23 Feb, 2018
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Project Managers, Team Leaders, Developers and anyone who wishes to enhance their knowledge of estimating, including industry-standard techniques, will benefit from attending this course.


There are no prerequisites for this course.


2 days.

This course is available on site only. Please call for details.

Course Objectives

When was the last time you were part of a software development project that completed on time, on budget, on quality and met the relevant requirements? If you can’t remember, or if it’s never happened, perhaps this course can help!

One of the biggest challenges in project work is estimating – especially to the exacting expectations of managers and other stakeholders. This course outlines the problems associated with estimating software development projects, including the degree of uncertainty associated with estimates. The course attempts to provide solutions in a number of ways, particularly the use of appropriate industry-standard techniques. Finally, the course covers communication of estimates to stakeholders including the use of simplified statistical analysis to optimise subsequent decision-making.

By the end of this course, delegates will:

  • Understand the challenges associated with estimating so that good decisions may be made about what, when and how to estimate.
  • Be aware of the different sources and scale of errors associated with different types of estimates.
  • Apply appropriate estimating techniques and approaches within projects of different sizes and complexity.
  • Be able to communicate estimates to stakeholders in a manner which everyone understands and accepts as an optimum approach.

Course Content

Project Concepts
What is a Project?
What is a Successful Project?
Project Variables.
Project Management Process.
Software Development Methods.
Agile Development.

Estimating Concepts
What is an Estimate?
Estimates and Targets.
Estimates and Plans.
Single Point Estimates.
Normal Distribution, Skewed Distribution.
Estimates and Project Control.
What is a Good Estimate?
Inaccuracy of Software Project Estimates.
Overestimating and Underestimating.
Benefits of Accurate Estimates.

Estimation and Error
What are We Estimating?
Sources of Estimation Uncertainty.
Cone of Uncertainty.
Estimation Error by Development Activity.
Chaotic Development Processes.
Unstable Requirements.
Omitted Activities.
Unfounded Optimism.
Subjectivity and Bias Off-the-Cuff Estimates.
Unwarranted Precision.
Other Sources of Error.

General Estimating Techniques
Sliding Planning Window.
Top Down Estimating - Apportionment.
Work Breakdown Structures.
Product Breakdown Structures.
Bottom Up Estimating.
Estimating with Ranges.
Probability in Estimating.
Probability and 3 Point Estimates.
Expert Judgement.
Group Reviews.
Modified Delphi.
Wideband Delphi.
Estimation by Analogy.
Fuzzy Logic.
T-Shirt Sizing.

Function Point Estimating
Benefits and Uses.
Types of Function Point Counts.
When Not to Use Function Points.
Lines of Code.
Function Point Sources.
Calculating Unadjusted Function Points.
Calculating Adjusted Function Points.
Converting Function Points to Effort.
Converting Function Points to Lines of Code.
The Dutch Method.
GUI Elements.

Estimating with Use Cases
Use Case Diagram Notation and Documentation.
Use Case Points.
The UCP Process.
Technical Complexity Factors.
Environmental Complexity Factors.
UUCP - Use Case Type.
UUCP - ActorType.
Productivity Factor.

Estimating with User Stories
Introduction to Scrum.
Product Backlog.
Sprint Planning.
Sprint Backlog.
What Are User Stories?
Agile Estimating.
Process of Estimating Duration.
Estimating Size with Story Points.
Estimating Velocity.
Ideal Time and Elapsed Time.
Estimating in Ideal Days.
Estimation Scales.
Splitting User Stories.
Planning Poker.

Estimating Challenges
Calibrating Estimates.
Organisational Influences.
Subjectivity and Optimism.
Estimation Politics.
Presenting Estimates.
Collecting Data.

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