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New Post 3/7/2013 3:43 AM
User is offline sp_key
7 posts
10th Level Poster


Estimates 

Hi all,

Can someone recommend a 'friendly' way to get development estimates on features?

In the company I currently work, developers will never provide estimates in a meeting. They will do this on their own personal time and send the estimates over an email. Business will never question these estimates. While I don't have a great deal of BA experience (I'm just starting out) this doesn't feel right to me. But to change this attitude, I am thinking I may need a creative way to implement rather than push with my questions.

Any advice will be highly appreciated!

Thanks

 
New Post 3/7/2013 10:30 AM
User is offline Chris Adams
323 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: Estimates 

 There seems to be other questions or concerns that you are not providing here.  To answer your questions properly we probably should know:

Is your SDLC more traditional or are you using an Agile approach?

Why do you think you need the estimates provided in the meeting?  Often developers need to thoroughly think through a feature to understand all of its impacts.  Then they come back with estimates they believe they can stand behind.

Do you think there is a need to really question the estimates the developers are providing?  Have they provided poor estimates in the past?

Are you not recieving enough detail or explanation with the estimates?

 

 


Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
LinkedIn Profile
 
New Post 3/8/2013 4:00 AM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster


re: Estimates 

Personally, I don't think its unreasonable for developers to provide estimates after going away and thinking about it. If you expect them to give estimates based on a discussion in a meeting I think that's unreasonable.

Sounds like your issues are perhaps these:

1. developer estimates are way higher than you expect

2. business accepts the estimates without question

To counter the high estimates you need to acquire statistics to prove that there estimates are unrealistically high. This will take time. I've been in this position in the past and have challlenged the estimates and lost. You need proof. Perhaps I've read this incorrectly but I don't think there is a short term solution. 

The other option is to find another job.

good luck with it

Kimbo

 
New Post 3/13/2013 1:03 PM
User is offline ACinKC
3 posts
No Ranking


Re: Estimates 

I never get estimates from the development staff right away.  I expect them to take the scope and initial requirements docs and think about the problem and possible solutions for a while and then get back with me (before a realistic deadline I specify when I first contact them) with their best guess.  I add contingency time -- if needed -- depending on the complexity of the project and submit my cost estimation worksheets to management for their study and (hopefully) approval.

 sp_key wrote
this doesn't feel right to me.

What doesn't "feel right" to you?  Why?  Maybe your expectations need to be addressed first.

Our estimates are always verified at the end of a project by comparing the estimate against the actuals.  If there are major discrepencies, either the estimate was way wrong, the scope and requirements were wrong (scope changed during the project), or significant issues occurred (sometimes priorities change mid-project and that affects the delivery).  You study those reasons and learn from them, then tweak the process to improve it.

 
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