Fix you some bad estimation habits

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Slides as given for the Feb. 12, 2014 talk at Bay Area Software Testers.

(btw, I failed to give credit for the "Stand Back!" t-shirt image, it was from the XKCD T-shirt here: http://store-xkcd-com.myshopify.com/products/try-science)

Also forgot reference to the paper on Fibonacci numbers in planning poker affecting estimates: http://simula.no/publications/Simula.simula.1282/simula_pdf_file

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Fix you some bad estimation habits

  1. 1. fix you estimating bad habits TED M. YOUNG RENAISSANCE CODER & AGILE/LEAN HERETIC AT GUIDEWIRE SOFTWARE
  2. 2. estimating bugs AND OTHER "OVERHEAD"
  3. 3. ignoring all previous or other projects REFERENCE CLASS FORECASTING (OUTSIDE VIEW) LARGE ORGS HAVE AN ADVANTAGE HERE
  4. 4. The prevalent tendency to underweight, or ignore, distributional information is perhaps the major error of intuitive prediction. TVERSKY & KAHNEMAN, 1977
  5. 5. Bad habit number 8 ignoring variability of velocity VELOCITY CAN EXHIBIT A ± 2× SPREAD OF VARIATION
  6. 6. not using statistics
  7. 7. STATISTICS
  8. 8. From: Troy Magennis 2012
  9. 9. using single values NEGLECTING DISTRIBUTIONAL INFORMATION
  10. 10. WHAT WE THINK OUR ESTIMATE DISTRIBUTION IS Image from "Estimates in Software Development", Dubakov 2013
  11. 11. flaw of averages WHY EVERYTHING IS BEHIND SCHEDULE
  12. 12. ESTIMATE DISTRIBUTION IS MORE LIKE LOG -NORMAL OR WEIBULL AT TRIBUTE SUBSTITUTION? Image from "Estimates in Software Development", Dubakov 2013
  13. 13. Bad habit number 3 treating every type of estimate the same way EPICS, THEMES, STORIES, TASKS: POINTS FOR ALL!
  14. 14. Bad habit number ignoring value of thing being estimated SPEND LOTS OF TIME ON THINGS OF LIT TLE VALUE CUZ IT'S EASIER!
  15. 15. Bad habit number think about your estimate not theirs YOU UNDERESTIMATE YOUR OWN COMPLETION TIME BUT NOT OTHERS'!
  16. 16. estimating things you'll never work on Bad habit number 5
  17. 17. Bad habit number 3 only estimating touch time DISCUSSION? COORDINATION? BAH, WHO NEEDS IT?
  18. 18. Bad habit number 9 estimating time instead of complexity or effort POINTS/SIZES GET EQUATED TO TIME IN BOTH DIRECTIONS!
  19. 19. completion date or hours of work? THEY'RE NOT THE SAME THING
  20. 20. using non-linear values for estimating FIBONACCI AND NON -LINEAR SEQUENCES DECREASE ESTIMATES USE T-SHIRT SIZES INSTEAD
  21. 21. using planning poker AT TEMPT TO REMOVE ANCHORING BIAS REPLACES IT WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY
  22. 22. estimating what we think the story is INSTEAD OF WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT IF THIS STORY IS IMPLEMENTED?
  23. 23. premature estimation HAVE YOU EXPLORED THE OPTIONS BEFORE COMMIT TING?
  24. 24. treating all estimates as commitments NOT APPROPRIATE UNTIL WE GET BET TER AT ESTIMATING
  25. 25. practicing estimation without deliberateness PRACTICE ≠ DELIBERATE PRACTICE REF. DEFINITION OF INSANITY
  26. 26. not experimenting IF ESTIMATING DOESN'T DO EVERYTHING YOU NEED HOW ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPROVE?
  27. 27. overvaluing estimation STOP FIGHTING OVER PRECISION YOUR ACCURACY DOESN'T MAT TER EITHER
  28. 28. deliberate deception THE MACHIAVELLI FACTOR OR OVERLY SUBSERVIENT BOWING TO POLITICAL PRESSURE
  29. 29. Bad habit number 1 assuming you need estimates MAYBE YOU DON'T? HOW WOULD YOU FIND OUT? #N OEST IMATES
  30. 30. Final Questions? TWITTER - @JITTERTED HTTP://ABOUT.ME/TEDMYOUNG EMAIL - TEDYOUNG@GMAIL.COM
  31. 31. Resources 50 Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories (In-progress Leanpub e-book) ◦ http://leanpub.com/50quickideas Throughput (Blog entry by Zsolt Fabók) ◦ http://zsoltfabok.com/blog/2014/01/throughput/ Intuitive Prediction (1977 paper by Kahneman & Tversky about the "planning fallacy") ◦ http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA047747 Judgment under uncertainty (1974 paper by Tversky & Kahneman) ◦ http://www.sciencemag.org/content/185/4157/1124.short Delusions of Success: How Optimism Undermines Executives' Decisions (Lovallo & Kahneman) ◦ http://j.mp/delusions-of-success Modeling, Simulation & data mining (Slides from Troy Magennis & Larry Maccherone) ◦ http://j.mp/simulation-magennis Estimates in Software Development (Dubakov, May 2013) ◦ http://www.targetprocess.com/articles/estimates-software-development.html

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