arrow10 Comments
  1. faith smart
    Jan 14 - 2:24 pm

    i did not find what i needed [JK]

  2. Karl
    Jan 14 - 2:24 pm

    Hello AO!
    I really like your 50/90 approach to software estimates, it seems like a very simple yet powerful approach. I would be interested in some clarification though (brought on by our mutual interest in the Steve McConnell book you cited).

    1) Do you make a distinction between an estimate and a commitment to the customer? If so, how?

    2) I see on your site that you provide weekly updates to customers about “When will my project be finished?”. Does this mean you are providing re-estimates using the 50/90 tool to help combat the “Cone of Uncertainty”?

  3. Carl Erickson
    Jan 14 - 2:24 pm

    Great questions, Karl.

    Our commitment to the customer is to always know where the project stands with respect to time and budget. For ongoing projects we maintain a backlog of features, estimate in relative complexity points, and track the team’s velocity. We report on what we’ve done and extrapolate project completion with a burndown chart we deliver weekly.

    The burndown chart shows the impact of scope change. We’ll re-estimate features in the backlog when we’ve learned something new that’s relevant. Otherwise, the team’s velocity adjusts up or down and the absolute accuracy of the estimates doesn’t matter.

  4. [...] time and effort helping customers set a budget. We’ve established really strong patterns of estimating and tracking our work. We’ve got highly refined charts that report on progress toward completion. [...]

  5. [...] Previous posting: Range estimates [...]

  6. [...] and use that map to define a minimum viable product. We then estimate the development effort, in ranges of days, to implement the features that allow users to complete the defined tasks. To aid in our estimation [...]

  7. [...] of an application’s core features. In order to responsibly and efficiently estimate, we conduct a range analysis. We use this technique because we want to establish a responsible middle ground between our [...]

  8. Myke Preuss
    Feb 28 - 5:44 pm

    I really like the info you’ve presented here, so much so it inspired me to make a web app using the formula your outlined to make it easier for me come up with estimates.

    Check it out:

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. [...] the tasks and dependencies, those people that would do the work gave the time estimates using the Aggressive-But-Possible (ABP) and Highly-Probable (HP) times. Everyone accepted these task estimates as fact and did not override [...]

  10. [...] I did what any smart customer would do. I pulled rank and ordered that the estimates be done using aggressive but possible (ABP) and highly probable (HP) times. Oh, and I would be responsible for the project [...]

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