background preloader

Estimating Blogs

Facebook Twitter

Monte-carlo-estimation.meteor. Why I have such a strong negative reaction to #NoEstimates | cumulativehypotheses. You may be pleased to learn that this is probably the penultimate thing I have to say here about #NoEstimates. Anyway, it’s for these reasons… It’s conceptually incoherent From what what I can gather from following twitter discussions, and reading blogs, and articles, and buying and reading the book, then, in #NoEstimates land, supposing that someone were to come and ask you “how long will it take to develop XYZ piece of software?” Then any one of the below could be an acceptable #NoEstimates answer, depending on which advocate’s line of reasoning you follow: Estimation is morally bankrupt and I shall have no part in continuing the evil of it. You are a monster! For the record: my preferred answer is some sort of combination of 5 and 6, with a hint of 4, and 7 as a backup. That’s a huge range of options, many subsets of which are fundamentally, conceptually, incompatible with other subsets.

I can’t understand what anyone’s saying It seems as if the “no” in #NoEstimates doesn’t mean no. Dr. Dobb's Agile Update 07/09. The practical realities of software estimation | Disciplined Agile 2.0. In IT we are often asked to estimate the expected time/schedule or cost of software development. Sadly, the desire of stakeholders to have “predictable” schedules or costs results in significant dysfunction within a software development team.

When a software team is forced by their stakeholders to commit to a schedule/cost they must then ensure that the schedule/cost doesn’t slip. For example, to protect themselves from increased time and cost due to scope creep, software development teams will make it difficult for stakeholders to change their requirements during Construction and even go so far as to drop promised scope late in a project. The desire of stakeholders to reduce their financial risk often results in behaviors by the software development team that ensure that stakeholders don’t get what they actually want. Naturally IT gets blamed for this. We need to do better. Estimates are guesses. Improving decision-making in projects (and in life) | Eight to Late. An irony of organisational life is that the most important decisions on projects (or any other initiatives) have to be made at the start, when ambiguity is at its highest and information availability lowest.

I recently gave a talk at the Pune office of BMC Software on improving decision-making in such situations. The talk was recorded and simulcast to a couple of locations in India. The folks at BMC very kindly sent me a copy of the recording with permission to publish it on Eight to Late. Here it is: Based on the questions asked and the feedback received, I reckon that a number of people found the talk useful. I’d welcome your comments/feedback. Acknowledgements: My thanks go out to Gaurav Pal, Manish Gadgil and Mrinalini Wankhede for giving me the opportunity to speak at BMC, and to Shubhangi Apte for putting me in touch with them.

Like this: Like Loading... Yes, Your Opinion Can Be Wrong. Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 6 a.m. I have had so many conversations or email exchanges with students in the last few years wherein I anger them by indicating that simply saying, "This is my opinion" does not preclude a connected statement from being dead wrong. It still baffles me that some feel those four words somehow give them carte blanche to spout batshit oratory or prose. And it really scares me that some of those students think education that challenges their ideas is equivalent to an attack on their beliefs. -Mick Cullen I spend far more time arguing on the Internet than can possibly be healthy, and the word I’ve come to loath more than any other is “opinion”. There’s a common conception that an opinion cannot be wrong. 1. 2.

I’ll help you with the first part. There’s nothing wrong with an opinion on those things. To quote John Oliver, who on his show Last Week Tonight referenced a Gallup poll showing one in four Americans believe climate change isn’t real: Who gives a shit? Stuart Arthur – Software Development Insights | Leadership, software development, agile, and UX. Goading the IT Geek: ...And the battle rages on? It's 8am here in the UK and I am still simmering over a twitter storm from about 3am my time. I made the mistake of looking at my phone after going to the bathroom (I washed my hands) and noticed more on the #NoEstimates conversation. It all centred around the heated discussion the other day on #NoEstimates, except this time it got personal, with a few members of the discussion choosing to do the tabloid headline thing of taking one part of some of my material out of context and then basically making libellous inferences. I don't mind a heated debate at all, as long as it stays fair, but I was somewhat disgusted with the actions of a few folk, especially since they purport to work with probability and statistics, which folk who know me well, know is exactly my area of specialism in this domain.

If you want to read the full article on my LinkedIn blog post and see how it's out of context, it's here, as opposed to reading the tabloid rubbish. Buzzwords No? Grow up! Estimates (or None) Why I hate and love #noestimates | Agile Voyageur. I was watching a No Estimates video that someone tweeted recently and I was reminded why I hate and love No Estimates at the same time. The video in question is a No Estimates presentation by Allen Holub.

You can find the video here. I’d like to review the key points of the presentation and discuss the split personality of No Estimates. 0:20 – “We need to stop doing all estimates, now” – As much as some No Estimate proponents say it isn’t about not doing estimates at all, these extreme statements arise again and again. There much be some kernel of truth that they truly believe in this statement. It seems only when no options are available do they concede that you could do estimates if needed. 0:25 – “Estimation has no value at all” – Not your call. 1:01 – “Estimates are always wrong” – Not true. 2:12 – “Estimation leads to dysfunction. 2:55 – “As soon as you have estimates you can’t have a sustainable pace” – Again bad leadership. 23:25 – Never mind previous point. :) Summary Like this: Estimation and Steve McConnell (Again) Steve McConnell recently published 17 theses regarding estimation.

Pay no attention to the fact that the last guy who posted 17 theses was a heretic. Go ahead and read his thoughts. I’ll wait. Quick replies Let’s quickly review some of those to assess the extent to which we may agree. 1. Yes, definitely. 2. I do not agree, if I am allowed to rephrase the thesis this way: “The root cause of estimation problems is usually lack of estimation skills.”

The most common problem I see with estimates is that they are misused, in two very important ways. The results of this misuse of estimates is lower quality, due to developers trying to meet aggressive estimates that they never made, and slower delivery of value, due to the business trying to drive the project by cost rather than steering by value. 3. This is at best questionable. 4. It seems to me that this is an expression of belief, not an expression of fact, despite some following remarks about all this not being religion. 5. They do. 6. Sure. Untitled. Open-mindedness. Untitled. #NoEstimatesBook and #KnowEstimating | Logical Model Limited #pm_ngt. An open comment Vasco, Hi Thanks for sharing your book I’ve read Chapter 1, I’m ready for chapter 2 – your condition of supply was to provide comment – here is some. I’m unconvinced that you have sound insight.It isn’t just software that needs to learn how to estimate Take a look at this picture: How you choose to express your insight suggests to me that you are sure the world sees a circle and you know if they had your perspective they would realise the truth is a square.

No. The truth is we are all better off when we all embrace Cockburn’s oath of non allegiance ( . Phrases like “utopian faith*” that load emotion onto argument are shabby distractions from reasoned argument. (*ch 1 pg 14 last line 3rd para) Software is NOT hard done by, not a special case, not subject to unique problems. The first and often missing insight is the difference between accuracy and precision. Management is Prediction. Posted on July 14, 2005 Comments (10) re: post on prediction [link broken, so removed] on the Deming Electronic Network: Petter Ogland wrote: …that intelligence more or less boils down to updating a predictive model of the world.

As far as I can see, this is the C.I. …but is there any kind of operational definition for ‘prediction’ that would explain what Deming means when he uses this word in various contexts? I think your first point is correct, which I see as: learning by predicting, then looking at the result and then adjusting understanding to this new information is very powerful. I believe Deming’s thoughts about prediction are most effectively put into action using the PDSA cycle. I believe the act of formally making a prediction is critical to improving the learning process.

The understanding Deming had of prediction was as a component of the Theory of Knowledge. John Hunter. Thus I Refute #NoEstimates | The Practicing IT Project ManagerThe Practicing IT Project Manager. In a recent blog post, Woody Zuill – fellow blogger, fellow middle-aged software guy, and fellow banjo picker – gave his personal definition of the #NoEstimates Twitter hash tag that has been the venue for a lot of online discussion lately.

#NoEstimates is a hashtag for the topic of exploring alternatives to estimates for making decisions in software development. That is, ways to make decisions with “No Estimates”. Woody and several others in the Twitterverse and Blogosphere have been advocating for making decisions (more accurately, applying constraints) that don’t require estimates, in order to eliminate the need to make other decisions that would require estimates. Neil Killick recently posted an explanation of how to do Scrum without estimates, including this example: Instead of depending on an accurate estimate for predictability we can take away the unknowns of cost and delivery date by making them… well, known.

Like this: Like Loading... Estimates? We Don’t Need No Stinking Estimates! — Backchannel. How a hashtag lit the nerdy world of project management aflame — or at least got it mildly worked up At 5:53 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2012, Woody Zuill sent out a tweet that read: #NoEstimates — I’ve added a litte more fuel to the fire The tweet linked to a blog post he’d written describing a heretical approach to software development — one that omits the standard step of estimating the time and resources a project will need. Zuill is a software manager for a home irrigation-products manufacturer in Southern California. His choice of hashtag was no more carefully premeditated than his spelling of “little.”

With a soft, measured voice, a gray beard and the tight-lipped smile of a veteran optimist, he does not come off as a revolutionary firebrand. Yet his #NoEstimates hashtag was a magnet for discontented software grunts everywhere, and before long it had become a banner of sorts. Zuill and his #NoEstimates allies say they intend the term as an invitation to a conversation. Well, that sucked. Hah! 5 No Estimates Decision-Making Strategies - Software Development Today. Open letter to anti-#NoEstimates people | scalable ravings. Dear Peter, Glen, Trevor…and friends, As some of you might already know, I’ve been hanging around in the #NoEstimates hashtag for quite some time.

Even before that, before I even noticed that there was a hashtag, I and my team had been practicing a less-no-better-fewer-leaner-estimates kind of software development. To sum it up, my story is basically that, in a context of co-called “Agile” software development, I was not comfortable with how estimates were done (the whole poker planning thing). Instead of trying to improve our estimation process, to make it more accurate and reliable, which is a path I respect, I, in a Lean-minded attempt, tried to remove estimates as much as possible and use historical data instead.

I know that there is a recurring discussion out there about the very definition of what an “estimate” is and the difference there is between “estimate” and “forecast”. So my question to you is very simple : Why do you even care about #NoEstimates ? #NOESTIMATES UNPLUGGED - A CONVERSATION ABOUT AGILE AS-IF-YOU-MEANT-IT. What is the difference between estimation, extrapolation, prediction and forecasting? The CIO Golden Rule – Talking in the Language of the Business | biznesscio.

There have been many articles lately about different types of CIO’s, particularly one by IBM about CIO’s being split into two classes of leaders; strategic and operational. The topic also continues to be front and center in many CIO conversations and conferences. It’s a topic that I believe is very important, particularly as I continue to observe many examples of people who still don’t understand what the CIO’s real role is: a strategic business leader who focuses primarily on adding business value; whether it’s increased revenue, higher customer satisfaction, new business opportunities, or increased customer retention.

To make this happen, a CIO really needs to always be talking the language of the business. Conversations with other executives and business users need to focus on what they’re facing every day in their jobs. Talking to them in business terms is absolutely critical and one I call the CIO golden rule. Like this: Like Loading... Presents State of the Art Practices in Agile Software Development. The Cost of Estimation. Asking for estimates can cost you more than you think. When you do estimate, take into account time, complexity, and risk. Published on 17 June 2014 by @mathiasverraes Ballpark Figures When somebody asks you to estimate how long a feature or a project will take, you will estimate the shortest possible time in which you can complete it.

If you have been burned by this, you move on to phase 2: padding your estimation. At the worst end of the spectrum, there’s blame culture. Ternary Estimates Some people try to hack this, using ternary estimates: the combination of the expected duration, the optimistic duration, and the pessimistic duration. Creative Problem Solving All of this is normal. It’s been said many times before, but it bears repeating: software development is a creative profession.

And it’s messy: there are many possible solutions, all with different strengths and weaknesses. The Cost of Estimation Time and creativity are enemies. Why Estimates Are Always Wrong Why is that? Update: Availability Heuristic. Definition: An availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples that come to mind. When you are trying to make a decision, a number of related events or situations might immediately spring to the forefront of your thoughts. As a result, you might judge that those events are more frequent and possible than others. You give greater credence to this information and tend to overestimate the probability and likelihood of similar things happening in the future. The term was first coined in 1973 by psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. They suggested that the availability heuristic occurs unconsciously and operates under the principle that "if you can think of it, it must be important.

" For example, after seeing several news reports about car thefts, you might make a judgment that vehicle theft is much more common than it really is in your area. While it can be useful at times, the availability heuristic can lead to problems and errors. Examples. Sick and tired of losing time with Agile estimation. Accurate Project Estimation. Size and Estimate Work | Rally Community Edition Help. My views on estimation in Agile projects. (Why planning poker is org smell) - Erronis. Presents State of the Art Practices in Agile Software Development. Systems. Agile Skills Project Wiki. 10 Deadly Sins of Software Estimation Webinar. The Futility of Art Estimation. Improved Agile Estimates | Greger Wikstrand. #NoEstimates = No Skin in the Game (#NoSkinInTheGame)

Estimation | Facts of Software Engineering Management. Software Engineering 7. Estimates and promises. Consolidating the #Estimates/#NoEstimates Debate. 'Black Swan' IT Projects With Out-of-Control Budgets Can Kill Enterprises. #NoEstimates? Get a grip. Sprint level estimations are vital | James Harvey. Agile Adria 2014 / Vasco Duarte: "How to improve estimates for software: The #NoEstimates view" Episode 25 – 4 Estimates and a Gantt Chart Ago. Blink Estimation | Dan North. Software Development Today. Anonimized story point and item velocity data. #NoEstimates – Really? Software Estimation: How Misperceptions Mean We Almost Always Get It Wrong.

My little plea for #NoEstimates | Nicolas Umiastowski - Internet - Agile - Books. (5) NoEstimates. Judgment under Uncertainty – Heuristics and Biases (Kahneman & Tversky, 1974) « Projects + Management = Project-Management. Agile Estimation in Practice. Proprietary Metrics — the Next Big Thing in Talent Management. We’re In This For The Money | GeePawHill.Org. Can we put an end to this ‘Estimate’ game of fools? Consolidating the #Estimates/#NoEstimates Debate. Quantifying Uncertainty in Early Lifecycle Cost Estimation (QUELCE): An Update.

Gimme All Your (Money) — Agile and the Intrinsic Evil of #NoEstimates | Life, Project Management, and Everything. Thus I Refute #NoEstimates | The Practicing IT Project ManagerThe Practicing IT Project Manager. Estimates as a Sensing Mechanism. Surfing the Plan | Form Follows Function. Estimates Considered Useful - Agile Coaching. Molson Coors Brewing Co, TAP:NYQ forecasts. Software Cost Estimating - Ebooks Free Download At Mathematical Limits to Software Estimation. Estimation Isn’t Agile | BoochTek, LLC. #NoEstimates is easy. Estimation is a Cruel Mistress. Two Reasons Why Estimates Aren’t Worth It.