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  • How Stopping Estimations Helped a Team to Become More Predictable

    When making estimations using story points didn’t feel helpful, a team decided to experiment with #NoEstimates. Breaking down stories into smaller tasks gives them insight into their velocity and has made them more predictable. It also helps them to spend less time on process and have more time available for delivering value.

  • Web-Based Monte Carlo Simulation for Agile Estimation

    A web-based tool for calculating project estimates using a Monte Carlo simulation was recently made publicly available. It was created in the hopes that agile teams will use it to facilitate conversations between scrum masters and product managers, focusing on realistic outcomes and not overly optimistic projections.

  • Better Estimations Using Techniques from Psychology

    Bias, priming, and salience are the main psychological factors that influence our ability to estimate. Knowing what happens psychologically when we estimate, and using techniques from psychology, helps us to deal with those factors so that we can improve our estimations argued Joseph Pelrine, social complexity scientist and PhD researcher in psychology.

  • Using Complexity Measurements to Improve Software Quality

    Complexity is a direct indicator of software quality and costs: if the complexity for any code is high, the quality of that code will be lower and it will cost more to manage it. Complexity measurements can be used to estimate development and test activities and to decide where refactoring is needed to improve quality and prevent problems.

  • Agile Estimation for Release Planning

    Estimations are used by agile teams and product owners for prioritizing work and to plan releases of products. They can be done on different levels and in various ways.

  • Are There Better Estimation Techniques for Experienced Teams?

    The results of software estimation are important for stakeholders to take care of team allocation and budgeting. A widely prevalent technique to estimate in Agile has been Planning Poker, which is a consensus based. Does this way of estimating take too much time? Are there other methods which can be employed by experienced practitioners?

  • Re-estimate Completed User Stories for a More Accurate Velocity?

    In a recent thread on the Scrum Development mailing list, Paul Battison asked whether his team should re-estimate completed stories after the sprint is done, so as to have the team's velocity reflect the actual effort that went into completing the stories.

  • Is Estimating A Wasteful Practice?

    The age old problem of software "estimation" has generated some interesting discussion lately in the agile community. J.B. Rainsberger, Arlo Belshee, Josh Kerievsky, David Anderson, and others ask the question "Are estimates really needed at all?"

  • Article: User Story Estimation Techniques

    One of the great things about working as a consultant is the ability to try out many different ideas and adapting your personal favorite process to include things that work. This article gives the details about user story estimation techniques that Jay Fields has found effective.

  • Evidence Based Scheduling and FogBugz 6.0

    Joel Spolsky recently posted an article about Evidence Based Scheduling. The post focuses on managing and identifying good estimates, in turn allowing the project manager to forecast the probability of delivering on a given date, adding a new method of measurement to the agile project manager's toolbox. InfoQ investigates the theory behind the practice, and its implementation in FogBugz 6.0.