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# A simple model for estimating without guessing

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A straightforward way to forecast project progress in an agile environment.

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### A simple model for estimating without guessing

1. 1. Neil Killick, Lead Agile Coach neilkillick.com neil2killick@gmail.com @neil_killick A simple model for Estimating without guessing Copyright Neil Killick, 2015
2. 2. In complex environments, what will happen is unknown. Only what has happened may be used for forward-looking decision-making. -- The Scrum Guide
3. 3. Backlog Doing Done How long will this card take? Ready ?
4. 4. Backlog Doing Done Days Stories 1 2 3 4 5 5.3% 5.3% 26.3% How long will this card take? 26.3% 36.8% Ready 100.0% 94.7% 89.4% 63.1% 36.8% ?
5. 5. Milestone 1 Backlog Doing Done How about this card? Ready ?
6. 6. Measure throughput and standard deviation (variance). The variance empirically represents different story sizes. Throughput: 4, 4, 5, 4, 5, 4, 4 Avg throughput = 4.3 Std dev = 0.5 Throughput: 4, 8, 2, 3, 5, 4, 4 Avg throughput = 4.3 Std dev = 1.9
7. 7. Average throughput + standard deviation = Optimistic throughput forecast Average throughput - standard deviation = Pessimistic throughput forecast
8. 8. We can now answer the standard estimate questions using empirical data.
9. 9. When will milestone 1 be done? Most likely mid-late December
10. 10. What will be done by Jan 1st? Most likely, milestone 1 and some of milestone 2
11. 11. When will milestone 2 be done? Most likely in first half of January
12. 12. Will milestone 2 be done by Jan 1st? (aka “Are we on track?”) Highly unlikely (optimistic forecast for current scope falls after date)
13. 13. Will milestone 2 be done by Jan 4th? Maybe (optimistic says yes, neutral says no)
14. 14. Will milestone 2 be done by Jan 7th? Maybe (neutral says yes, pessimistic says no)
15. 15. Will milestone 2 be done by Jan 15th? Highly likely (pessimistic forecast for current scope falls before date)
16. 16. ❏ Use empirical data ❏ Measure throughput and incorporate variance using standard deviation ❏ Avoid surprises by using ranges and shades of confidence In summary
17. 17. Neil Killick, Lead Agile Coach neilkillick.com neil2killick@gmail.com @neil_killick Copyright Neil Killick, 2015