30-50% of you are lousy estimators: here’s how to get better

1DevDay Detroit
October 23, 2010

Carl Erickson

Estimation is hard and universally unloved. Itís a discouraging problem: ambiguous, fuzzy, imprecise, full of unknown factors, risky, consequential. You never have all the information you want.

Unfortunately, itís not like you have a choice about tackling this thorny problem. The business needs to synchronize other decisions with development work: they have to plan sales and marketing, to budget, do return analyses, schedule resources, etc. And you certainly have selfish reasons to participate and do this well: missing a schedule commitment or overrunning a budget should injure your professional pride. It can also result in pressure to work beyond your sustainable pace and make personal sacrifices to the project.

Happily, there are some simple techniques you can learn to significantly increase your effectiveness and accuracy on this important work. This talk will review these techniques using lessons and examples from Atomic Object’s ten years of custom software development experience.

30-50% of you are lousy estimators: here’s how to get better [PDF]

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