estimating

Conference Presentations

Estimating in Software Development: No Silver Bullets Allowed
Slideshow

What do poker, Greek oracles, an Italian mathematician from the Middle Ages, and the path of hurricanes have in common? Given the title of this presentation, chances are it has something to do with estimation, and you'll have to attend this session to get the full connection. Kent McDonald explores the challenges and realities of trying to estimate software-related knowledge work-analysis, testing, development, and the entire project effort. A major challenge is that there are no guaranteed ways to arrive at perfectly accurate estimates, which not surprisingly is why they are called estimates. Kent introduces and gives you a chance to practice quick and practical estimating techniques that will work in different situations-guesstimating, break it down and add it up, and planning poker.

Kent McDonald, Knowledge Bridge Partners
Lessons Learned from Forty-five Years of Software Measurement
Slideshow

Counting is easy. However, what makes measurement really valuable-and really hard to get right-is knowing what to count and what to do with the results. If your organization is mostly tracking resource usage, costs, and schedule data, it is making a big mistake. What about the users? The customers? The overall business strategy? Sharing the lessons he has learned from fighting-and surviving-many software measurement battles, Ed Weller offers a step-by-step approach for implementing a practical and valuable metrics program. After understanding what measures are most important to the business strategy and all stakeholders, the next step is to decide what data supports those measures and how to capture it. With data in hand, you can create simple and informative ways to make the resulting metrics visible and easy to digest. The biggest challenges-avoidance, disbelief, and rationalization-come next.

Edward Weller, Integrated Productivity Solutions, LLC
Not an Estimating Problem
Video

In this lightning talk from STAREAST 2011, Dale Emery takes a look at some common issues we encounter when estimating and explains why they aren't actually estimating problems.

Dale Emery, DHE
Estimating Business Value

Agility focuses on delivering business value to the customers as rapidly as possible. So, how does the team assure the business that it’s delivering the most value possible in the right priority? It’s more than prioritizing user stories or estimating development effort with story points. Through presentation and interactive exercises, Ken Pugh explains how to estimate and track business value throughout an agile project. He presents two methods for quickly estimating business value for features and stories, and shows the relationship between business value estimates and story point estimates. Ken illustrates how to chart business value for iteration reviews and demonstrates what estimates really mean in both dollars and time. On a larger scale, Ken shows business value as a portfolio management tool for prioritizing feature development across many projects.

Ken Pugh, Net Objectives
Deception and Estimation: How We Fool Ourselves
Slideshow

Cognitive scientists tell us that we are hardwired for deception, which makes accurate estimation almost impossible. We must simply accept that our estimates are best guesses and continually re-evaluate as we go, which is the agile approach to managing change.

Linda Rising
The Impact of Poor Estimating - And How to Fix It

The team, running Scrum by-the-book for three months, was continually failing to meet its delivery dates. As a result, trust between the business managers and the team degraded almost to a point-of-no-return. The team, which held bi-weekly retrospectives, could not pinpoint the problems causing its inability to ship. Mitch Lacey was asked to assist the team in finding the root cause of its problems. He analyzed multiple aspects of the project-from individual work items to planning meetings. While multiple issues were identified, one thing stood out above all others--the estimation process used had caused the team to miss its deadlines. Mitch discusses the estimation problems the team was having, how they were discovered and fixed, and the resulting improvement in financial and customer satisfaction.

Mitch Lacey, Ascentium Corporation
Agile Development and its Impact on Productivity

An agile approach can deliver recognizable value to organizations. Using examples from recent projects, David Garmus demonstrates that software development projects can benefit from using the agile methodology when appropriate. Delivering a project in an organization that is following an agile implementation methodology can be faster and more productive than the same project in an organization that is using the traditional waterfall approach. David provides actual delivery (project performance)

David Garmus, David Consulting Group
Empirical Studies of Agile Practices

Gone are the religious wars of plan-driven vs. agile software development methodologies and practices. Recent surveys indicate agile practices are being adopted in many software development organizations, with others seriously contemplating making the switch. The question from most organizations now has turned from plan-driven vs. agile to which agile practices they should use in their development process to most improve their business results. The experiences of other organizations that have adopted agile practices help answer this question. Based on her empirical studies of Extreme Programming teams and other agile practices, Laurie Williams shares her views on which agile methods have been most beneficial to industrial teams practicing agile development. Armed with real data, you can implement changes with more confidence that they will add value in your organization.

Laurie Williams, University of North Carolina
Test Estimation: A Pain or ... Painless?

Agile methodologies may be coming soon to a project near you. Agile software development holds the promise of faster development, less cost, fewer defects, and increased customer value, all while maintaining a sustainable work pace in a high morale environment. As a tester, you may be wondering, "How will agile affect me?" We've all heard stories that agile methodologies have no place for testers. In this presentation, Jean Tabaka changes that perspective. She will highlight the fundamental tenets of agile software development, the project management frameworks that support these tenets, and the engineering disciplines that naturally fit in these frameworks. For some testers, the agile approach can be a jolt to their long-held beliefs of how testing should be done.

Lloyd Roden, Grove Consultants
Building a Requirements Foundation with Customer Interviews

Whether you are building a brand new product or evolving an existing system, understanding the business needs of your customers is the foundation of a marketable product or valuable internal application. Few of us are experts in interviewing techniques, and few customers talk about their tasks, needs, and context in neat, concise statements about requirements. Hone your elicitation skills and learn what it takes to get beneath the surface and understand your customers: their world, how they work, and what really bothers them. With effective interviewing techniques and skills, you will get inside their heads and better understand their needs within their context.

Esther Derby, Esther Derby Associates Inc

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