What is the Basis of Our Estimating Process?

The basis of this discussion is “Team based relative size estimates” or Story Point estimation and this list assumes that as a basis. This page is all about estimating User Stories (the requirement), not tasks associated with User Stories although a lot of the ideas could easily be carried onto the task estimation in hours. From there the assumptions are:

  • We do relative size estimates (how big something is in relation to something else) estimates, not duration (how long something takes).
  • We use a team based approach to estimation such as planning poker or affinity (triangulation based) estimation
  • We have the people doing the work doing the estimates
  • We use the modified Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100) for estimating
  • All data we collect can and should be used to understand what and how we are doing so that we can get better.

For more information on the basis of the process see Planning Poker for Estimates from Mike Cohn.

The reason I bring this section up is that there is a lot of discussion related to whether this approach to estimation is the best approach. Alternative views include:

  • #noestimates approaches: there is a lot discussion about this thinking and the discussion is worthwhile. See Do We Need Points To Generate a Release Burn-up Chart? for this type of thinking.
  • High / low estimates: The approaches generate a single number to estimate size of story as well as a velocity for the team, usually an average. When forecast the future we should be talking about a range of possible values rather than a single number as the future is not certain.
  • Probabilities: A more rigorous approach is to use actual probabilities to talk about what might happen. See Why a Plan Based on Average Velocity Will Fail? for the thinking here.
  • And so on.

These approaches help the more traditional implementation used in most agile implementations.

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  • what_is_the_basis_of_our_estimating_process.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/06/05 08:20
  • by hpsamios