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Software project estimation Deception and Estimation: How We Fool Ourselves

Research suggests that humans are biased, not-very-rational decision-makers. We believe we see things clearly when the evidence shows otherwise. Throw in a big dose of optimism, and it's easy to see how estimating software projects can be problematic. Our best hope is to construct diverse groups with varied viewpoints.

Linda Rising's picture
Linda Rising
Team talking about test estimates on sticky notes Test Estimation in the Age of Agile and DevOps

Estimating testing in the contemporary world of agile and DevOps demands some new rules. Gone are the days of using project planning software and work breakdown structures to define and estimate each category of work and the associated tasks. Here are some modern rules, prerequisites, and advice for test estimation.

Michael Sowers's picture
Michael Sowers
Agile team members refining the product backlog Refine Your Product Backlog Continuously to Improve Flow

One way to address poorly defined product backlog items is to spend time refining the items as you go. Refining the backlog continuously helps the team deliver consistently and can lead to shorter planning meetings at the start of the sprint. It can even help improve reliability, velocity, and the quality of work.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Griffin Jones Why Should We Be Agile? A Slack Takeover with Griffin Jones

Thought leaders from the software community are taking over the TechWell Hub for a day to answer questions and engage in conversations. Agile coach and consultant Griffin Jones presided over the first Slack takeover, which led to some insightful discussions. Here are some of the questions and takeaways from the Hub.

Owen Gotimer's picture
Owen Gotimer
Person estimating an agile story with planning points A Musical Metaphor for Agile Estimation

Many explanations of relative sizing in agile estimation fail to capture the mix of knowledge, skill, and effort involved in completing a task. Learning to play a song seems to capture the core ideas of estimation. With a metaphor, it is easier to come up with baselines to estimate against for your own agile sizing.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Microphone on stage at a software conference 4 Takeaways from Agile + DevOps East 2018

With a week full of sessions, tutorials, training classes, and events, the Agile + DevOps East software conference had plenty of takeaways. Here are four highlights, including discussions about agile estimation, finding your ideal job, some challenges to advancing test automation, and leading self-organizing teams.

Owen Gotimer's picture
Owen Gotimer
Team member estimating a project 5 Factors That Could Be Making Your Project Estimates Go Wrong

Why do our estimates for a project or a testing phase so often turn out wrong? Whatever causes underestimation, we clearly do not learn from experience, as we repeatedly make estimation errors, despite feedback showing previous errors. It’s a chronic problem. What could be driving these errors? Here are five factors.

Andrew Brown's picture
Andrew Brown
A train accelerating through a station Defining Velocity for Your Agile Team

When an agile team talks about velocity, it's usually how much functionality they'll deliver in a sprint, often based on historical data about the number of story points the team tends to finish. But you shouldn't use velocity as a measure of success for your agile process. Make sure everyone knows what's important.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk