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Questions tagged [estimation]

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

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164 votes
19 answers
98k 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 ...
chrishomer's user avatar
  • 2,191
102 votes
10 answers
41k 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 ...
Mchl's user avatar
  • 2,352
55 votes
12 answers
34k views

Why are developers expected to estimate tasks at all?

This management tendency is the worst part of being a developer. Software development is not carpentry. Almost everything a developer writes is unique, they have never built that particular thing ...
Scott Bishop's user avatar
35 votes
7 answers
16k views

Is Planning Poker Bad for Software Development Teams?

We have a project manager that is adamant about planning poker. I have found that this adds stress to everyone on the team, and the times are always wrong. We have different skill levels on the team ...
Grim's user avatar
  • 452
34 votes
7 answers
33k 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 ...
John's user avatar
  • 648
32 votes
10 answers
5k views

How do you deal with continuous work pressure?

I'm working as a QA for software product development. During the course of our meetings we typically discuss what tasks we are going to do and provide an estimate for each task. My manager has a habit ...
Mugen's user avatar
  • 526
29 votes
12 answers
2k views

How do I stop going over my estimates?

I consistently underestimate my work. I'm gaining a bad reputation for it. I want to get past it. I think the main problem is that I don't fully outline every step that needs to be taken. The first ...
Brenden's user avatar
  • 417
28 votes
7 answers
8k 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 ...
Tai's user avatar
  • 383
26 votes
7 answers
2k 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 ...
msc's user avatar
  • 361
26 votes
4 answers
13k 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 ...
TeXter's user avatar
  • 425
25 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why does Pivotal Tracker discourage estimating points for bugs and chores?

Pivotal Tracker "strongly discourages" estimating velocity points for bugs and chores – you have to change a setting and accept a warning to be able to do it. They explain why here, but I just don't ...
callum's user avatar
  • 353
25 votes
6 answers
18k 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 ...
chrishomer's user avatar
  • 2,191
25 votes
3 answers
15k 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 ...
Ashok Ramachandran's user avatar
23 votes
4 answers
4k views

Task estimation for PMs who are not developers

While working Agile, how can a PM estimate a task when he/she is not a developer?
Anna Galstyan's user avatar
23 votes
10 answers
3k 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,...
Michael Rosario's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Willl's user avatar
  • 2,071
22 votes
5 answers
7k views

Why are estimates treated like deadlines?

This is one thing that I've always taken as a given, the "status quo" in my line of field (software development) but never really gave it a deep thought. And even now that I do, I still don't ...
user12198's user avatar
  • 221
22 votes
1 answer
1k views

Fogbugz Evidence Based Scheduling

Has any one in the community used 'evidence-based scheduling' by Fogcreek's fogbugz to come up with estimates and schedules on your real projects? I understand the basis of this technique (well ...
Ather's user avatar
  • 885
19 votes
9 answers
9k views

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

For example : Some see its userstory (e.g. 2 points) and others see technical complications and judge that the story should be 20 points. The 2-point voters say, "I understand your opinion, but don't ...
user38787's user avatar
  • 207
19 votes
5 answers
19k views

How can developers and testers agree on story point estimates?

Previously we used duration for each story, but in our current sprint we are using story points (effort) keeping test team effort separate from the development team effort. Story points are based on ...
Seanog's user avatar
  • 291
18 votes
7 answers
2k views

Estimating when the development team won't estimate

I'm new to a situation where a development team refuse to estimate anything until they have a fully defined spec. My angle to obtain estimates is to provide just enough of a spec so they can provide ...
Abob's user avatar
  • 181
18 votes
4 answers
3k views

Budgeting in an agile project

I'm really confused on how agile projects are budgeted for cost and effort before the project starts. Cause the user stories are never completely discussed and estimated as a practice in agile. So if ...
user3189851's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
585 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 ...
MechaStorm's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
Pedro's user avatar
  • 699
17 votes
5 answers
1k 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? ...
bonifaz's user avatar
  • 1,136
16 votes
9 answers
5k views

How to deal with a team member who constantly overestimates

In an ideal world using Scrum we are all supposed to take part in the iteration planning, select tasks and stories, from the groomed backlog. You then have a planning meeting where everyone comes ...
user7192's user avatar
  • 173
16 votes
4 answers
424 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 ...
ved's user avatar
  • 261
16 votes
7 answers
813 views

Project complete but does not really satisfy the end users. Business owners unhappy

Some background on the project: I recently completed a project for a company. The project was a fairly large line of business web site. The customer was a company with no prior experience ...
dtinsley's user avatar
  • 161
15 votes
5 answers
660 views

How to estimate a project involving unfamiliar skillsets

We are trying to generate an initial estimate to see if a project is viable. The problem is that the project involves configuring and customising an open source product that the development team have ...
Rob Bird's user avatar
  • 527
15 votes
7 answers
819 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 ...
jdog's user avatar
  • 421
15 votes
5 answers
439 views

How to determine how good someone estimates their time?

I am very often in an environment where the employees performing the work are constantly rolling over to new employees and these employees are allowed to estimate on their own how long tasks will take....
Kellenjb's user avatar
  • 253
15 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Sergey Kudryavtsev's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
11k views

Basis of Estimate

Some consider the BOE the most important part of an estimate. How do you know that, when you write one, you hit the necessary aspects that brings confidence to the reader that the estimate is sound? ...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.1k
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Artificial decomposition in Scrum

Scrum Guide says: Product Backlog items that can be Done by the Scrum Team within one Sprint are deemed ready for selection in a Sprint Planning event. They usually acquire this degree of ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 2,739
13 votes
8 answers
7k views

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

This is one of my first projects in charge, and I am leading a team of 2 dev, a senior and a mid-level one. The mid-level developer is underestimating his time on most tasks. He is telling me that ...
JM_2021's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
6 answers
3k views

Giving high level estimates to client without commiting to numbers

I'm working as project delivery manager of a Software Development Company. Often before project initiations, a long time and loyal customer contact me directly to request 'estimate' for some works ...
bluearth's user avatar
  • 231
13 votes
5 answers
3k views

when a software project is behind schedule should we add manpower?

When an essential software project is behind schedule we might naturally add manpower. The new developer, however competent and however quickly recruited, needs additional training from an ...
saakian's user avatar
  • 702
13 votes
5 answers
494 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 ...
Ray's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
5 answers
700 views

A practical way to estimate a project cost ( I mean time cost)?

What is the practical way to estimate the time required for a project ( I am a web developer working alone most of the time) I find difficulties in estimating tasks and projects,
mfadel's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
6 answers
709 views

Advice for a young programmer on creating programming estimates

I'm a young programmer who has recently gotten a job at a company that is small but loves programming estimates. Since giving good estimates has been a problem for me in the past I'm happy about this ...
AmaDaden's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
3 answers
74k views

What does person-month mean in development time?

I have a question about communication channels that is talking about person-month but I don't understand what is a person-month. Does it mean this many persons? or this many months? Here is the full ...
user1899082's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
donkey's user avatar
  • 243
13 votes
4 answers
333 views

Eliciting Requirements as a Client

Background: I am a computer science student and am currently employed as a programmer for a health institution. Recently we discovered the need for a project which is beyond a 1-man job (I am their ...
blubb's user avatar
  • 236
12 votes
9 answers
2k 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) ......
Asaf 's user avatar
  • 253
12 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is it possible to forecast when a scrum team will complete the product backlog?

This question is related to this question but I couldn't find this part answered there. I am part of a large project whose entire product backlog has been sized in story-points. The estimate is ...
koushik's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
7 answers
2k views

In scrum, how do you track/estimate points when multiple tickets overlap their work?

I've never been fully able to answer this question, and from a lot of searching I haven't been able to get the right keywords to find anyone who's asked this question in the way I mean it. Say that ...
JoshP's user avatar
  • 123
12 votes
4 answers
702 views

How can I improve a project schedule on a project I took over and complete it on time?

I just took over a project from a Project Engineer and just saw a revised project schedule. The revised schedule shows the project will be delayed by 3 months. I am trying to complete it within the ...
Shahid Kamal's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
user23615's user avatar
  • 121
12 votes
6 answers
1k 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 ...
F.Z's user avatar
  • 123
12 votes
6 answers
705 views

What level of analysis should the development team expect before being asked to estimate and develop a story?

Here is an example of s story that recently made its way into a timebox. As an Ecommerce Executive, I want to make improvements to the Request a Callback form which will make it easier to segment the ...
davy's user avatar
  • 383

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