The Hidden Truth About Software Estimations vs Actual Time

By Shai Shandil / On / In #WhyShaiWhy [Videos], Agile, Scrum

The software development world has been sucking at estimating cost and time of projects for over 50 years now. Not only are we wrong so often, but there is a lot of suspicion about how much “buffer” we’re adding.

To this day, team leads and project managers wonder why estimation (and work-logging) is the cause of so much contention in our industry.

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Who Else Wants an Ego-free Work Environment?

By Shai Shandil / On / In #WhyShaiWhy [Videos], Leadership, Management

We’re not all the same.

We might all wear suits of armour at work, but not all IT people are the same. We tend to be broken into two major categories, software and hardware/systems. The hardware/system peeps have magical abilities that include setting up computer assets to bring the network ‘alive’; doing funky things with servers so most people don’t need to be too technical to use a computer successfully; and  ensuring your email is delivered miraculously.

On the flip side, the software folk (and here I mean development teams) can conquer bottlenecks in organisational processes, give eye-opening insight into data through business intelligence, and take business strategy and ready it for operational execution.

So yes, both camps are extraordinary, but please don’t ask the leader of one camp be the leader of the other (or both). That’s plain ridiculous. Put it this way:

Do you think putting a commander in the Russian Space program in charge of the next NASA manned mission is a good idea?

Heck no! Not without some decent training, anyway.

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Software Estimates vs Actuals: Don’t Make This Mistake!

By Shai Shandil / On / In #WhyShaiWhy [Videos], Agile, Get Started with Agile, Software

Before you clicked “buy” on your last Amazon purchase, you checked when the product would be in your hands.

When you hired a plumber to repair your sink, you asked how long it would take until you could wash dishes again.

And when you ordered an Uber after that meeting last year, the app told you how long you’d be standing out front before the car arrived for you to quietly slip away.

Having an idea of when we’re going to receive or accomplish something is important. We crave it; sometimes for practical reasons – will I get my order in time for the wedding? – and often for emotional reassurance – how long will I have to feel like this??

Software development projects are no stranger to estimations, which is why we have an Estimations workshop in our Agile-as-a-Service program.

But believe it or not, some teams don’t do estimations at all.

Why on earth not?

If you’re on one of these teams, you might be asking, “Why are estimations so great, anyway?”

Let’s answer both of these questions!

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How Wideband Delphi Works to Estimate Software Projects

By Shai Shandil / On / In #WhyShaiWhy [Videos], Agile, Scrum

Wideband Delphi is a software project estimating technique that completely revolutionizes how you estimate! But why is it so useful and how was it developed?

During the Cold War, The RAND Corporation was charged with investigating a methodology to approximate the number of people, time, and resources needed to win the Arms Race against the Soviet Union. Great little piece of history, right? And it’s got a LOT to do with how we estimate work in Agile, today!

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How to Break Agile by Ignoring Three Vital Ingredients

By Shai Shandil / On / In Agile

“Shai, I don’t think this Agile thing is going so well…”

It was the phone call that always break my heart. This team had put a lot of time and effort into Agile – was it all going to go to waste?

Her next words were right on queue: “Maybe Agile just isn’t right for us.”

Well, maybe it wasn’t. But probably not for the reasons this team leader thought!

Why do so many teams get lackluster results with Agile?

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