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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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9
votes
10answers
8k views

Do you include testing in the original estimate?

Our dev team estimates work in hours, but we do not include any testing time in the original estimate. For example if the devs say an item will take 4 hours that will become our estimate for that item,...
9
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4answers
1k views

When can a project's wrong estimates be justified?

This question is not about project estimation techniques, initial processes, etc. Assume everything was done correctly. Recently, we gave an estimation for an Android application with development ...
9
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2answers
510 views

Time estimation and deadlines

I started working in my current job as an Android developer right after graduation (1.5 months ago), my first task was to build a complaint application which includes the following features: ...
9
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4answers
809 views

Sizing a potential project rapidly without formal estimation

We have been asked by management to spend a very short period of time to "size" a software project - that is, to give them a very loose ballpark of time to implement the entire thing. There are three ...
9
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
965 views

Should we allocate separate hourly estimates for test tasks in addition to the development tasks

Breaking user stories into tasks and estimating their development time in hours is pretty widely accepted. However, we have subsequent test activities that need to be carried out before the task and ...
9
votes
3answers
230 views

Costs for estimating the tasks in a project?

Before the Planning (and initial) phase of a project, there is obviously going to be some time devoted to an analysis of the client's requirements. I know this might be hard to answer, but is this ...
9
votes
2answers
786 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
225 views

Rent total cost prediction

I have a project management course now. One of points of my project requires me to rent a territory, and I need to include its cost in the project's total cost. The first thing I thought was to ...
8
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5answers
1k views

Constantly under-estimating user stories

I'm the dev manager in my company. We're following what some people in the company like to call "scrum" but is in fact waterfall in scrum clothing - we are using some scrum terminology (backlog, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Why are Story Points of a story not equivalent to days/hours in estimation. In Scrum [Agile]

I'm currently working in a team with new to agile methodology programmers and few old school peeps. They seem to always, in planning meetings give hours/day estimates for a story. It really pisses me ...
8
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3answers
9k 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/...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Estimating user stories at the start of the project so that the PM can determine a quote for the client

Recently I have started to work on a team in a new project. Our company is attempting to run things in an Agile manner. The project team consists of 4 developers each from different teams and with ...
7
votes
7answers
858 views

How to make Release Planning more accurate?

I had an interview with one company. They use Scrum, but don’t like rough estimates during Release Planning. So, they asked me, how to make Release Planning more accurate (they don’t want more than 30 ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

Developers don't like to estimate. What can I do to improve the process?

I have two kinds of projects: Agile where estimates made with story points using planning poker http://www.planitpoker.com/ Waterfall/Kanban where estimates made on hours/days divided to specialty. ...
7
votes
4answers
141 views

What is the term for actual delivery time will be varied by 4 times from estimation?

I remember I once read in Wikipedia about a law stating that the actual delivering time will always be 4 times less to 4 times more from the estimated time, even when you aware that law and know every ...
7
votes
2answers
271 views

Sprint story point from PM perspective

As a project manager, I am interested in the effort (estimated and actual). While Sprint based estimation is story point based, how can I translate them to effort so that I can track and report them. ...
7
votes
1answer
460 views

Techniques to calculate the cost of change in software engineering

There is a bunch of techniques to do software estimation. Now given a piece of software, is there some methods/techniques to evaluate the cost of change of an already implemented requirement ?
6
votes
4answers
247 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
332 views

Slow client answers

Let's say, I have a project with well fixed deadlines, and a pretty good specification. Every specification needs additional discussion, with taking in consideration the client's requirements (I mean, ...
6
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5answers
372 views

how to estimate costs of projects that have not been clearly defined

how to estimate costs of projects that have not been clearly needs. for example I got a project to create information systems for xxxxx, then the client requesting the cost of it, while I do not know ...
6
votes
6answers
217 views

How do I deal with ballooning timescales?

When starting a brand new project, no matter how well I try to consider all of the components I always end up with a rapidly expanding list of features and missed requirements by half way through. ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

Jira story points versus sub task estimation

We are using Jira for agile PM, but are having problems working with both story points and sub task hours estimation. Articles like this and this just don't seem to help. The second article has a ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Changing backlog story point estimates mid way through a release

Background: We are mid-way through a development which was estimated for a customer on a fixed price contract. To come up with the estimate we built a backlog by trying to list all user stories and ...
6
votes
2answers
496 views

Who pays when actuals exceed pessimistic estimates?

Scenario: A Developer estimates between 70 to 100 hours for a task. Due to the urgency of the task and the developer's unavailability, a far less experienced developer is assigned to the project. The ...
6
votes
2answers
494 views

How to schedule back and front-end developers based on story points?

We are used to create multiple sub-tasks for each user story and provide each sub-task with an estimate in hours and assignee (back or front-end). With the following outcome: Total estimated time ...
6
votes
6answers
499 views

How can we mitigate uncertainty about project estimation in the initial phase?

According to Boehm’s Software Engineering Economics, during the project initiation, estimates can be off by as much as 400%. However, in order to make the sale, account managers are expected to make ...
6
votes
2answers
284 views

Estimate Item Delivery from Throughput plus blockers

We are combining all of our projects into one Kanban board. Since we are only ever one team, it seems to make the most sense to combine everything to one board and prioritize as we can all only work ...
6
votes
2answers
380 views

Small firm with 4 developers and 2 project managers in need of some guidance for project workflow

I work as a developer in a small IT firm with 4 developers and 2 project managers. We currently implement some sort of traditional project management, in which the workflow for a given project is as ...
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
1answer
260 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, ...
5
votes
6answers
418 views

Project Estimation is off by 50% or More! Who is Responsible for Vague Requirements?

I've just started doing some small contracts for the first time, and I'm working on a project with a person responsible for dealing with the client and analyzing requirements. In this case, there was ...
5
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4answers
2k views

How to manage story points when several developers work on 1 story?

My team consists of 2 backend devs, 1 front end dev and designer. Lets pretend we have next user story: As a user I want to sign-in/sign-out to use the system Designer says that it is equal to 2 ...
5
votes
6answers
298 views

How to prevent deliberate long estimation?

There is a team and a PM. Unfortunately, the PM does not have very strong technical skills, therefore he has no basis for estimation of the time and costs which are required for each part of project. ...
5
votes
3answers
352 views

Dev went on vacation leaving his work unfinished. How to manage this without informing the customer?

I would like to discuss and hear some advice from you about a pretty common situation. We develop the functionality that has huge business value for the customer’s project and thus the customer is ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
470 views

How do I roughly estimate the size of my project in dollar amounts?

I've managed a few small projects at work, but I've never dealt with the budget. For instance, I've had a few tool projects, and two contracts, full time developers, and students. The project lasts ...
5
votes
6answers
633 views

Team productivity vs team size

I am looking for information about how the team size impacts project velocity. Let's assume that I have a small project estimated at 300 hours for single worker. What impact does team size have on ...
5
votes
5answers
516 views

Accounting for scope growth in agile development

I work on a lot of small, agile software projects without huge up-front requirements; just ideas that I flesh out over time. Generally, development follows these stages: Prototype (couple of days) ...
5
votes
2answers
692 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
3answers
256 views

Should defect criticality change based on user needs?

Question Is it correct to assume that the criticality of a defect can change along with the project's progress? If so, when is this acceptable? Background Criticality is one of the indexes we've ...
5
votes
6answers
237 views

Is it fine to correct an estimation of a story during execution?

During execution of sprint, should team allowed to change estimation of a story in following scenarios. During execution When a story is finished Re-estimate in absence of Product Owner(PO)
5
votes
2answers
1k views

T-Shirt Size and total estimation, how to manage them?

I'm working on a project and the Product Owner has to decide if and how many new game-features implement in a SmartPhone app. Those game-features have the goal of keep the user more active inside the ...
5
votes
3answers
512 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
217 views

If taking over a project, should the new PM have to stick to the previous PM's estimates?

A new PM taking over a project "mid stream" will need to get up to speed with all of the documentation, objectives, etc. If the previous PM had produced estimates that the new PM doesn't agree with, ...
5
votes
1answer
313 views

Scrum uneven distribution of work hidden in a unified effort

I'm currently a developer at a small software development firm, and we are starting to adopt Agile (specifically, Scrum) philosophies into our culture and project management style. We have only a few ...
5
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
522 views

Adding test cases to user stories (Backlog items) before the sizing session

Scenario: I was asked by management if it is a good idea to add test cases to user stories before the sizing session. This will involve investigating the item, writing test cases, speaking to ...