Articles

Person crossing a natural rock bridge above the sea Agile Estimates versus #NoEstimates: Bridging the Gap

Agile teams can easily get puzzled by the heated debate happening between advocates for estimation and those in the #NoEstimates camp. However, by comparing how they solve these problems, we can identify many common practices between the two groups and see they are not truly at odds—they actually complement each other. Let's bridge the gap.

Andre Rubin
Sparkly "2017" sign Top 10 AgileConnection Articles of 2017

Agile software development is mainstream by now, but people are still finding ways to experiment with agile. Measuring agile success with metrics, the debate over whether to use estimates, and improving predictability in Scrum were all hot topics last year. The rise of DevOps has given even more material for people curious to adopt the practice, so automation and "continuous everything" were also popular subjects.

Heather Shanholtzer
Agile estimation points 5 Overlooked Opportunities in Agile Estimation

Agile story estimation gives the team insight into the level of effort for each work item, allows the team to assess each requirement’s relative priority, and lets the team refine and clarify story items. But there are even more benefits that can be gained from the estimation process. Try to take advantage of these five opportunities for growth when your team is estimating stories.

Ajeet Singh
Clock Estimating Cost of Delay in Agile Projects with Time-Value Profiles

The cost of delay for releasing a product can be due to many factors, but that value loss can seem like an abstract concept. Attaching hard numbers to a release timeline in the form of a time-value profile helps the development team and business stakeholders have a conversation about how long they have to build a product and when it would be best to enter a market.

Allan Kelly

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Impossibility of Estimating Software The Impossibility of Estimating Software

Estimating software schedules must be an art, not a science. With so many techniques published on the subject, why is it so difficult? It has to do with the human element and past project knowledge.

Monetization 2.0: The Evolution of Software Licensing

The cloud and the rapid migration to mobile devices and the Internet of Things have made traditional software licensing schemes obsolete. Omkar describes new software monetization based on business, pricing models, and usage.

Omkarnath Munipalle
Can Test Estimation Be à la Carte?

In this installment of FAQ, Rob Sabourin discusses the benefits of providing stakeholders a "menu" of past projects to help better estimate their current project's testing needs.

Robert Sabourin
Piece By Piece: Test Estimation and Planning in Agile Teams

The iterative agile methodology provides a clearer vision, smaller time scale, and closer planning horizon. The authors look at approaches to estimation and planning, from product backlog grooming to task-estimating tables and more.

Conference Presentations

STARWEST 2018 Improve Planning Estimates by Reducing Your Human Biases
Slideshow

Are you puzzled about why your estimate turned out wrong, or stressed from working to meet an impossible deadline? Some teams on inaccurately estimated projects suffer stress, burnout, and poor quality as pressure is applied to stick to an unrealistic schedule. Such project teams also descend into irrational decision-making—with potentially catastrophic consequences. Frustratingly, even when teams perform well, they are often judged by their failure to meet impossible deadlines. Andrew Brown will show how estimation errors are caused not just by new technology or intentionally manipulated estimations, but also from limitations in the way we think. Andrew will explain how cognitive biases contribute to estimation errors and show how to mitigate these biases. Learn how the planning fallacy, anchoring effect, and optimistic bias contribute to estimation errors and lead to irrational decision-making.

Andrew Brown
STARWEST 2018 Testing In The Dark
Slideshow

Isn’t it amazing? Stakeholders drop software on our desks and expect us to test it—without any requirements, design, or product knowledge whatsoever. About the only clear thing is the absurd and unrealistic deadline. We are expected to bend over backward, spread magic pixie dust, and heroically test quality into a product we have never heard of before. But testing in the dark is not impossible, and as Rob Sabourin shows, it can even be a very valuable and fun experience. Learn strategies to emerge from a murky fog into clear, meaningful quality insights and leverage unlikely sources about what stakeholders care about and what users really need the software to do. Rob introduces you to methods of reconnaissance-style, charter-driven, and session-based exploratory testing and help you provide meaningful estimates to stakeholders with minimal hard information about the software under test.

Rob Sabourin
BSE Testing To Estimate or Not to Estimate, is that the Question?
Slideshow

Wondering what NoEstimates means in practice, or why you would want to move toward NoEstimates? Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz or read Vasco Duarte’s book. Maybe you simply want to understand how you can spend less time estimating and more time delivering working software...

Matthew Phillip
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

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