akienm: (Default)
More on estimating:

I have an employee who consistently underestimates his time (and project difficulty). So much so that recently, when I asked him how long something would take, we told me he had no confidence in his ability to estimate that.

here's what I came up with... He's a programmer, so this would likely have to be changed for some other kinds of work:



TASK:
Initial estimate:
Revised estimate:

Inputs: Things I know I need for this task which already exist:
1) i.e.: Object.Method()
2)
3)
...

Inputs II: Things I know I need for this task which do not already exist:
1)
2)
3)
...

Transform:
(what will be done when this task is executed)

Outputs:
(might be a list of objects, data, or whatever)



So, once this page is complete for this task, then for each item in Inputs II, another one of these sheets is generated.

If the subtask has items in it's Inputs II section, then for each of them, another sheet is done. This continues until there are no more things to do this for.

Then the estimates of each of the leaf tasks (ones with no more subtasks) are tallied up, and the Revised estimate fields are populated.

He learns from this process how to estimate better, because he can see the difference between his original estimate and the revised one, as well as coming up with a schedule he can keep to.

For this person, doing this like this not only generates good estimates, but also defines all needed interfaces before coding begins.

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akienm: (Default)
Akien MacIain

January 2017

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