Estimating

Estimating is the bête noire of software development: simple to conceptualise, but a mine-field for the unwary. There are multiple levels of problems involved with estimating: technical, theoretical, political, social, economic, which we will touch on in our tour.

Goals

The main take aways from this series is:

  1. An appreciation as to why estimating is so hard in Software Development. We take a step-by-step approach to understanding the nature of the problem, and why it isn’t as easy as estimating other, simpler things.

  2. How difficulty estimating impacts our work. Estimating is practically impossible, yet it is a cornerstone of Scrum. Alternatively, the “No Estimates” movement tries to go the other way and dismiss estimating completely. Here we try to reframe the problem as focusing on the wrong thing.

  3. How we can get faster at development, despite the complexity. Some practical tools and advice for planning in the absence of reliable estimates.

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Rob Moffat
Rob Moffat Author of Risk-First Software Development. Developer. Working in the UK.