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### Re: Interesting insights from Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

by blahblahblah (Priest)
 on Jun 12, 2007 at 13:54 UTC ( #620724=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I also would recommend this book to all programmers. It's a very understandable blend of guidelines plus the math and research that led to the formulation of those guidelines. It has greatly helped me in my current project, which was one of the biggest projects I've ever undertaken.

I often get asked for quick estimates of projects. My self-taught estimation technique had evolved like this over the years:
1. give a quick guess (usually turned out 3x too short)
2. make a quick guess, then triple that (usually closer, but still too short)
3. give a wildly pessimistic guess (never short, but not what my boss wants to hear)
Since reading the book, I feel my boss & I are both happier with the estimates/schedule that we figure out together.

In addition to presenting an easy-to-grasp summary of research into various individual factors that influence an estimate/schedule (like tilly's examples), the book leaves gives a lot of practical ideas for making better estimates.

Joe

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Re^2: Interesting insights from Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art
by dpavlin (Friar) on Jun 16, 2007 at 21:08 UTC
I had similar process when finding out my estimation factor. I also notices that my (positive) estimates are three times too short.

However, when I need to estimate time for group of people, even if I know them really well, and can estimate time for each of them individually, I would probably take a optimistic guess, multiply it by three and than take next time unit.

Yes, convert hours to days, days to weeks, weeks to months... Months would go to quoters or years, but you would already know that :-)

This technique proved very successful in estimating time for small team of 7 people with various skill levels. It also leaves enough time for testing, documentation and deployment :-)

2share!2flame...

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