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Tuesday, August 4 • 15:45 - 17:00
Budgeting vs Estimating for Agile Projects (Debbie Madden, Rex Madden) POPULAR

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Abstract:
Nearly every software development project starts with one question: "How much is this going to cost?" Want to learn a powerful 4 step, tactical approach to budgeting that gives you the confidence to answer this question well and that takes 20% of the time than estimating? Read on.
The Problem
Product managers and stakeholders are constantly deciding, “Should I build this?”, "How big a team do I need?", “Which features should I build next?”, "How long will this take" or "What will I get by X date?" Knowing whether a project is going to take a few weeks or several months is a big factor. But estimating software projects is hard. You're trying to predict the future. Realistically, teams will usually be off by 40% to 50%, maybe even 100% or 200% (http://bit.ly/1yGeybG). And estimating takes time: even the lightest-weight Agile processes take several hours...sometimes even days or weeks. Finally, detailed overly-specific estimates end up restricting creativity. In the end, paying a lot of time for poor estimates that helped lead to the #noestimates movement, with teams refusing to do any estimates up front.
The Truth
Most people know estimates aren’t perfect, but they’d still like to have some sense of scale. “Are we talking days, weeks or months?” is often enough to make a good business decision. After all, a set of features might sound good if it’s 1-3 weeks, but might not be worth it if they’re 1-3 months.
The truth is: It's still the responsibility of the technical team to provide these estimates. Why? Because technical teams are the ones that have the most relevant knowledge to answer the question.
The Solution
We’ve got a powerful solution. For strategic and high level decisions: Stop estimating, start budgeting. We walk you through a tactical, 4 step solution that you can use in your job today to budget both new projects as well as ones that are in progress. We will show you how to fit the process to the decision, doing just enough estimating to satisfy the business side. We will also show you how to present your estimate as a range of outcomes so that you can reinforce the “inexactness” of the estimating process.
Who's This For?
This is truly valuable for anyone on an Agile team that wants or needs to know "How long is this project going to take?", "What features will get done by X date?" or "How many people should I put on this project?" If you are a Product Manager, Project Manager, CTO, VP Engineering, Developer, Stakeholder, CEO, then you will want to attend this session.
Learning Outcomes:
  • Decision-Making - Step 1 of 4 of our tactical solution walks through the importance of clarifying the true decisions you are making. You'll learn how to get to the root of 'Why' you need to know "How much this is going to cost?" and you'll learn techniques you can use to determine if Estimating or Budgeting is the right tool for your specific decision.
  • Probability Calibration - You get to try your hand and probability calibration. Most people aren’t as good at it as we think. Most people are either generally over confident or under confident in their estimations. We teach you techniques on how to level yourself to get better at accurately 'guessing' an appropriate range of how long something will take.
  • Monte Carlo Simulation - We show you how to run your calibrated probability guesses them a Monte Carlo simulation 1000's of times. The result is a range of cost and time results that you can be confident in.
  • Budgeting New and Existing Projects - We teach you how to budget a brand new project as well as use feedback from in progress projects to continue to refine your budget model, in a way that embraces variability and risk inside Agile projects. We walk through a sample project and teach you how to get a realistic budget in 20% of the time it takes to do a full Agile estimating sessions, by using Monte Carlo simulations, or by using Ballpark (www.stridenyc.com/ballpark)


Speakers
avatar for Debbie Madden

Debbie Madden

CEO, Stride
Debbie is the CEO of Stride (www.stridenyc.com), NYC's premier Agile software development consultancy. We help technical teams be their best, both inside the code and out. We embed, colocate with you to add capacity, build products, improve process. And, we launch MVPs and build complex full stack enterprise products.Debbie has built 5 companies from the ground up, and has been CEO of 3 of them. Most recently, she grew Cyrus to a 5-time Inc... Read More →
RM

Rex Madden

CTO, Stride
Tinkering, learning, improving are my passions. As the Technical Co-Founder of Stride, I am bringing 19 years of running startups to the NYC tech community. I've run and formed 5 startups and have been writing code my entire life. Agile software development and Lean Startup drive my thinking. I'm constantly looking for ways to help businesses improve through software. Whether that's using a new technology or improving the team process... Read More →


Tuesday August 4, 2015 15:45 - 17:00
Potomac 5/6