Austin-SPIN - Archives - Aug08

August 14, 2008

Building a Detailed Estimate: A Brief Workshop

Joyce Statz, Statz Consulting

Joyce Statz's speaker slides and exercise sheet are attached below.

When software projects are managed well, there are generally two types of estimates, the rough order-of-magnitude (ROM) estimates done early in the life cycle, and the detailed estimates done when a team plans the next phase/iteration/sprint of its work. In this workshop, we discuss and practice some techniques for detailed estimates useful to teams planning a phase or iteration of their work.

For most teams, having historical data is a luxury, so they need to rely on estimation techniques that leverage their experience and current understanding of the problem at hand. Using a simple real-world example that all can appreciate, we practice setting up a detailed list of items to estimate, establish ground rules for the estimate, estimate sizes of deliverables, use Delphi and PERT techniques, and establish a defensible team estimate for delivery to a project manager and others.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Joyce Statz, Principal Consultant at Statz Consulting provides education and consulting services in requirements handling, measurement, project management, software acquisition, and process improvement. With more than 30 years of experience as a software professional, her consulting activities have met needs of people ranging from CIO to individual developer at more than 90 organizations world-wide. She recently served as a Vice President at Borland Software Corporation, integrating process offerings from the acquisition of TeraQuest, the company that Joyce co-founded and co-led for 12 years. Today she provides services to individual organizations, and she serves as an adjunct professor in the Master of Science in Project Management Program at St. Edward's University in Austin.
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