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Re: [XP] Units of time for estimates

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  • azami@speakeasy.net
    What is the benefit of having two different point systems (story and iteration points)? Is it worth the added complexity? If you can get your manager to
    Message 1 of 41 , Jul 2 7:35 AM
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      What is the benefit of having two different point systems (story and
      iteration points)? Is it worth the added complexity?

      If you can get your manager to understand that velocity is variable,
      why can't you simply change the mapping every iteration?

      For example, suppose in iteration 1 you did 6 story points, so you
      have a velocity of 6. For iteration 2, you predict you will do 6
      story points worth of work. You need to account for 30 hours/week,
      therefore 60 per iteration... so the ratio is 10 hours per story
      point. (Multiply by the number of developers if you need man-hours.)
      Now suppose you do 7 points worth in iteration 2, so you have a new
      velocity. Well, you still have 60 hours per iteration, so recalculate
      - 7 points in 60 hours is just over 8.6 hours per point. Round up to
      get a nice number while reducing rather than increasing risk, and call
      it 9.

      Would your manager understand if you said, "each iteration we will
      recalculate the time estimates on everything we haven't done yet,
      based on the time it's actually taken us to do the things we have
      done"? If so, don't even talk about points with your manager. Use
      the points for your own estimates, and use the latest known weather to
      translate those into times. Stick 'em in a spreadsheet so you can
      just change the ratio and recalc to get the numbers your manager
      wants.

      Be sure to present it as the estimates getting more accurate, not your
      own productivity changing.


      Hope this helps,
      Matthew
      azami@...

      --- In extremeprogramming@y..., Torben Wölm <torben.wolm@e...> wrote:
      > 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 1:16 PM
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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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