U.S. Federal Cost Overruns
Why You Should Not Estimate in Hours or Days
Nice article about
- Time abstraction
- Focus on little bits (Time wise and split up stories and tasks)
From experience, I know it takes a certain amount of time to add one brick to a wall. Adding additional bricks will take about the same amount of time. Therefore, I can give you a somewhat accurate prediction of how long it will take to build an entire wall.
Writing software, like Finding a Cure for Cancer, is more a research activity
3 concepts from Scrum which can help solve this problem of estimation:
1. Estimate using Story Points
Story Points are not part of Scrum, but anyway a good abstraction from time.
The biggest advantage is that they force you to estimate relatively!
[Advertisement] Come to my class to see this in action ;-)
2. Work in Sprints
3. Break Stories into Tasks
…management cannot accurately estimate the business value of a project until a project begins
This requires trust and a couple of Sprints to get a feeling on how the Dev Team is going
Demanding that a developer provide a time estimate forces the developer to lie and no one likes to lie.
In addition, every developer follows the Parkinson’s Law
”Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
Ten Questions You’d Be Crazy not to Ask at the Start of Your Project
Great blog post with a slide deck that helps you start your next project.
The Agile Inspection Deck helps you to setting up-front expectations and answer these questions:
- Why are we here?
- What are we building?
- Product Box: Team Building
- What are we not building?
My 2 cents
- I am not sure about putting the architecture on this slide deck, as I am a big fan of Evolving Architecture.
But it might help to say:
“Hey, Initially we thought of the architecture as X, look what we have now!” ;-)
Way of the Agile Warrior by Jonathan Rasmusson
How bad are cost estimates in the US public sector? (Transportation, Energy, Defencse, Tech)
—> Very bad.
Ask yourself: How bad are my esimates? (software industry)
Potential source of these problems:
- “old-fashioned bungling by administrators”
- lack of government to take responsibility
- “lying, or intentional deception, by public officials was the source of the problem”
- No interest in cost efficiencies
—> costs are benefits to politicians
Never heard of the “salami strategy” before… LOL