Mar 28, 2017

What Is an Effective Technique for Agile Estimates?


So your organization decided to use the Agile methodology for its next project. You expect an efficient and ultimately more productive process, but what about estimating the overall effort? Agile is designed to better handle scope creep compared to older methodologies, like the Waterfall, but is a similar level of upfront estimation required?

With a successful project outcome in mind, here are a few ideas on how to handle estimating when using Agile. Leverage these insights to keep your effort on time and under budget.

Customers Want to Know When Their Software Will Be Done

While estimating isn't generally a focus of Agile – many feel it takes too much time better spent writing code – customers need to be informed when an application will be ready to use. Maybe they are planning a marketing initiative in concert with the release date? Whatever the reason, having some form of schedule helps make your clients happier – especially if you get the work completed earlier than expected!

Finding a middle ground between a full Waterfall scheduling effort and not doing any estimates is a good goal for an Agile project. The important thing is to build trust with the customer. Being able to show tangible progress throughout a project is one of the strengths of Agile.

Develop a Product Road Map

A simple schedule detailing when the functional areas of an application will be complete is a good basic estimate to share with the customer. This "product road map” gives them a high-level understanding of the various tasks within the overall project. If time allows, breaking down each individual effort into their subtasks helps improve the overall estimates.

Determining Release Criteria

Instead of a project due date, work with the customer to develop a set of criteria that must be met before an application gets deployed into production. This allows for more flexibility to build the most essential parts of an application first, leaving any non-essential functionality as enhancements. This approach is also more compatible with the Continuous Deployment model used by many enterprises in today's business world.

As noted earlier, this style of estimation also helps build trust with your clients. They are able to see working functionality in production earlier compared to an older methodology. Work on enhancements can proceed without spending an inordinate amount of time creating estimates and a schedule.

Work With a Leading Software Solutions Companies

When you need additional advice on bringing your application idea to fruition, talk to the experts at SDE USA. As a top software development firm focused on Agile and co-sourcing, we can help your business achieve a new level of success. Connect with us soon!

If you have any questions or want to discuss, let us know!

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