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Questions tagged [estimation]

Estimation is the process of finding an estimate, or approximation, which is a value that is usable for some purpose even if input data may be incomplete, uncertain, or unstable.

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43 votes
11 answers
16k views

How to make Scrum less stressful

I have worked with Scrum in various IT companies on software development projects. This framework has become the standard in several companies, but I have not yet managed to make friends with it ...
Dario's user avatar
  • 1,065
4 votes
6 answers
1k views

How do I determine how long a refactoring effort will take?

After much hard work, I've convinced my manager that some absolutely awful code needs refactoring. As with any project, they've asked me for a time estimate and I've found myself stumped. How can I ...
J. Mini's user avatar
  • 1,017
3 votes
4 answers
419 views

Estimates without estimates

I have recently started working with a new large company, which has lots of different teams, working on different products, which are largely self-managed and are run quite differently. My team is ...
Web Dev's user avatar
  • 425
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Scrum Team - Being asked to estimate project end date with an incomplete backlog

Looking for ideas in how to go about providing an estimate for project completion, when a fairly large percentage of backlog is not defined enough to confidently assign story points. This is a ...
twistedbits's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
592 views

Using Gregorian Year vs using Mean Tropical Year

I was working on a small CLI tool to convert between time units and seconds. Someone filed an issue about how the code was treating a year as 365.25 days while the Gregorian year is supposed to be 365....
An Ant's user avatar
  • 149
0 votes
1 answer
111 views

How to estimate scaling up costs/resources-needed of a project? [closed]

Let's consider an entrepreneur decides to create a new company like Airbnb, Netflix, etc. The problem is about the software part. He doesn't know how long it takes to create the mobile/web app? How ...
GoodMan's user avatar
  • 109
-2 votes
2 answers
52 views

How to split and estimate work in multi layer application [closed]

So, I'm trying to understand how this is done in real life... If I have a website with an API and a UI, and a User Story comes in like... as a user I want to be able to login that requires changes ...
PedroC88's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
2 answers
347 views

How to accurately measure estimate without design as a Front End developer in agile?

I am a front end developer with 2 years experience, I am new to agile and I am having difficulty doing estimates to for user stories since I don't have any design for it? I am not sure how can I give ...
anoop francis's user avatar
42 votes
10 answers
6k views

How can you decide how much detail is it worth going in to when planning a new feature?

I'm a recovering perfectionist. According to my colleagues, I am also a good software engineer, but one of the feedback I have often received is that I tend to dive too deep too soon. Suppose I start ...
larrydalmeida's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
121 views

How to handle similar/re-usable work when estimating story points?

In our Jira board we might have 5 tickets for different API endpoints - for example: ListArticle GetArticle CreateArticle DeleteArticle When we create these new endpoints, there is some initial work ...
ResponsiblyUnranked's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
437 views

Can we use Git as an additional tool to better estimate maintenance effort?

I'm working with a codebase that is almost 4y old, just a little under 2000 source files and roughly 100 developers have committed to it. One of our third-party dependencies is not actively maintained ...
customcommander's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
267 views

Back of the envelope estimation question

I've been trying to study some systems design materials in preparation for an upcoming interview. My current job doesn't really have to do that much for back of the envelope estimations. I've found a ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 299
3 votes
5 answers
1k views

Why do developers habitually underestimate work? [closed]

As the title says, why do developers (especially, but not only, new developers) habitually underestimate the work involved in 'greenfield' projects or 'total rewrites'? We all know that software ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 9,022
0 votes
3 answers
123 views

What is the practicality of asking vendor to not include a specially developed feature in their standard package offering

I don't know if this is the right place to post this sort of question, so feel free to move it. Lets say that Vendor X is selling a certain software package. There are also other competitors, ...
wrieedx's user avatar
  • 111
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to determine the cost of a story point?

How can I determine the monetary cost of a user story point in a given team? I was asked this question recently since the business is interested in determining how much a given project could cost ...
edalorzo's user avatar
  • 2,656
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

How does COCOMO handle large projects that could be split up into smaller projects?

Let's say I want to use COCOMO to estimate the effort to produce a 100 KLoC embedded project. Not including the Effort Adjustment Factor, the effort would be 2.8 * 100^1.2 = 703. However, the project ...
The Guy with The Hat's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
123 views

Develop Windows based application with 1/10th milisecond precision

I want to develop a Windows based application that would interface with external hardware using serial communication. The hardware would in turn relay back the feedback to the application. This entire ...
Abhishek Agarwal's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
339 views

Why does Halstead's formula for estimated program length look like this?

According to the Halstead's software metrics: Estimated program length: Can you please explain me, why the formula uses logarithm to base 2? Why not something else? Why exactly logarithm? What’s ...
Michael Abyzov's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
303 views

Effective method of estimation when dealing with large code bases

Got a largish legacy Java code base at my hands: ~100k LoC ~1100 classes monolithic and cohesive (no "modules" or so) many OOP abstraction layers almost no comments, etc. The task is to produce time ...
Yuri's user avatar
  • 211
11 votes
5 answers
15k views

How to communicate a SWAG estimate

I support a large enterprise software project which frequently receives enhancement requests from our customer. The customer will only pay for the work up front in fixed-price contracts. We provide a ...
The Gilbert Arenas Dagger's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
375 views

Is there a reason to use specifically fibonacci sequence in planning poker? [duplicate]

I've noted that fibonacci sequence is quite popular in planning poker, but is it a reason for that particular sequence? Wouldn't for example powers of 2 work equally well? Both sequences are more or ...
skyking's user avatar
  • 144
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

In scrum, if tasks are estimated in hours, how to avoid assigning the task in sprint planning?

I've been reading up a lot on the subject, and from what I can gather the following statements 'should' be true in scrum: 1) Estimate user stories in story points at the product backlog level. This ...
Chris S's user avatar
  • 39
0 votes
3 answers
347 views

What are the disadvantages of performing task breakdown before story estimation?

I have trouble with some of this jargon so I apologize if I misuse some of it. In my past experiences Story Estimation (planning poker estimating how difficult/complex certain tasks will be with ...
user1821961's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
261 views

Assigning story points to the hypothesis in the backlog [closed]

We have been using Scrum as our project management platform for a while, now we are moving toward Lean UX and hypothesis driven development practices. We are using Poker planning to determine the ...
Azee's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to determine SWAG estimate for development project before having a team

Here's my dilemma... I need to provide a rough order of magnitude estimate for development time of a system that we know the requirements (story map created) however we don't yet have a technical team ...
Tooky's user avatar
  • 53
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

If story points are about time, what is truly the benefit of using them?

Quoting the known Mike Cohn: The primary reason for estimating product backlog items is so that predictions can be made about how much functionality can be delivered by what date. If we want to ...
John V's user avatar
  • 4,936
10 votes
6 answers
1k views

Do Story Point sizes for repetitive tasks change after you automate the task?

Here's the Scrum situation: A certain task (implement a back end populated data table) is a frequent story The tables frequently have similar but custom functionality Each table takes about a week to ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
178 views

Estimating Projects which are still unclear [duplicate]

The title says it all really. If asked to produce an estimate for a project when is still very unclear what the system is, what do you do? Would you refuse to provide an estimate? Or inflate it ...
Ronnie's user avatar
  • 281
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

Normalizing story points across teams, is there a big problem?

We have been thinking about comparing product size/effort at least roughly and this is what some suggested: There are multiple products, each with one scrum team All the scrum teams estimate their ...
John V's user avatar
  • 4,936
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

In your first meeting with a client, which questions do you ask to help you understand how best to design the software? [closed]

ABOUT: My business partner and I have been building websites for small businesses since we began our company. Out of the blue, we were approached by an HR company to provide a quote for a software ...
holaymolay's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
4k views

How to do an estimation of needed CPU cores and memory from specifications?

So my client asked me to provide a rough estimate of a number of CPU cores and the needed memory for a specific project I'm working on. But the project is complex, is different from anything I've been ...
Nyamiou The Galeanthrope's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
58 views

About Effort estimations value and usuability

We had a discussion about the real value of effort estimation (EE) for SW development tasks, and I like to get some feedback from the community. The major questions in hand are: Should R&D team ...
riorio's user avatar
  • 489
3 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is using KLOC just to normalize size of projects still bad? [closed]

I know many despise KLOC as some managers attempt to correlate that with productivity. But when we speak only comparing sizes of projects using the same languages and coding standards as well as the ...
John V's user avatar
  • 4,936
1 vote
2 answers
132 views

Can story points be used to describe size of several projects estimated by several teams?

KLOC has been - I think justly - criticized as too inaccurate to express size when comparing several projects. In only one source I found a calculation that uses Story Points and thus allow to compare ...
John V's user avatar
  • 4,936
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to handle a user story that is significantly larger than estimated

A user story calls for an extension to a current feature. This is reviewed and discussed in planning and given a small/medium point value. Internally within the team the effort is estimated at 2 to 3 ...
Qwerky's user avatar
  • 1,582
-1 votes
2 answers
166 views

How to ensure that solution will be delivered in time in accordance with the estimates?

Very often developers are asked to provide estimates (at least rough ones) when a solution or feature will be ready. What steps development team should take to ensure that estimated solution will be ...
Eugene Khyst's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
433 views

How consistent can estimates be expected to be?

I recently did some statistics on the estimates of our two scrum teams. These graphs plot "original estimate" against "actual time spent" (note that logging time spent is much less objectionable, in ...
KlaymenDK's user avatar
  • 447
16 votes
7 answers
4k views

Team is estimating story points, business wants actual time

I'm sure this is not an uncommon theme. We have two scrum teams that are doing an okay job of estimating user stories using story points (the current team constellations are only about 8 months old, ...
KlaymenDK's user avatar
  • 447
6 votes
3 answers
320 views

Scrum: Should Irregular Events Be Estimated?

Should a Scrum team estimate irregular, planned events, such as an overview/demo to new users and potential customers? Our team is pretty small, so the effort to prepare for and conduct these events ...
Joseph's user avatar
  • 171
-1 votes
3 answers
95 views

How to write user stories for just one acceptance test?

In an interesting Twitter thread, Ron Jeffries (signer of the original Agile Manifesto) is suggesting that all user stories should be broken down so that they have one, and only one, acceptance test. ...
Peter K.'s user avatar
  • 3,818
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

If higher story points represent exponentialy more effort why are they allocated linearly?

This is a standard confusion I've always had with the concept of story points. I've always been told that the complexity of story points should go up roughly exponentially. Essentially a task pointed ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 1,153
3 votes
2 answers
187 views

How do you deal with the effort to implement a basic architecture/infrastructure for your first feature

When we start a new project with scrum with estimate user stories with points. These points mean we are busy in the sprint. Now there is work to do initially at project start like: Create git repo ...
HelloWorld's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

How do you cope with a team who tends to underestimate time needed to complete tasks?

How do you cope with a team who tends to underestimate time needed to complete tasks and haven't been improving the accuracy of their estimates? Details: I work in a scrum team (7 engineers) in a ...
PTH's user avatar
  • 57
14 votes
5 answers
7k views

Should individual ability be considered in story points?

My understanding of story estimation has been that one should estimate the size of a story as it would be for an imaginary, average developer — a bit like the "reasonable bystander" concept in law. ...
henrebotha's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
340 views

Is comparing "dollar-hours" for running a specific piece of code practical as an estimate of rented system performance?

Background: there'a a gazillion types of virtual machines in Microsoft Azure each having different performance and price. Such virtual machines are paid per hour. The goal is to decide how to get "the ...
sharptooth's user avatar
  • 4,367
0 votes
3 answers
255 views

How do you set a reasonable time-limit on some exploratory mission?

Given some legacy module in a ten year old project, where you have seen none of the code and not used the application, how long will it take you to grok 10000 lines of code from that module? The ...
Ярослав Рахматуллин's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
171 views

How to schedule "piece of string" tasks

We have an old database which is used to hold supporting information about the financial system. Most of the actual code in are in Views which consolidate the supporting data with the financial data (...
Bob Tway's user avatar
  • 3,636
-1 votes
2 answers
128 views

How do you cost in maintenance / updates?

I'm interested in how companies cost in the maintenance of software and or improvement of code quality over time. The context I would like to add, is not that of a company who have a single product ...
dougajmcdonald's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
77 views

Time estimation samples in big companies [closed]

I need some real time estimation samples from big companies like google, facebook and apple etc. I need the task description, time estimation for task, team members count and after all, the real time ...
S.Yavari's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
396 views

How to meaningfully provide hour estimates when developers want to use points?

Currently in my office we have an age old problem, which I feel has been discussed to death by many, yet solved by few. The clients want a monetary amount, project managers want to know how many hours ...
AndyD's user avatar
  • 159

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