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19 votes
Accepted

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

Hat tip to Nvoigt, Nvogel & D. Espina - all good answers, with particular emphasis on D. Espina's "sometimes, knowing one of your team is overly optimistic, you simply add your own margins ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 8,728
16 votes

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

In Scrum the team aims to complete the sprint goal by the end of the sprint. It shouldn't be necessary to estimate day-to-day deadlines since the delivery date is always the end of the sprint. I ...
nvogel's user avatar
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9 votes
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PM techniques/tools for fixed-price 6 month client project

@DavidEspina has it right - I'd like to add a few thoughts This question illustrates one of the reasons tool recommendations are out of scope - CodeGnome's law says you need to decide how to solve ...
MCW's user avatar
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9 votes

How to manage a failed sub team inside a scrum team

You asked in terms of scrum, so that is how I'll answer. However, there are a number of red flags in your question that lead me to believe you aren't actually doing scrum (and I am far from a scrum ...
Vicki Laidler's user avatar
8 votes

About the claim that adding more developers to a team does not make delivery faster

I've always heard (and experienced) it as "Adding more developers to a late project will make it later." Every new developer requires ramp-up time to be familiarized with the project's architecture, ...
Sarov's user avatar
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8 votes

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

Notwithstanding your approach and whether you are performing it properly, research the affects of planning fallacies. A planning fallacy is a specific form of Optimism Bias, where we have a tendency ...
David Espina's user avatar
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7 votes

About the claim that adding more developers to a team does not make delivery faster

It sounds like the idea you're concerned about is a rather over-simplified version of the point raised by Fred Brooks in the (rightly) famous essay The Mythical Man-Month. What Brooks pointed out is ...
AAT's user avatar
  • 226
7 votes
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How can we simulate hard deadline?

I'm sorry, but you are trying to solve the wrong problem. Your team isn't delivering much because your management has no expectations from them to do otherwise. There is a saying in my country that ...
Bogdan's user avatar
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7 votes

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

Joel Spolsky once wrote: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2007/10/26/evidence-based-scheduling/ The mythical perfect estimator, who exists only in your imagination, always gets every estimate exactly ...
Robert Andrzejuk's user avatar
7 votes

Do you set arbitrary deadlines in project management, or only save them for things with intrinsic, real deadlines?

Don't set fake deadlines. It's one thing to schedule work with planned start and end dates. However, deadlines should be reserved for real dates that, if missed, would have consequences. Sometimes, ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Missed deadlines. Who's responsible?

Your story suggests three issues you are facing: 1) project management maturity, 2) an understanding of schedule variability, and 3) human performance factors and biases. You describe a work ...
David Espina's user avatar
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5 votes

PM techniques/tools for fixed-price 6 month client project

Basically if anything does not go according to plan you are screwed. The problem is that you promised to deliver fixed features (scope) for a fixed budget (resources) before a fixed deadline (schedule)...
Georg Patscheider's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What decision should I take regarding a team of front-end developers which delivers unstable releases

Product is currently in beta stage and never been public, only client team and the team of testers have access to this. How often is the client checking in? Do you have regular reviews? You want ...
Venture2099's user avatar
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5 votes

Developer keeps underestimating tasks time

I'd like add one more option on the table. In many cases estimation isn't really necessary. Situations when it can be useful: You need to sync with other teams which depend on you You need to predict ...
Stanislav Bashkyrtsev's user avatar
5 votes

Do you set arbitrary deadlines in project management, or only save them for things with intrinsic, real deadlines?

TL;DR Save "deadlines" for real deadlines with actual consequences, or for larger projects where missed milestones will materially impact your schedule's follow-on dependencies. There are ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Kanban or Scrum for tough deadline project?

I assume as an interview question, the primary purpose of this question is to see how you think through these ideas and decisions. In that regard, it's a fair question for an interview. For real life, ...
Daniel's user avatar
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3 votes

PM techniques/tools for fixed-price 6 month client project

There is no tool or technique that will guarantee you will come in on time and within budget. Work is probabilistic. If you need more certainty, such as you don't have the funds to pay for overruns, ...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.1k
3 votes

PM techniques/tools for fixed-price 6 month client project

I agree with everything David and Mark have said. Further, I'd just like to comment on: But, because I know what all the sprints are going to contain ahead of time, it's not really "agile". How ...
Sarov's user avatar
  • 14.8k
3 votes

Practising agile in deadline driven environments

Agile works well in a deadline driven environment as long as there is flexibility on scope. With agile we typically work with a prioritised backlog of requirements. This ensures that as we work ...
Barnaby Golden's user avatar
3 votes

Project Management without access to budget or deadlines

So my question: how can I a) work around not having crucial information, or b) explain to my boss that in order to do my job properly, I need that crucial information? In the absence of budget and ...
Kempeth's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Did i good to do quick fixes, couple minutes before deadline.

It is all about perspective: You saved the day and you are a Hero by fixing the product You left around messy unclean code and you are lousy developer I think your are both right, congrats! Cleaning ...
Niels van Reijmersdal's user avatar
3 votes

Present a document with estimations of duration of work and risks

Even before agile we had a concept called "Order of Magnitude Estimating". It's a tool that has been pretty much forgotten, in large part because companies are so date driven, to meet quarterly stock ...
Joel Bancroft-Connors's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Present a document with estimations of duration of work and risks

Oh boy, there are a few red flags in your story (some of them you've already identified yourself). These are the big ones I see: Management asked "when will you finish" That's somewhat great: they ...
Jeroen's user avatar
  • 218
3 votes

How to manage a failed sub team inside a scrum team

Increase Your Collaboration with the Scrum Team However in this particular case its not an option. Not an option is generally business-speak for: "We want different results, but refuse to change ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.4k
3 votes

How to manage a failed sub team inside a scrum team

I'm getting a lot of "us" vs "them" feelings from your question, which is a major red flag. As a PO, you're part of the team, there's only "we". Others have touched on how it would be better to not ...
Joris Van Regemortel's user avatar
3 votes

How to manage a failed sub team inside a scrum team

It is perfectly normal to have people of different skills and capabilities working in a scrum team. Therefore, it is normal to have Back-end, Front-end and QA roles separately in a team. Success of ...
Gopinath's user avatar
  • 242
3 votes
Accepted

How can I address productivity issues in a Scrum Team missing deadlines?

My first suggestion is always, "ask the team." Do some brainstorming at a retro: what leads to our missing deadlines? what were the causes of work being underestimated in the last couple of ...
Vicki Laidler's user avatar
2 votes

Your team member fails to meet the deadline for the coding and testing of a component. What do you do?

You manage your variances. Fast track or crash succeeding tasks where you can and what you can afford. And communicate early, honestly, and as much as possible. This is project management. Unless you ...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.1k
2 votes

Did i good to do quick fixes, couple minutes before deadline.

There is no canonical answer here so this question I think is out of bounds for this site. However, I like it. Here are my thoughts: Both of you are right. Your story suggests that you exhibited ...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.1k
2 votes

Project Management without access to budget or deadlines

If you do not know what your targets are to which to plan and to work, then you have zero accountability and responsibility for those targets. None. Focus on doing the job and doing the job well. ...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.1k

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