AgileByExample 2016

AgileByExample 2016

Paweł Brodziński

Paweł Brodziński is a leader, a team builder and a change agent, but most of all he is an always experimenting practitioner trying to make his teams work better (and learn in the process).
Paweł leads Lunar Logic, a web agency in Poland, that chose to have no managers and became fully self-organized company.
He blogs sharing his thoughts on different aspects of running a software development company at http://brodzinski.com. Pawel is passionate about building great teams, evolving superb organizational culture and helping people to grow.

Statistical Forecasting: Software Estimation Made Easy

Let us say something obvious. Estimating is hard. So how come that we at Lunar Logic barely remember times when it was an issue?

The standard approach to estimation is based on expert guesses. This means that subconsciously we make ourselves vulnerable to cognitive biases which render our estimates too optimistic and unreliable. That neither is fun for development teams nor provides much value to clients.

We can employ a different strategy. Instead of relying on vulnerable human memory we use the actual historical data and run statistical simulations to produce a forecast. Not only is the outcome significantly better than what expert guess provides but also it requires less work from development teams.

We will share a story how our approach to estimation at Lunar Logic evolved from a common scenario to what we call statistical forecasting. We’ll share the theory behind, show how we do it and present some real data to back up the story. After all, once we understand why estimation is hard we can easily improve how we do it.

Slides Video