How-to Estimate Like a Pro

Estimation - A 10 minute Crash Course

WHat We'll Cover

 

  • Who wants them (and why)
  • How much time you have (how can you figure out how productive you are)
  • Breaking down work (yea, this is actually the last thing)

This is Probably You While Giving an Estimate

Your MIssion If you Choose to Accept IT

Harness the power of estimates. Use them to your advantage. Do more and do less at the same time!

Why Estimate ANything?
It's Done When It's Done Right?

Nah - Estimates Have Power, Use them To your Advantage

Estimates help you and the company, understand what a reasonable amount of time is to ship something. If you've ever felt like the company is moving slowly, you can use the estimate to drive focus.

Scenario

PM/Designer/Other Eng: Hey do you think we can add one more feature before we ship?!!?!

You: Ooo that sounds cool! It will push our date back by 2 weeks but I'm on board.

 

PM/Designer/Other Eng: Ahhh good call out. Yea let's do it after.

Sooo Who Is Asking For An Estimate?

PMs + Various Other Leaders. Generally, they are asking in order to figure out if the budget in relation to priority.

RiCE Score

Reach X Impact X Confidence

EFFORT

=

Rice Score

Most people think this way when they prioritize even if they don't say it.

Original Blog Post

how much time are you working with

I hope your calendar isn't this gross

Steps

  1. Define Your Ideal Work Schedule
  2. Journal to Analyze Yourself
  3. Compare and fix

Tools to Build Focus

  1. Daily/Hourly Journaling
  2. Time boxing
  3. Pomodoro Technique
  4. Goal Setting: OKRs (Objective Key Result) or MITs (Most Important Tasks)

For Me - I wanted it to be 4 hours of coding Per Day

Sometimes 2 hours a day sometimes 6

Now, Break the work Down Into It's ComponeNt Pieces.

Be as detailed as needed. Ask lots of questions.

Questions Top to BOttom

  1. Why is the header blue here? Is this a new theme for the whole site?
  2. Header links work the same?
  3. How do we do the stroke around the title?
  4. What happens when we continue w/ Facebook, whats the next page?
  5. Are we passing any data to our apps using Branch by clicking app store links?
  6. How much more work are the responsive portions?

Questions should reduce/Clarify scope ONLY

Don't use this as a time to question the foundations of the company. Work with designers/pms/customers to come to a conclusion about what the product should actually do.

If you're questioning large company decisions, schedule a meeting, talk to someone directly at another time.

Documenting

  1. Header needs to be blue
  2. Hero
    1. Responsive is complicated
    2. Background is interesting
    3. Continue w/ FB button is slightly changed
    4. Title has the stroke behind it
    5. New app store buttons
    6. Arrow button
  3. Value props component
    1. Three pieces of content
    2. Dotted lines between sections

Rough Pointing

I won't talk about story points today, but I do use them.

  1. Header needs to be blue (2 points, fun w/ react routers)
  2. Hero
    1. The responsiveness is complicated (2 point)
    2. Background is interesting (1 point)
    3. Continue w/ FB button is slightly changed (1 point)
    4. Title has the stroke behind it (1 point)
    5. New app store buttons (1 point)
    6. Arrow button (1 point)
  3. Value props component
    1. Blue background, full width card thingy (1 point)
    2. Three pieces of content (1 point)
    3. Dotted lines between sections (1 point)

Rough Estimating

  1. Header needs to be blue (1 day)
  2. Hero (3->4 days, surprisingly it did, but not for the reasons I thought)
    1. Responsive is complicated (1 day)
    2. Background is interesting (2 hours)
    3. Continue w/ FB button is slightly changed (2 hours)
    4. Title has the stroke behind it (2 hours)
    5. New app store buttons (2 hours)
    6. Arrow button (2 hours)
  3. Value props component (1 -> 2 days)
    1. Blue background, full width card thingy (1 point)
    2. Three pieces of content (1 point)
    3. Dotted lines between sections (1 point)

you said About 1 week, but that's not when it's going to ship

3 devs for 1 week estimate = 2 week project after bug fixing

That's IT, really

Well sorta... 2 more notes

I don't always give an estimate

But when I do, it's because we need to focus.

 

Weirdly enough: I've noticed that folks tend to actually enjoy the time constrained projects more. Even though most folks complain about them the most.

 

Finding the balance is important.

Practice Makes Perfect

Pretty Soon Though

Fin.

Estimating Like a Pro

By Parris Khachi

Estimating Like a Pro

  • 518
Loading comments...

More from Parris Khachi