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Questions tagged [estimation]

For questions about the estimation of the project's parameters, such as time or cost.

22
votes
7answers
16k views

How do you schedule delivery dates in Scrum?

I've run into a constant issue. When a project starts, the client typically has a list of functionalities to be built in to the application. As a team we would like to follow Scrum. But the next thing ...
142
votes
18answers
86k views

Why use story points instead of hours for estimating?

After using hours to estimate our projects for a long time and rarely coming within 20% of actual "work-to-ship," I have been told by a handful of people that "points" work a lot better at gauging the ...
17
votes
4answers
8k views

In Scrum, how to estimate research stories?

In our Scrum team, when there is uncertainty about a story or the team is not sure about how to implement it, we take up a research story first. Based on the findings of this research story, we are ...
20
votes
7answers
4k views

Why use both story points and hours?

I'm a new scrum master for a team that is using story point estimation and hours. We do story points first during grooming and then hours during planning. I always thought of story points as being ...
85
votes
9answers
36k views

How to estimate amount of work/man hours for an unfamiliar task?

Sooner or later we come across a task in our project, with which we are totally unfamiliar ('we' as in PM, but also possibly the staff assigned to do this particular task). How can we estimate ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

In scrum should incomplete stories be re-estimated or does the original estimate get burned down when it's finally completed?

If I have a story that's been estimated at 10 story points and we don't manage to complete it in a sprint how do you handle estimates for the sprint in which it's next included (assuming it gets ...
12
votes
5answers
427 views

Discerning estimate validity

I've had experiences in the past where different developers will give different qualities of estimates--which then have to be consolidated into a single project plan--only with a twist. One ...
5
votes
7answers
10k views

How to estimate accurate velocity when team members are on leave

I am a Scrum Master of a team with 12 members. I know that the size of the team is large at this point, but as we grow further we will divide the team into multiple Scrum Teams. Our estimations for ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

Aligning story points' value

We've ended up with non-linear weighing of our points. I worry this makes reporting velocity data erroneous. Background: A fairly traditional deck is used: ?, 0, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100, ...
18
votes
6answers
13k views

Where should design be incorporated in an agile process?

We use a scrum-based agile development process. But where should design get incorporated? Separate user stories? Tasks on stories? We currently think of design as a separate task and break it out as ...
11
votes
6answers
639 views

Why use iterations in Scrum?

I am a Scrum Master in a 7 person team. We currently use one-week iterations for our sprints. I find that sprint planning overhead is huge (2 hours each week for entire team), and not nearly as ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Should velocity increase with time?

Some scrum masters are concerned with "bumping up" a team's velocity during a sprint, as if a higher velocity is better. But points are a relative measure of the work that a team needs to do for ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any published research about story points vs time estimation?

We're getting started with Scrum and have had a few debates about whether we should estimate in story points or ideal hours. The team is pretty divided, so I'd like to know if any real studies have ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Sizing an entire backlog using story points

I'm a PM on a large multi-year project with a sizable backlog of work implementing Scrum in 4 week release cycles. I hold weekly backlog grooming sessions with the project team and key business ...
10
votes
3answers
571 views

How to use Story Points, if User Stories are completely different?

Story Points (SP) is a good measurement, that allows estimating User Stories. SP (in my understanding, it's an important note) is convenient because it is relative and not related with time. All ...
13
votes
7answers
429 views

How can I make unit testing a priority?

As a one man band delivering smallish web development projects, I found that nearly all regression issues that clients find in the final development phase of the project could be found with unit tests ...
1
vote
6answers
774 views

Velocity of the team

If i have been provided with the information of six sprints having story points like 20,21,22,23,24,25,26 then what should be the velocity of the team ?
8
votes
3answers
7k views

How to estimate a project budget using story points?

Current workflow in our company: I create Given/When/Then scenarios or User stories Developers estimate Scenarios/User stories in hours, by giving minimum and maximum amount of time for 1 scenario/...
21
votes
10answers
2k views

Is estimating a project without basic requirements or user stories a good idea for a fixed cost proposal?

I am currently trying to create an estimate for a software proposal. In this context, we are requesting a fixed cost amount of funds. I personally lean toward Agile development practices. I, however,...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

How should a team handle disagreements about story-point estimates in Scrum?

During estimation, the Product Owner presents a user story that seems clear to a team that usually knows their strengths and weaknesses, and that is not hostile. What should the Scrum Master do if the ...
24
votes
7answers
1k views

How can a new PM manage a failing project in a few hours per week?

I am working as a beginning scientist and was given the management role for a small project (5 internal scientists, 1-2 external software contractors). What are the absolute essentials I need to ...
11
votes
4answers
876 views

Forecasting Story Points in Agile

Are there any methods to fairly estimate story points for a project before deep diving into the planning poker part. I am asking this because sometimes at project initiation it helps to know the ...
16
votes
5answers
601 views

Deliver results when finished significantly prior to the agreed deadline?

In the seldom cases where your project (or milestone) completion estimation was too pessimistic, do you deliver results right away? If not, which tasks do you assign your team members in the meantime? ...
14
votes
4answers
374 views

Who pays for learning curve?

Should a client be billed for a certain amount of the learning curve? Should an employer pick up the tab on overhead? Should it be the developer themselves? Or perhaps a combination of all three? I ...
9
votes
2answers
717 views

Agile estimation and communication of price to customers

I'm new to this Agile way of doing estimates. For a long time I have been working in the classical way of estimating the whole project up front (roughly). Now I have started to look into the Agile ...
3
votes
4answers
432 views

Best measurable units for non cross-functional team estimation

I have a new development team and I want to use Story Points for high-level estimation. But I have two problems: My new team is not cross-functional (we are trying to solve this, but this is a slow ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

What tools can help me estimate a project length?

I need a way to make fast estimates: For example I'd like to know how long it takes to take a mobile device from nothing to production... let say that a customer wants a IPHONE like product(scope) ......
8
votes
4answers
788 views

Estimation given in days and need to plan in Agile

The client internally feels that this is about 500 developer days worth of work and there could potentially be 4 developers (or pairs of developers) that work in parallel. We need to go back to them ...
5
votes
3answers
451 views

How to make realistic long term time estimations when adopting Agile methodology?

I just started to manage the technical department of a small web design firm. It's the first time I'm faced with such a job and I'm trying to figure out how to improve their project management ...
4
votes
4answers
410 views

Scrum team committments

If my Scrum team is always completing 100% of their committed items, is that a good thing? Given the amount of variability in software development, this would seem to indicate something is fishy to me,...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

How granular should an estimate be for building a web page?

Sufficient Granularity? I have a ASP.NET web page to construct. The design of the UI and classes is already complete. I have prepared a task breakdown, including hours needed for each task. Does ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Agile. Release planning. Why do I need stories instead of themes/epics

I'm reading Mike Kohn's book about Agile estimation. At the same time I have a release planning in couple of days. It's going to be 6 months (12 sprints release). We have the ideas about what needs ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What can we do with a “mispointed” story in Scrum?

Is it OK to repoint the story at the beginning of the new sprint to reflect the size that we have now discovered it to be so our velocity is more accurate? On rare occasions, our team will work a ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I get inexperienced team members to meet project deadlines?

Recently, we have hired bunch of people who say they have little experience on technology. When I delegate jobs to them and ask for a timeline, they give unrealistic timelines of around 3-5 months. I ...
17
votes
5answers
431 views

How should I account for non-coding time when estimating duration of a coding task?

I was wondering whether this approach I am doing to scheduling dev work on a day to day basis is correct. In which I assume that instead that a developer has 8 hours a day to do coding, they actually ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I estimate a project's costs without well-defined scope, scheduling, and quality inputs?

I work for a private investing firm that is looking to move from a face to face business to online business. They want to create a large, scalable website that can handle thousands of accounts and ...
6
votes
4answers
242 views

What needs to be in place to get a Software project estimate within 10%

Often we hear people wanting estimates to be within 10% even if the dev team has not been hired yet and you have no idea about their productivity. This results in techniques such as fat and burn (add ...
5
votes
4answers
875 views

How does a team (new to product and domain) estimate user stories of a ten year old product?

I am the scrum master for one of the products in a software development company. Our team, including me, operates from India. However my product owner is in USA. We are working on the feature ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to evaluate task duration?

Another question came up about estimation of budget and time plan estimates for a project. In my answer, I stated that the ground knowledge for time estimate was experience. Does anyone knows a more ...
2
votes
4answers
887 views

Should I estimate repeating tasks (besides Stories and Bugs)?

Besides User Stories and Bugs (no estimation) we have some repeating Tasks in our sprint, which have not much insecurity and a clear scope. For example such a task is "releasing our plugin" (building, ...
2
votes
4answers
78 views

Under what circumstances should a software vendor be allowed to increase charges due to unforeseen complexity?

Something that occurs quite often in outsourced software projects is the vendor underestimates the complexity or learning curve associated with an agreed-upon statement of work, and wants to increase ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Sprint Burndown chart and tasks estimation in time

I worked as a developer Team Leader, than we became Agile and I took the role of Scrum Master (SM). In the meantime, I've switched to Project Management, but remained in contact with Agile and Scrum, ...
5
votes
2answers
442 views

What are Acceptable SLoC Rates?

This is not a question regarding the quality of the SLoC metric. I accept it as a limited, inaccurate, or even poor metric. That said, I am looking for data that indicates what reasonable rates ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How to sequence tasks given time estimates?

What are the recommended techniques to get the fastest completion time? Just an example, a project has 6 tasks: task1 takes 1 day task2 takes 2 days task3 takes 3 days, requires both task1 and ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it a good Scrum practice to use large story-point numbers for effort estimation?

Is it generally a good practice to have large story-points for user stories in a sprint? We are following a modified Fibonacci series of 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100. We estimate the effort ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Making a budget and time plan for a software project

Let's assume that we are starting a project, but have no previous experience of budgeting a software project. What should the guys who will work on that project do to make a decent budget planing? ...
2
votes
3answers
130 views

Present a document with estimations of duration of work and risks

Two months ago, I joined a software development company. They have just assigned me my first big task that consist in overhauling all the front end of one of our Rails apps. The project is still in ...
1
vote
2answers
863 views

How can I determine a project end date when PBIs are not estimated?

How can I determine a project end date when Product Backlog Items (PBIs) are not estimated? Consider the following two examples: I am on a project that is at the beginning. I'm asked when the project ...
1
vote
1answer
376 views

How to calculate Critical Path including Std Dev for each activity estimate?

When estimating activity durations, you get a duration plus/minus a sigma (standard deviation) for each activity. Afterwards, when you want to determine the critical path, what figure should you ...
0
votes
2answers
303 views

Who should attend Sprint Replanning?

It is clear that in Sprint Planning the Product Owner has to be present. However, since the Development Team is responsible for current sprint work, does the PO need to attend Replanning? Although the ...