking● Automate if you can
  • 77. Lose track of time● Developers hate time-tracking● Automate if you can● Include it in stand-ups to update the burn-down
  • 78. Estimate bugs
  • 79. Estimate bugs ● “Nein, nein, nein! Das ist verboten!” -- @dzuelke
  • 80. Estimate bugs ● “Nein, nein, nein! Das ist verboten!” -- @dzuelke ● You do not know the size of the problem
  • 81. Estimate bugs ● “Nein, nein, nein! Das ist verboten!” -- @dzuelke ● You do not know the size of the problem ● Spend 3 days investigating – change 1 line of code
  • 82. Try to catch up
  • 83. Try to catch up● [wo]man up and admit youre wrong
  • 84. Try to catch up● [wo]man up and admit youre wrong● Dont burn yourself or your team out
  • 85. Try to catch up● [wo]man up and admit youre wrong● Dont burn yourself or your team out● Work overtime and you set a precedent
  • 86. Skip the review
  • 87. Skip the review● Make time to learn
  • 88. Skip the review● Make time to learn● Share your mistakes, so others avoid them
  • 89. Questions? ● Feedback http://joind.in/6321 (dont make me send the clown)
  • 90. Credits● All sculpture/photos © Tamra Kohl http://www.flickr.com/photos/claylindo/ (Used with kind permission)● Thank you!● Photo jiggery-pokery: http://pixlr.com/o-matic/● Background: http://www.colourlovers.com/pattern/635/Death_Flowers