Why Are Our Estimates Off, Always?
As I previously mentioned I freelance for a nice client right now. I am embedded into a great team and like working with these people. Summer came and our project manager was about to take his vacation. (He cycled from Finnland to Hamburg in Germany with a friend, in case you were asking. I think that’s great as I am a cycling maniac myself…) Before he started his vacation we groomed the backlog in Trello and scheduled various tasks for me and the other freelancers. I had the seniority in the project during his absence, so I took on the load to manage the others. After scheduling a few tasks we looked at each other and decided to schedules some more, because it felt like these were too few during his three week leave. Then we scheduled some more “just in case” we were super fast.
In the end, we did manage to complete a lot of work. But these were only the first batch of scheduled tickets. We couldn’t fully complete those even! How could it be that we were so much off with our estimates? No harm was done and we are still really good on time, but it was strange.
In this light, please enjoy this oldie/goldie about project estimates… Why are software development task estimations regularly off by a factor of 2-3?
What are your experiences giving estimates?