To Estimate or #NoEstimates, That is the Question

schedule Mar 15th 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM place Esquire

The #NoEstmates twitter hashtag was intended by Woody Zuill "..for the topic of exploring alternatives to estimates [of time, effort, cost] for making decisions in software development. That is, ways to make decisions with ‘No Estimates’."  Based on twitter traffic it has been successful at generating activity.  It's a bit debatable as to whether it has really spawned much exploration.  In this talk Todd will actually do some exploration using real data from over 50 projects at companies ranging from startups to large enterprises.  In addition to the analysis of the data, Todd was able to build a simulation model of the software development process to both replicate the data to and explore the conditions under which estimates add value and when they do not.  Based on the findings from the data and the simulations, along with an analysis of the types of business decisions that organizations need to make, Todd will provide some pragmatic advice for estimators and #NoEstimators alike.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

I have not given this session before.  It is based on research that Chris Verhoef and I have been doing which got initiated by my introduction to Vasco Duarte at Agile India 2015.  Vasco has been collecting data and Chris and I decided to do some analysis on it.  We are in the process of writing a paper for IEEE Software.

  • Introduction to #NoEstimates
  • The use of Velocity or Throughput as a predictor
  • What does the data show us?
  • How do we simulate this?
  • What does the simulation show us?
  • What are the key business decisions that teams and organizations much make?
  • Given our findings, what is the pragmatic advice to estimators and to #NoEstimators?

Learning Outcome

  • What does the data tell us about estimation?
  • If our conditions are different, what does the simulation tell us?
  • Given the decisions we need to make, how to we pragmatically proceed?

Target Audience

scrummasters, product owners, developers, testers

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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