Thursday, October 22, 2009

Estimation, or 99.44% Chance of Success

[time warp here - I wrote this in late 2009, but only just noticed it was still just a draft]

We all know the drill.  The Requirements have been reviewed, the Customer is on-board, and your manager wants to know how long it will take to make this thing.  So you have to provide estimates.

First things first, as we all know, is to break the project down into smaller tasks, and estimate from that.  The optimal size of a task to estimate depends on your environment, but it should be a small number of days.

Once you have a number of days, consider the granularity of time allowed you by your bosses and work environment - are you on a Maker schedule or a Manager schedule?  If the latter, take that into consideration for any complicated sections of development.

The we get to the art of communicating this estimate to the management, and this post is a good discussion of that.

Finally, make sure that anything that your bosses ask you to do that is not already accounted for in the schedule is noted as a delaying factor.

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1 comment:

Brian Tkatch said...

estimation is something that i just get wrong, every time.

perhaps more practice will help, but i'm losing faith here.