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134 votes
Accepted

Is DRY the enemy of software project management?

You seem to assume the primary objective of project management is to produce exact estimates. This is not the case. The primary objective of project management is the same as for developers: To ...
JacquesB's user avatar
  • 59.7k
111 votes
Accepted

Estimating time costs in legacy codebase

Read Bob Martin's "Clean Coder" (and "Clean Code" while you're at it). The following is from memory but I strongly suggest you buy your own copy. What you need to do is a three point weighted ...
mcottle's user avatar
  • 6,142
50 votes

How to make Scrum less stressful

Warning: this answer doesn't provide a definite solution, it addresses why there isn't one. Some people don't like that, so don't read this long answer if you're one of them. At the end of the day, ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 51.7k
39 votes

Is DRY the enemy of software project management?

You are right - copy-paste works great, and DRY has no point when your task is to produce a program for which either the copied template or the copy will not have to be maintained or evolved in the ...
Doc Brown's user avatar
  • 208k
36 votes

How to make Scrum less stressful

Let me say something: I love Scrum if done right. What you describe sounds really stressful though and I would hate it, too. There seem to be two big problems that you have: You estimate tasks in ...
nvoigt's user avatar
  • 8,034
34 votes
Accepted

Should tester's time be included when estimating tickets?

My recommendation: You either include testing time in the ticket, or add a ticket to represent the testing task itself. Any other approach causes you to underestimate the real work needed. While ...
Bruno Guardia's user avatar
31 votes

Estimating time costs in legacy codebase

This might be a good moment to introduce a quasi-agile approach. If instead of estimating in terms of hours/days you allocated a fibonacci type scale & gave each task a value based on how big it ...
amelvin's user avatar
  • 1,535
28 votes
Accepted

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

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this. It's highly context sensitive. One of the biggest factors is risk. You want to do just enough up-front design and planning to bring the risk to a tolerable ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.8k
23 votes

How to make Scrum less stressful

As I understand it, Scrum should have been developed to simplify the lives of developers. No, that's what agile software development was created for. Scrum was created to ensure that management ...
Mecki's user avatar
  • 2,330
19 votes

Is DRY the enemy of software project management?

So from a project management perspective, it is great to solve a task by copying some existing code 100 times and make some minor adaptations to each copy, as required. At all times, you know exactly ...
Telastyn's user avatar
  • 109k
19 votes

Should tester's time be included when estimating tickets?

Emphatically, Yes Testing is part of the development process. If your team actually spends time testing the software, the time spent testing needs to be part of the estimate.
Bryan Oakley's user avatar
  • 25.3k
16 votes

Team is estimating story points, business wants actual time

You are correct, there is not a formula to convert story points to hours. You can get a pretty lossless conversion of meters to feet, and vice versa, but you can't say a 3 point story will take X ...
Greg Burghardt's user avatar
15 votes

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

Your back-end table stories no longer require eight points of effort. “A Story Point is a relative unit of measure, decided upon and used by individual Scrum teams, to provide relative estimates of ...
Dan Wilson's user avatar
  • 3,103
15 votes

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

Estimating the completion date and agile methods are at odds, perhaps even incompatible with each other. If you're using agile methods, like Scrum, and are getting value from them, then you have ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.8k
14 votes
Accepted

Is there a relation factor between meeting time and saving development time?

"As long as they need to be, and no longer." The thing to realize here is that meeting time to saved development time is in no way linear. For your team, for your company, for this topic, then 1 hour ...
Telastyn's user avatar
  • 109k
14 votes

Estimating time costs in legacy codebase

The first thing you do is start gathering data on how long it takes you to get anything done right now. The more data you have on your team's performance, the better. It's going to be all over the ...
RubberDuck's user avatar
  • 8,961
13 votes

Are bargaining and beat down attempts on Scrum estimations legitimate parts of the process?

The situation you describe is toxic. This sort of bargaining ignores reality and the expertise of the team, it willfully conceals information from the team and organization at large, and it inhibits ...
Jonah's user avatar
  • 756
13 votes
Accepted

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

I've always been told that the complexity of story points should go up roughly exponentially. Yes, that's generally why story points are Fibonacci'd (1,2,3,5,8,13,21) - an 8 isn't twice as hard as a ...
Telastyn's user avatar
  • 109k
13 votes

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

This boils down to time management and a measured approach to risk. First consider where your stakeholders stand -- While not universally true, it's typically the case that stakeholders prefer the ...
Ben Cottrell's user avatar
  • 11.8k
12 votes

Is DRY the enemy of software project management?

Cut-and-paste programming eventually leads to abandoned software. I was a contractor on a system for ordering wireline services from a very large phone company. The system was cut-and-pasted ad ...
kevin cline's user avatar
  • 33.7k
11 votes

Amount of routine work in software development and its effect on estimation

On any single given project this may be true. However if you work on multiple, similar projects for different companies over the years you may find yourself 'solving' basically the same problem many ...
Ewan's user avatar
  • 76.3k
11 votes

Should individual ability be considered in story points?

Story points are a relative estimation. So twice the points means twice the level of effort. Relative estimates are less subject to skill level variations. The question is not so much how much time ...
Christophe's user avatar
  • 77.9k
11 votes

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

The method you choose for estimating does not really matter. What matters is that in your answer you include enough uncertainty, and make that uncertainty visible to the management by giving them a &...
Doc Brown's user avatar
  • 208k
10 votes

Is DRY the enemy of software project management?

An oft forgotten maxim that applies here is the rule of 3. This states, that it is OK to copy code once, but beyond that it should be replaced by generic code. 3 might seem like an arbitrary number ...
Robbie Dee's user avatar
  • 9,805
10 votes

How consistent can estimates be expected to be?

Your numbers actually seem to have your expected distribution, though it's hidden by the log-scale. You might get better intuition with a plot that illustrates the density, e.g. a violin-plot. A box-...
amon's user avatar
  • 134k
10 votes

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

Increasing velocity is not a goal. The goal is reliable planning. Story points are a tool in a feedback loop that will tell you, over time, what your typical velocity is. This will then tell you how ...
Martin Maat's user avatar
  • 18.4k
9 votes

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

There are projects for which that's a totally valid approach. Safety-critical ones, for example. You've already spotted that the deep dive process lets you identify risks earlier. The challenge is to ...
pjc50's user avatar
  • 13.5k
8 votes

Are bargaining and beat down attempts on Scrum estimations legitimate parts of the process?

In my opinion, one of the greatest achievements of SCRUM is the development of story points, with the expressed explicit intent of avoiding the bargaining issues mentioned here. The whole point of ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 11.2k
8 votes

Is DRY the enemy of software project management?

In your question, you only list three functions of project management - estimate, schedule, and control. Project management is about achieving goals within the constraints of the project. The methods ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 82.8k
8 votes
Accepted

Should technical debt/technology upgrade be scheduled as a feature (given points) or a chore (given no points)?

Short answer: paying down technical debt is a chore. You're not delivering new functionality for end users, so it doesn't get pointed. Official answer: Bugs and chores aren’t estimable by default ...
jonrsharpe's user avatar
  • 1,303

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