A question we get asked quite often is: how do we estimate agile projects?
And our reaction is nearly always: what’s different about agile? We are of course, being tongue-in-cheek! Agile is different, but not so different that all the techniques in waterfall, iterative, hybrid project management should be thrown out the window.
You can use comparative and parametric estimating, benchmarking, and so on. In fact, you should use these, because without an idea of how much work you’re taking on, how can you be confident you have about the right size team for the job? How can you fit into the wider organisation’s resource demands?
We would go further and make the statement that pure agile does not exist. Funding is nearly always aligned with the wider drumbeat of an organisation, and this is often annual. Conseqently the agile project within an organisation has to make commitments - usually quarterly - over their team size and funding requirements.
Indeed, pure agile would require agile funding, in which the scrum master would take their empty bucket over to the sponsor and request they fill it up with cash. Please do write to us if you’ve ever worked in such an environment!
So, given we need to scope work over the longer timeframe, what’s different about agile?
- the way money is parcelled up
- the way the work is scoped