Estimating software development effort is tricky and can often be a point of contention in the team. I have seen teams spending an entire day planning a 2 week sprint, working out every detail of every task. After a few sprints they have some sense of their team’s “velocity” and could tell how much work their team can deliver in a sprint. And I have seen teams where developers huddle casually, take on major features, gives out rough dates, and miss their deadline by a lot.
I can’t propose a generic process for estimation as it’s highly dependent on the nature of business, team size, culture etc. And frankly I don’t even know what the best process looks like. Instead I am going to share some common pitfalls and best practices that are applicable for any development team. This is a useful read for developers and product owners alike. Let’s dive in!