Planning & Estimation

Estimation in Depth

How do you create early estimates when little is known about your project, agile release train, or program increment? You don’t know many details, and you might not even know which teams will be involved, but you’re tasked with coming up with initial numbers anyway. This Learning Program helps you apply proven estimation techniques that work well in the early days of a software initiative. Gain a new understanding of what estimation is, and give estimates with confidence! Scroll down for topic details.

Open Enrollment
Software Planning and Estimation Learning Program

Great teams master these skills

You’ll learn them all in Estimation in Depth – and why they’re important. Once these skills are benefiting your teams, learn how to support planning and estimation for people outside the team in the Planning Across the Agile Boundary Learning Program.

Create meaningful early estimates

To set a solid basis for high-level planning now and detailed planning later.

Discuss estimate accuracy with all project stakeholders

To support business decision making.

Master effective estimation techniques

To use expert judgment, structured group estimation, and proxy-based estimation appropriately.

Employ historical data

To avoid subjectivity, bias, and other sources of estimation error.

Combine multiple estimates

To compensate for error in individual estimation techniques by systematically combining estimates using a variety of techniques.

Calculate estimation error

To establish accuracy standards for different estimation points and identify improvements.

Topics at a glance

Before your program starts

Clarify your objectives
Determine what kind of estimate you should create

Estimation’s relationship to planning

Clarify the types of estimates
Decide between top-down & bottom-up estimating
Set standards for a good estimate
The anchoring effect
Understand types of estimation error
Distinguish “estimate,” “target,” and “commitment”
Including variation and uncertainty in estimates
Understand where estimation ends and planning begins

Specific estimation techniques

Expert judgment for early project estimates
Checklists to improve early estimates
Structured group decision-making techniques
Better and worse proxies for early estimation
Feedback loops for improved estimates

Estimation procedures and presentation

Why have a standard estimation procedure?
Preferred methods by stage
Example of an estimation procedure
Estimate refinement throughout the project
Estimates of quality
Risk-scenario estimates
Three-point estimate presentation & variations
Recovering when the target becomes a commitment
Using principled negotiations

Sample Learning Program

Expand each section below using the toggles to see all the details. This is one possible shape this Learning Program can take. For private offerings, we’ll work with you to customize the program for your learners’ needs.
What’s the time investment?
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Why are our Learning Programs so effective?

We interviewed more than 400 software leaders around the world and what did they request?

Customized, minimally disruptive virtual sessions that focus on real-world results through a balanced mix of coursework, self-study, and expert mentoring.

Continue to grow and thrive as a team

Team-Level Agile Planning

Learn how planning and estimation work in agile development work efforts. Gain the skills to plan and estimate, not for the number, but for the team understanding that planning and estimating generate.

Learn more »

Planning Across the Agile Boundary

Learn how teams can plan and estimate for people outside of the team to appropriately set expectations and manage commitments. Also, learn how to translate what the agile team is doing into language that works across the organization.

Learn more »

Estimation in Depth

Learn to apply proven estimation techniques early, when little is known about the project/agile release train/program increment. Gain a new understanding of what estimation is, and give early estimates with confidence.

Learn more »

Ready to give yourself or your team state-of-the-art learning?

Get in touch, and we’ll get right back to you!