Estimating the effort involved in a software project remains a difficult process, and using the Agile methodology doesn't really make things easier. While Agile offers more flexibility throughout the software development lifecycle compared to older methodologies – most notably the Waterfall – accurate estimates at the beginning of an initiative are still important. They help customers stay engaged, and ultimately foster a successful project outcome.
Here are a few useful ideas on Agile project estimation. Leverage these insights to ensure your next software project goes as smoothly as possible. Good luck in your efforts!
Partial Estimates Are Better Than None
Some developers feel spending any time doing estimates flies against the core principles of Agile. On the other hand, customers – the ones with the purse strings – want to know when their app will be finished. Keeping them abreast of the current project status is simply a smart idea.
Finding some middle ground when it comes to Agile estimates is a great way to keep the client in the loop while also not spending time that could be better used writing code. Try creating a project roadmap that identifies each sprint, with a quick estimate of the time involved. This helps the customer understand the scope of the project at a high level.
Additionally, letting them test drive each portion of the app as the sprints are finished builds trust over the full length of the project.
Determine Release Criteria With the Customer
Essentially, a software project is finished once its release criteria are met. Spend time with the customer determining what features and functionality would meet their requirements for a full release. Document this information so the entire team – including the client – is able to refer to it as necessary.
Focus on providing a minimum viable product to get the base system in production as quickly as possible. Other features can be developed and implemented as future enhancements. Keeping the overall scope down to a manageable amount prevents delays while ensuring a satisfied client.
The most important thing is making sure the communication channel with the customer stays open. They begin to trust your team's abilities more throughout the project; leading to future work from them as well as from new clients found through referrals from your project successes.
Work With a Leading Software Solutions Company
If you need assistance bringing your great application idea to fruition, talk to the experts at SDE USA. As one of the top software development firms in the industry, we are also knowledgeable in modern methodologies, like Agile and DevOps. Schedule some time with us at your earliest convenience.