How to Make Great Software Estimates

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<p>ST006_Flat-Design-METAPHOR-GRAPHICS</p> <p>How to make great software estimates</p> <p>Greg Thomas</p> <p>And it beginsHow long does it take to build this widget?When will you be done?Do I know what am I doing?Where do I start?What did they ask for?Did I think this through?Have I missed something?Am I as fast as Jeff?</p> <p>estimatingThese are all questions we ask ourselves when we, as developers, are presented with a new problem and asked to provide an estimate as to how long it will take AND when it will be ready.</p> <p> START?Two questions with two answers where one does not necessarily answer the other.WHERE DO WE </p> <p>EXPERIENCEKNOWLEDGEUNDERSTANDING</p> <p>How long it will takeIt starts with looking at your experience, knowledge and gaining a keen understanding of the problem.</p> <p>It starts with 3 Core Tenants</p> <p>ExperienceHave I ever worked on this component?What language am I using?Do I know this language?Is this a hard problem?Do I know the platform?Do we have requirements?Is this a high-priority?When does it need to be done?</p> <p>Experience starts the process of asking yourself these questions with each problem.</p> <p>experienceThe person with the most practice in that particular area of development will always yield the most near accurate estimation as to what needs to be done and how.</p> <p>Experience grows over time and increases with each success and failure. </p> <p>You want to fail, to get better. </p> <p></p> <p>Ruby on RailsERPManufacturingCRMDesign PatternsMySQL.NETSharePointJavaPLACEHOLDERCommunicationsPHPKnowledgeDo you know what language you are using?Do you know the underlying framework and architecture?Do you have Domain Knowledge to your field?Do you have expertise on the platform you are building on?</p> <p>What do I know that I can leverage in this estimate?</p> <p>KnowledgeThe culmination of everything we know applied to what we know about the problem and our experience. </p> <p></p> <p>UNDERSTAND</p> <p>I didnt understand the problem</p> <p>Im not 100% sure what to do here</p> <p>It should just work</p> <p>It didnt do this last timeAll statements that are uttered after you have started coding, but failed to take the time to understand the problem you are trying to solve.</p> <p>Never start coding if you do not understand what you are trying to code.</p> <p>Understand the problemKnow the end user and identify what they expectLearn the platform/architecture that you are building onWrite down your assumptions and vet them with your users, peers and team.</p> <p>There is no should when you Understand.</p> <p></p> <p>When will We ship?</p> <p>Not YETWe have only figured out how long it will take to accomplish our task</p> <p>By Understanding the Problem, leveragingour Experience and applying our Knowledge we have created an estimatethat we feel can stand by.</p> <p>But it is not shipping time!</p> <p>JANUARY 2015</p> <p>SO When will it be ready?</p> <p>Your ConfidenceIs the most important component to any estimate. How confident are you in your estimate? 75%? 80% ? 50%?</p> <p>Whichever the percentage, that is your SLUSH, which is the amountof extra time you think you might need to accomplish this task.</p> <p></p> <p>And what should you not apply to an estimate?</p> <p>80mphSpeedDo not build acceleration or in the zone time to your estimates. You are only as fast as you are going now. Building in future Im gonna know it by then numbers will only hurt you down the road.</p> <p>No CopyingNEVER use someone elses estimates as yours. You dont have their experience, knowledge or understanding of the problem. </p> <p>They are not yours, you are already behind if you take them as your own.</p> <p>No GuessingGuessing is for the lazy I dont know, say 200 hours this means nothing, this helps with nothing, it might as well have been 2 hours as the result will have been the same.</p> <p>Good Estimates are composed ofKnowledgeExperienceUnderstanding the ProblemCondfident SlushBad EstimatesApply Speed FactorsCopy other PeopleGuess </p> <p>SO REMEMBER</p> <p>Good estimatesWill tell you how long and when you will deliverBad estimatesWill give you nothing</p> <p>The end</p> <p>Greg Thomas</p>