10 Tips to Get The Most Out of Your Estimation Sessions

Estimation can be a real pain in the backside. Here are our top ten tips for estimation in an Agile environment:

  • Understand the value that estimating is bringing your team and organisation
  • Don't use an electronic tool during your estimation sessions. It always takes longer. If you use an electronic tool to track your work, type up your results after.
  • Timebox each estimate. If it's taking too long, park it and discuss outside of the meeting with less people until it's sufficiently detailed to estimate.
  • Don't estimate anything you don't have to.
  • Always prioritise estimates for work you are doing sooner rather than later.
  • Be honest in your estimates. Have a reference item to compare you estimates to so you can validate.
  • Ask questions if you don't understand the work. If you're worried you're taking up too much time by asking questions find someone after and ask to pair.
  • I like the Product Owner's to estimate too. It helps show any discrepencies in understanding. The team's estimate is still the estimate.
  • Involve several people and disciplines in estimating your work.
  • Don't stress about estimates. By definition they are inaccurate.

What top tips have you got? We'd love to hear them.