Time Estimations and Time Tracking

The Idea

  • estimate work packages

  • measure the actual time we're taking

  • compare and learn

  • do it better next time (and scale up?)

The Project: Clippy!

The Tool: Toggl

  • shitty web client

  • helpful integrations

  • cool Chrome extension

  • okay-ish desktop app(s)

  • some cool stats

  • This is not about measuring performance!
  • It's about increasing estimation skills and experimenting with workflows.
  • It's about small improvements.
  • We're only talking about code implementations (i.e. no ideation or design work).


Ze Results


Total Time Gernot: ~13h

Total Time Sebastian: ~7h

Estimations vs. Real


Average Gernot: 108% 🦄

Average Sebastian: 234% 😱

Why such huge deviations?!

  • Forgot to start timer sometimes…
  • Forgot to pause timer during lunch breaks…
  • Different task interpretations
  • Surprises while developing
  • Sebastian has fewer code knowledge, therefore estimations are more difficult (novelty, surprises, …)?

Analysis of deviations

  • optimize personal workflow
  • discover problems with codebase
  • discover problems with knowledge transfer


  • Time Tracking is hard (at least at first)!
    • Easy to forget.
    • When (not) to track?
  • Smaller tasks are easier to estimate/get right.
  • Easier to focus and prioritize time when working with a timer.

Next Steps

  • Further estimates + tracking to increase sample size (and insights)
  • See how it goes for other projects
  • Potential to estimate whole features and projects?
  • You'll hear from us!

Thank you!

Comments? Questions?

Time Estimates & Time Tracking

By Sebastian Herrmann

Time Estimates & Time Tracking

Our insights about time estimates and time tracking for project Clippy.

  • 1,018