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Estimate it!

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Estimate it!

Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule

Estimates are difficult for any project or project team. Want to improve your estimates? Read these tips about why we estimate, how to explain where you are, and how to troubleshoot your estimation problems.

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About the Book

Do you have trouble estimating? Maybe the problem is you’re using words that don’t help. Maybe you’re reporting your estimate in a way that doesn’t help.

The definition of estimate is “guess.” But too often, the people who want estimates want commitments. In this collection of essays, you can read practical and pragmatic approaches to reaching estimates that will provide your managers information they want and you can live with.

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Table of Contents

    • Acknowledgements
    • 1. Introduction
      • 1.1 Estimates Are Guesses or Predictions
      • 1.2 Estimates Change
      • 1.3 Estimates Expire
    • 2. What Estimates Are
      • 2.1 Provide an Accurate but Not Precise Estimate
    • 3. Why Do We Estimate Anyway?
      • 3.1 Why Do You Estimate?
      • 3.2 Ask This Question Before You Estimate
    • 4. Software is Learning, Not Construction
      • 4.1 Inch-Pebbles or Small Stories Show Progress
      • 4.2 Learn With Spikes
    • 5. Think About Estimation
      • 5.1 Estimating the Unknown: Dates or Budgets
      • 5.2 Determine Your Degrees of Freedom
      • 5.3 Insist on a Ranked Backlog
      • 5.4 The Team Doing the Work Provides the Estimate
    • 6. How to Estimate
      • 6.1 Your First Best Bet: Make Your Stories and Chunks Small
      • 6.2 Your Second Best Bet: SWAG and Refine
      • 6.3 Collect Data
      • 6.4 When You Have a Decreed Date
      • 6.5 Wrap up
      • 6.6 Estimating a Program
      • 6.7 Beware of These Program Estimation Traps
    • 7. Rolling Wave Planning
      • 7.1 Learn as the Project Proceeds
    • 8. There is No Correct Estimation Model
      • 8.1 We Invent; We Don’t Repeat
    • 9. But I Need to Know When the Project Will Be Done
      • 9.1 What You Can Say to Managers Who Think They Need to Know
    • 10. Use All Four Parts of Project Estimation
      • 10.1 Part 1: Create an Initial Estimate
      • 10.2 Part 2: Track Estimation Quality Factor to Understand the Project Estimate
      • 10.3 Part 3: Use EQF to Manage Project Concerns
      • 10.4 Part 4: Update Your Estimate as You Know More
    • 11. Show Your Status and Update Your Estimate
      • 11.1 Probabilistic Scheduling
      • 11.2 Refocusing: 90% Done is Not Almost Done
    • 12. Future Fixes
      • 12.1 Plan Ahead
      • 12.2 Hindsight is 20-20
      • 12.3 Track Your Estimates
      • 12.4 Measure Bad Fixes
      • 12.5 Manage Your Buffers
      • 12.6 Incorporate Agility
  • Troubleshooting Your Estimation Problems
    • 13. Avoid Multitasking
    • 14. Avoid Student Syndrome
    • 15. Estimation Units Predict Schedule Slippage
    • 16. Edit Those Epics
    • 17. What You Can Do For Estimation
    • 18. Estimation Depends On…
    • 19. Estimating Testing Time
    • 20. Need to Learn More about the Work You’re Doing? Spike It!
      • 20.1 How Does a Spike Work?
      • 20.2 Spikes Are about Learning
      • 20.3 What Happens to the Code at the End of the Spike?
      • 20.4 “Use the Code As Is…”
      • 20.5 How Many People Were Involved in the Learning?
    • 21. Use Targets as Estimates
      • 21.1 How to Use Targets
      • 21.2 When the Target is a Trap
    • 22. How to Avoid Three Big Estimation Traps
    • 23. Understanding Multitasking and the Cost of Delay on Estimation
    • 24. What You Know About Estimation Now
      • 24.1 Transition to an Agile Approach or an Incremental Approach for Your Projects
      • 24.2 Make Your Features Small
      • 24.3 Iterate on your Estimate
      • 24.4 Don’t Multitask
      • 24.5 Don’t Let Defects Dictate Your Estimate
      • 24.6 Final Thoughts
    • References
    • More from Johanna

About the Author

About the Publisher

This book is published on Leanpub by Practical Ink .

Johanna Rothman's books on leanpub. Practical, frank, and often humorous tips you can put to work right now.

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