Effort estimation is a major challenge for all the stakeholders of a project. Most people generally underestimate situations that may block progress and consider only the best-case scenario for a project. Your choice of estimation method may not be helping, though. Which would be better for your team: estimating by man-hours or by user story points?
Of course, all companies would like to reduce their budgets. But cutting back in the IT department can have unintended consequences. This article looks at two of the more well-adopted cost-cutting approaches, the software factory and distributed teams, and goes into how they can help and hurt your company.
Teams should be working toward a target velocity that is based on historical evidence. There may be times when this figure needs to be adjusted, but teams that understand their velocity know that it is a good indicator of what they are capable of achieving in a sustainable way, and this will increase confidence for the teams and stakeholders.
The #NoEstimates movement isn't really about no estimates. It’s about working in a sufficiently agile way that you don’t need estimates. When you break down your work into smaller chunks, you provide more value by delivering working product than you do by estimating. What would it take for you to work that way?
If you are agile, you might spend some time estimating. If you’re using Scrum, you estimate what you can do in an iteration so you can meet your “commitment.” But estimation is a problem for many agile projects. The larger the effort, the more difficult it is to estimate. You can’t depend on ideal days. Do your estimates provide value? To whom?
Many teams think they're agile. They might work in iterations and have a ranked backlog, but they don’t see the value they could be seeing. Usually that means they have a number of false impressions about agile. Read on to have three common misconceptions debunked and to learn what you need to do to make your agile transition successful.
The fable of stone soup is often told as a lesson about cooperation in times of scarcity. Mike Edwards has used an approach based on this allegory to help teams make steps toward improving themselves and the way they work, especially when it comes to shifting to new methodologies such as agile and Scrum.
Traditionally, the project manager or ScrumMaster is responsible for evaluating a team's performance. But peer feedback, when each member of a team picks another member, observes him or her, and then shares thoughts and suggestions about that other team member’s work, can also be very valuable to continuous improvement.
People will ask, “Can you use agile outside software development? In real business, not just in software teams?” Most experienced agile practitioners will instinctively want to shout, “Yes! Of course!” But intuition apart, where is the evidence? Allan Kelly found some examples and shares how agile works in environments outside software.
Contrary to popular belief, agile projects require as much planning as any other project type. It is the timing of this planning and how we attempt to minimize wasted effort that is different from other approaches. This article attempts to explain the different levels of agile planning and how we utilize them in an ongoing project.