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RE: [XP] Units of time for estimates

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  • Torben Wölm
    OK, I m through reading (that was 20 printed pages...) I think I m more clear on why I like using points now. I totally forgot about looking at estimates as
    Message 1 of 41 , Jul 2, 2001
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      OK, I'm through reading (that was 20 printed pages...)

      I think I'm more clear on why I like using points now. I totally forgot
      about looking at estimates as "level of difficulty" where 1 is easy and 3 is
      hard. That's why I find it easier to assign the points (than assigning
      hours).

      And I'm fine with the velocity also. We have several iterations worth of
      collected facts, so we are quite accurate with calculating how much calendar
      time is needed to implement features.


      I think the problem is how the masterplan is calculated:

      Management assume that we will be 80% productive. The last 20% is for
      (non-project related) meetings and the like. We have 37 hour work weeks, so
      that (roughly) gives the magic number of 30 productive hours each week.

      So when I give an estimate it will have to include project related meetings
      and administration of the project besides the actual time spent implementing
      features. This is hard to do, so we don't. We give an estimate in hours (of
      time needed for implementing features) and assign 25% uncertainty to the
      estimate.


      Right now I'm quite confused. I don't know if there's a problem at all, but
      my manager does not get the point system. She needs a mapping from the
      points to the hour system. What I've started to do is mapping one (story)
      point to 1 week (that is 30 hours).


      I tend to get angry with this. I think the points/velocity method is so much
      better, because the velocity is based on real measures. We have our velocity
      and we can give a quite good estimate of how many features we can implement
      in a given (calendar) period.


      I think my manager has a problem with it, because there is no clear mapping.
      The points are abstract, and she probably has a hard time dealing with this
      abstract system. She feels out of control if she can't tell the exact hours.
      Part of this probably comes from the initial planning meeting. At that time
      we just pulled a number out of thin air, stating a velocity of 1 story point
      per programmer per iteration (2 week iterations). That amounts 0.5 iteration
      point per programmer per day (1 story point is 5 iteration points). She
      almost went throug the roof.

      In her calculation we were only 50% productive. And the masterplan says all
      resources must be 80% productive. After a long discussion she agreed to try
      with this figure, assuming the velocity would rise after 2 weeks when the
      first iteration ended. After 2 weeks the real velocity was 0,33...

      Maybe all our trouble started here. She wanted to know exactly why we were
      not faster. Part of it was significant changes in some of the stories
      (zeroing out some of the effort spent), but the real time consumers were non
      project related tasks. Old systems needed attention and servers were
      breaking down. And probably the hours spent on these tasks were not
      compatible with the point system. I don't know.

      All in all my manager is confused when she looks at our plan. I've set it up
      in a spreadsheet lined up with 1) Initial plan, 2) Expected points done, 3)
      Real points done and 4) Current plan.

      Columns 2, 3 and 4 are updated after each iteration to reflect the measured
      activity.

      Well, I probably confused you all now. I can see it doesn't seem clear. I
      just spilled my thoughts and experience, and I will appreciate any
      suggestions for making it clear.

      I think I have enough to do with calculating velocity, updating plans and
      calculate between story and iteration points. When I every 2 weeks must map
      the numbers to "masterplan-compatible" units, my mind fries.

      Again, thanks for the responses so far. I'm trying to compile the answers
      and see if I can make something out of it, to present to my manager.

      Best regards,
      Torben
    • Nicky Petrila
      bill..just wanted to thank you...i was able to take a look at their website..looks very interesting..i ll have to drop them a line to find out when they will
      Message 41 of 41 , Jul 23, 2001
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        bill..just wanted to thank you...i was able to take a
        look at their website..looks very interesting..i'll
        have to drop them a line to find out when they will be
        meeting..thanks once again..nicky

        --- wecaputo@... wrote:
        >
        > check out these resources for CHAD (the Chicago
        > Agile Developers):
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chicago-agile-dev
        > http://brain.cs.uiuc.edu/CHAD
        > http://www.objectmentor.com/chad.htm
        >
        > Best,
        > Bill
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Nicky Petrila
        >
        >
        > <pirates95@ya To:
        > extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > hoo.com> cc:
        >
        >
        > Subject:
        > [XP] Are there any XP meetings in Chicago area?
        >
        > 07/19/2001
        >
        >
        > 01:53 PM
        >
        >
        > Please
        >
        >
        > respond to
        >
        >
        > extremeprogra
        >
        >
        > mming
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > hi out there..i was wondering if there are any
        > meetings in the chicagoland area in regards to
        > XP...pls let me know..nicky
        >
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