How to Estimate Projects and Tasks With Ease | Learn with TeamGantt | Brett Harned | Skillshare

How to Estimate Projects and Tasks With Ease | Learn with TeamGantt

Brett Harned, Director of Education, TeamGantt

How to Estimate Projects and Tasks With Ease | Learn with TeamGantt

Brett Harned, Director of Education, TeamGantt

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8 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What Is Estimation?

    • 3. Why You Should Create Project Estimates

    • 4. Questions to Ask Before Estimating

    • 5. Estimating Tactics

    • 6. Estimating in TeamGantt

    • 7. Estimating Agile Projects and Tasks

    • 8. Recap and Conclusion

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About This Class

Whether you're working on a project with a team or taking on a solo gig, you'll want a good idea of what it'll take to complete that thing. The best way to get a sense for the level of effort of a project or task is to create an estimate. Here's the thing: it's not that difficult to do!

You've got to remember that estimates are never perfect—but some tactics can certainly improve your aim. Find out what goes into a good project estimate and how to eliminate the guesswork.

In this class, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Make the case for sound estimates
  • Determine whether a project is worth taking on
  • Evaluate your project or task from all angles
  • Engage your team and stakeholders in an estimating process that works
  • Break your project down into its smallest parts for easier—and more accurate—estimation
  • Explore methods of estimation for typical project types, and even personal projects

Meet Your Teacher

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Brett Harned

Director of Education, TeamGantt


I’m Brett Harned, the director of education at TeamGantt. I've got 20 years experience managing project and people. I'm a digital project management consultant, coach, and community advocate from Philadelphia, PA. My work focuses on providing top-notch project management resources through TeamGantt, and solving issues that are important to organizations who want to produce quality digital projects in harmony. I love to build processes and communication tactics that work not only for projects, but for the people involved in them.

Previously, as a consultant, I worked with companies like Simple, YNPN, Navy Federal Credit Union, and a number of digital agencies. Prior to starting my consultancy, I was Vice President of Project Management at Happy Cog, where I mentore... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi. Thanks for joining me for how to estimate projects and tasks with ease. If you're here, you're probably a little bit like most people and that you think estimating is hard and you know what? You're absolutely right. It is hard, but you can get better at it with some practice in this class, I plan to share my thoughts on estimates and what makes them good. But to clarify, I'll be talking about estimating your time on projects. Whether that be the design of a website painting a room building, the Lego Hogwarts or whatever it is you need to do, you can get it. I'm also going to talk about different ways that you can estimate based on the type of projects that you're running, so we'll get into a waterfall hybrid and agile project types. If you're not totally familiar with those phrases, you should be fine. But if you want to learn more, check out my first skill share class. Either way, there's a lot of information included in this class that will help you to become a better estimator no matter where you work or what you work on. So let's start with a little test, All right. Not a real test, but a scenario to kind of get you thinking. Here's my question. How much time will it take me to read the first chapter of this book? Thank you. Not so easy to answer, is it? Probably because you have a lot of questions for me. Maybe you're thinking how many pages are there in the chapter? Are there any illustrations? How fast can you even read? Those are all really good questions, and I'll never tell you how fast or slow I read. But really, what you should know here is that you should never just throw a number out for an estimate . After all, you're not on. The price is right. When you're working on projects, you're gonna want to take a more measured approach to creating estimates. And lucky you, that's what this class is all about. So let's dig in 2. What Is Estimation?: Let's start at the top. So first, what is estimation? By definition, an estimate is an approximate calculation or judgment of the value number, quantity or extent of something. It's basically a rough guess, but for some reason people tend to think estimates are carved in stone, and they never should be, because they're not exact their guesses for what it could take to get something done. So if it's always a guess, then why is it so difficult to create a good estimate? Well, I think estimating projects is not easy for a number of reasons. So, for instance, you know teams and talents different projects, and we all know that all individuals work at different paces in skill levels. After all, we're not robots. Then working on projects, even if they're similar in nature, are approaches. The projects tend to change over time. Whether that's dependent on the people involved, the technology or constraints were working with. Even a minor change could cause a change in an estimate. Next, sometimes were not given enough information to create good estimates. If you don't know exactly what you're estimating, how can you created a valid estimate? You know the list goes on here and we'll address these things and make it easier to estimate your projects and tasks. But before you say forget it and just pick a number, you have to understand what estimate is and why you should do them. 3. Why You Should Create Project Estimates: So let's bring it back to that point about estimates being a rough guess. I've actually had team members ask if our estimates are never exact, then why bother? Well, I get it. You know, people don't want to create estimates because they think there are a waste of time or they just want to get to work. Or maybe they've just never even created a helpful or useful estimate, so they just don't see the value of them. But there are a few reasons why you should create estimates. Let's talk through what those are, so you can use them to make the case for estimates in your work. Maybe when you're working with some of those Doubters out there. So the first question a solid estimate can answer is, Is the project worth it? Estimates helped to calculate a rough determination of costs, which can help to decide whether or not the project is worth the investment. So whether you're on the client side or an internal team, you want to know if the effort or cost matches the potential outcome. For instance, I'm not gonna build an app for my company if it costs a lot of money, and I won't see a solid return on that investment. So the next question an estimate can help answer is, Do we have the staff to complete this project? Your most accurate estimates will be based on specific tasks in the talent used to complete them. So estimating with staff or even the talents required in mind will help you to staff the project properly. Honestly, just exploring what something might be can help you determine if you have the right people on staff or if those people are even available. And if you really need to do the project, it will make you find those people before you urgently need them. If you're lucky, they'll help you to estimate their time as well. Next estimates helped to give a general sense of time needed to get the work done. You'll probably be wondering about the time needed to complete a project, especially if you're taking on something that you've never done before. So asking this simple question can we get a sense for how long this will take is definitely going to help you here. You know, you always want a sense for how long something will take to complete, so you can set the right expectations about deadlines. But it's also important to consider that Mawr complex projects could be dependent on other projects or tasks. Knowing just how long it will take to complete your project might answer an important question about another project and when it may have to start or when it might finish. Better yet, if you want to build something that is a hard deadline, will you have enough time to get that work done? If not, you might have to think of alternate approaches or even ideas to get that project done. But when you create solid estimates, which will get too soon, I promise you can make some pretty direct assumptions about overall timing. And that's powerful when you think about setting expectations on projects. Okay, so the last question is one that not all teams have the luxury of asking, but it can be important to team morale and even productivity, and it's are we excited about the project Project sure are easier to deliver when you have your teams investment in it. We all know that working with the team can be a challenge, but projects will feel next to impossible when no one is an agreement on them. That's why I think working together as a team to produce an estimate can be a great way to pull everyone together to talk about the details that will be important while working on the project and that staffing responsibilities, process and timing. When you estimate together and get into the details, it allows you to do a gut check on how interested everyone is in the project. In fact, if you all feel uneasy about it, it might be a good way to dodge a project that feels like it will just be a mess. So those are some simple questions that you can answer by creating an estimate and even help you to make the case for why you should create an estimate. So the next time someone tells you it's not worth your time to create an estimate, you could refute that and create an estimate, at least, to help you guide your work. Remember, it doesn't have to be exact. In fact, it never will be 4. Questions to Ask Before Estimating: All right, let's get into some tactics now, not jumping right into numbers. In fact, the first thing you want to do when you begin to estimate projects is ask some project specific questions that will help you to shape your estimate and eventually your project scope at a high level. You want to be sure that your fully considering an understanding your industry and the project type, as well as any changes or innovations that you might face your team and their capabilities , your process. And finally, a look back on similar projects. All right, so let's jump into those points individually. First, look at your industry and your project type. Think about the trends Changes in innovation happening in your space. This is a really wide ranging one that you should keep an eye on at all times. It's important for you to have a curtain ongoing view of what's happening in your respective industry for a lot of reasons, but mostly because our projects often come to us as a result of a trend or a change in that landscape. So you'll find it beneficial for you to have that information in your back pocket when you are creating an estimate now. This might not always help you with an actual estimate, but I will give you an opportunity to ask even more questions and figure out what might be coming to you in terms of a project. An example of this for me was back in 2009 when Responsive design became kind of the next best thing in the Web. We had to figure out how to estimate for it. That caused a lot of questions and changes to the way that we presented our work, the way that we gained approvals and the way that we even talked about what we did. And that certainly affected our project estimates because we put a lot more time into the actual process. Later, that changed because we found efficiencies. But having the opportunity to explore the process and create estimates with a team was so helpful because we had not had we not done that, we have lost a lot of money. Next, you'll need to really know your team and understand their capabilities. This one's really important, and it can be tough to manage. If you work in a large organization with a lot of different people. But it's important to remember that your collective team will make the work on the project happen and because not everyone works on the same level. You want to consider that on some level you should have an understanding of what your team members are capable of doing and even where they might need some training. It's all about understanding, capabilities and expertise and being committed to find that information when you don't know it, because when you know that level of information, you'll be able to create more solid estimates based on who might be assigned to the project . Next, of course, is process. Process will play a pretty big role in how you create estimates. Chances are you have some general guidelines for how you run your projects. If you don't, you should definitely have a discussion about process with your team because it will impact how you estimate and plan your projects. You want to be sure that your accounting for how you handle deliveries, presentations, meetings, collaboration, internal reviews in any other event that leads up to a delivery. I also just want to note that process can evolve a good way to keep up with those changes is to conduct retrospective or postmortem meetings so that you can continue to learn about what's working and what isn't working on your projects. When you determine things will change and you document, um, you'll not only find it easier to conduct the work next time around, you'll find it easier to create an estimate for that work. At the same time. When you run retrospective meetings, you kind of force yourself to check in on projects and understand the complexities of what you do well and what you might struggle with. And that leads me to my last point here, if you can. When you're about to create your estimate, check in on the history of similar projects. What I mean by history here. Well, I'm talking about any retrospective or postmortem meeting notes, previous estimates, budgets or plans and even time logged against tasks in your time tracking system. If you have one. Honestly, just knowing or seeing how something worked in the past will help to provide context for how you might approach it in a new project. It might not be apples to apples, but it will help you to ballpark estimate, and that will make your estimate of little less difficult to pull together. All right, that's the end of that section of the class. Those are all things that you should keep in mind when estimating every project. But the questions don't end here unless you're absolutely positive about your project or task and related estimates. I'll get MAWR into that in a few minutes. 5. Estimating Tactics: but shouldn't been to some estimating tactics. Before I share tactics, though, I want to talk for a second about how you'll get this done, and that's gonna depend on where you work and who you work with. If you're working on a team as a project manager, do everything that you can to involve your team and your estimating process. Doing that will help you to come up with a more accurate estimate and a more well rounded estimate. I found that estimating and teams brings up more or sometimes better. Questions also brings up new approaches, quality, discussion on process and collaboration and ultimately, more accurate estimates. So if you can work with the team to estimate, try it. If you can't work with a team or don't even know who your team will be because that happens , you can use the tactics I'm about to present to create your estimate anyway. Okay, so let's say you have a new project to sort out. The first thing you should do is give everyone that info that you have about the project and then sit down as a team and talk about the project. Here's a rundown of what you should discuss first, dissect the project issue or future and its goals together. What do I mean by that? Well, as a team, you have to agree on what it is you're estimating. It might sound silly, but we all interpret information differently. And on that note you'll notice that I've added issue in future here. It's because you can use thes estimating tactics when a new idea new requirement or a bit of scope is added to your project. Sometimes requests come in small bites, and you have to address them as one offs. Regardless, you want to make sure that you're truly understanding what it is that you're actually designing or building. Talk about the intent of the projects. You know, what should it do and why? Remember, every project has a goal. If you identify it early on, you can use it as your way finding tool not only to help you formulate your scope, but to avoid the inevitable scope creep if you have requirements, that's great if you don't start thinking about what they might be, and discuss them with your team and stakeholders that you can get pretty clear about what will be included in your estimate. Essentially, you have to get granular on the what and the why. So that you can figure out the how on screen or a series of questions you can ask your client stakeholders of your team. Depending on how your project will be operated and who will be involved, these questions will help you to get to the information you need to create a more accurate estimate. This list could totally go on and on and on, depending on the level of information that you're provided, be persistent and get the answers that you need. And if you're doing this is a precursor to a client project in your client. Contact isn't inclined to answer every question. Take that as a sign. If it's too much to answer a set of questions to help you to form a good estimate now, will it be too much for them to be a good partner when the project's actually underway? You know, use your judgment in this respect. Not every estimate becomes a real project. So not every request he's become a really estimate or project either. Next discussed timelines and resource is needed. Ah, project deadline can create immediate constraints on process. Deliver bols and sometimes even budgets, so make sure everyone's aware of that constraint. If you keep your team's availability and expertise or experience level in mind. And look at that through the lens of a budget, you'll be able to decide who's best suited for the project or if you can even take on the project in the deadline. If the deadline seems tight. Next, think and talk about stakeholders and partners who may be involved in your project As a project manager, I can tell you that not all clients or stakeholders are created equally. Some folks just get it and are easy to work with, and others need a little more attention. Diagnosing that early on can tell me how much time I'll need to spend with them, and that will impact my estimate. But also think about how large or stakeholder team is. Well, they require a lot of education and meetings. Do they work with other partners who will have a role in your project? That's all going to take a lot of time to, so you have to consider it. It's easy to Onley estimate the tasks. Remember to consider the amount of time you spend in meetings in slack email, team Gant on the phone or any other mode of communication you use on your projects. All right, so that's all. I ask a lot of clarifying questions to get the details you need. Sit down and discuss your project and its goals. Your timeline and the people involved talk about the variables that contribute to how you're thinking about an estimate, and that's going to spark ideas about process, pricing, collaboration. Deliver Bols and so much more. So if you work with the team and can get into a room to talk it out, you should. If you're working alone, use the questions against the information that you need to come up with your best estimate . You can totally do this alone. Now we're ready to get into some number crunching. Once you're armed with the information that you need to make some real decisions based on actual facts, you're ready to create the most realistic estimate possible. I've got this traditional project management method in my tool kit, and I use it all the time, not only at work but with home projects as well. It's called a work breakdown structure, and it's a method by which you can visually represent the composition of a project by breaking down all projects, stages and theyre aspects into the smallest possible components. So essentially this method makes you think critically about all of the tasks in sub tasks that will make up your project. Here's an example of a traditional work breakdown structure. As you can tell, it's for a bridal shower. You may be wondering why it's not for a website redesign or some other professional projects. Well, here's my answer. Project management seeps into our daily lives. Just think about all of the projects that you take on in your life everything from planning dinners, vacations whom renovation projects. The list is never ending, and you can use the fundamentals of what you learn in this class to help you manage your own personal projects. So I pulled this example from the Web, and it shows the project broken into four groups of tasks. Guests, location, caterer and decorations within each their sub tasks to explain all of the work that needs to be done for each your work breakdown for a similar project or event might not be the same as this one, and that's okay. We all work differently. And that's why listing out steps could be really valuable to talk about process, timing and, of course, estimates. You'll also notice that there are no estimates related to the tasks in this work breakdown structure, and we want more information on that. That's why I have adopted a little bit. If this looks airfields complicated, adapted to your own style, I happen to like list, So my format is a little different. Here's a work breakdown structure I created for my own home project. I moved recently and wanted to get a sense for how long it might take and how much time my wife and I would need to devote to the project. I have to say that this estimate was not really even close to reality, but that's OK because estimates are guesses and I learned from it and will do better the next time that we move. So check out how I broke it down. First, I listed the high level groups of tasks, searching for a new home, buying a new home and moving under each group. I've added tasks as well as possible durations for each, with a total of days needed Side note here. When you're estimating projects you can use any time valued like I tend to use hours on work related projects and days for home projects. To me, estimating ours is more difficult, but it will get you a more accurate and specific estimate that you can benchmark, especially if you're tracking time against tasks. One place where I screwed this up was in the moving section. I have packed boxes at five days, and in reality it took us about seven, and the move was a huge miss because while we took two days to do that, it took about a month to truly settle in and know where everything was in the new house. But again, that's OK. I was ahead of the game, just having a general estimate here. What it comes down to is that you have to break every larger task down into sub tasks to truly understand the level of effort, and sometimes it's helpful to get really granular by breaking a task into sub tasks. For instance, if I'm writing an article ID break that work down into smaller tasks like outlining, drafting, content, thinking about requesting or creating images, editing, delivering for review, gathering, feedback, editing and revisions, proof reading, formatting and presenting. The idea here is to list every imaginable task from the smallest to the biggest and to provide an estimate on what it will take to complete each on its own. From there, you can then add up all the values and get a sense for the overall time needed. On that note, you can estimate your time like I said in minutes, hours, days, weeks or months. Whatever it is, it's gonna help you feel like you have a sense for how much time that task should take. I tend to prefer hours and minutes because I need that level of detail on my Bork projects . But I've certainly seen larger chunks of time estimated for larger, longer term project estimates. At the end of the day, getting into the detail makes it easier to translate things that might seem big and unmanageable into small, manageable and estimate herbal tasks. I think that when you think about it that way, it makes estimating, Ah, whole lot easier, but you might be sitting there thinking the work breakdown structure is fine, but I'd like to create an estimate for a task based on a plan. Or how do I think about how my team will work? How do I do that? Well, you're a step ahead of me if you're thinking that way, I'm gonna show you now how you can create a plan and include estimates at the task level in Team Gap, which is an online project planning and management software that can help. You can do so much more than create projects, but manage them. Team gang can definitely help you here, and I'm gonna show you now. 6. Estimating in TeamGantt: Okay, let's take a look at how you can quickly and easily make an estimate in team can. So, first, the first thing that you want to do is set up your plan and team get so I have gone through . You can see here this is my marketing site redesigned. That's the name of the project. And I've set up basically groups of tasks as well as tasks that correlate with them for the plan. Now, if you want more information on how to create a plan and team get check out my first class , which is the basics of project management using team Gap. That's gonna help you to get started really quickly. In order to set up an estimate and team get, you do need to be on the advance plan. And that's something that you would have have to work out with your account holder before you estimate with hours. You do have to set up your project and team get to make sure that you can enable hours. I'm gonna show you how to do that. I'm hovering over the menu, But no, I'm gonna click on that, and then I'm gonna go into my project settings within project settings. Over here, you can see on the right hand side there's project settings. I'm gonna enable hours. Just simply clicking on that button there is going to help me to basically estimate hours on the task level by person. You can also include the master workload view, which essentially, once you've estimated the hours will show you how many hours have been assigned to a single person. And if you're managing a lot of projects across a lot of people, this is a great way to keep track of your resource ing. I also have it set to not schedule on holidays, which is always a bonus for yourself and the people that you're working with and you can set your days of the week here is Well, I'm gonna leave it Monday through Friday. All right, so that should set everything. Just need to close out of that. Now. What I want to do is basically show you how you should add your team to the plan because you can't add estimates without a team member, so you can either navigate the people tab here or invite people to the project. I'm gonna click on people. They both go to the same place. Both buttons go to the same place you can see. I've already pre loaded my team into the project. It's really quick and easy to invite more people, which happens all the time. So when I click on this box, I get a full list of all of the people who have been in, um, my team get account over the years, or I can go ahead and just add an email address to add someone new. I'm gonna leave this for now because these are the people that I want in the plan. Just wanted to show you how to add people going to go back to the get view to show you how we can add people to tasks. So, like I said, I've already got my tasks planned out. Essentially, all I have to do is hover over a task. So this is the conduct stakeholder interviews. I'm gonna click on this assigned task button, the little kind of person icon, and essentially all I have to do is decide who's doing network. So let's say that myself and Laura are going to do this work right, right now this is saying 1.3 hours. I'm going to say this is going to take me at least two hours a day and then that's going to say for a total of two hours, let's say Laura is also going to take two hours and then I just click done. It shows the hours that each person is assigned to and the people who are assigned to the task. I accidentally clicked off Nathan, so I'll do that. And it takes him off here a swell. So it's super simple to add people remove people and adjust those hours. You may have noticed that it asked me if I wanted to fix it, because, um, the above estimated hours were something that I added into the plan earlier. So if you add an estimate and it changes it, you just click fix and it resets it. So that's what I did there. Okay, so that's super simple. You can keep going down your list, adding the proper people to the project, adding those hours in you might have those hours done just based on another project. That's why I'm getting the errors here, but it's really simple. I have to do is reset it. Put the hours in, and essentially what you're going to see in your availability view is the hours that, um if I click on just this project here, the hours that have been signed by individual, so pretty awesome stuff in that you're using estimates not only to keep your projects on track, but you're using those estimates toe also see the workload that you're putting on your team . So you might have noticed that when I clicked on this height of availability button which pops up and down here at the bottom. Um, basically, it showed you all active projects. So the cool thing about this is that it's showing all projects that I'm working on here, since this is the road with my name, and it's showing essentially all of the hours that are assigned to me across all projects. And if I click on that button, it shows me where those hours air assigned and what projects there on. So the benefit that you gain there is that if you're estimate is true and you need that work to get done, then you can re prioritize the work, talk to another project manager about the work that needs to be done versus what's estimated adverse. What reality is and kind of reworked people scheduled so that you're not making them work 11 hours a day. That seems kind of scary, so it's really simple. That's really all you have to do with the estimated hours. You know, it's simple to see how many hours have been estimated across just the project per day per person. It sets really clear expectations about what they're supposed to do in the project, and really, you can view the total hours at any time. So pretty easy stuff here. If you're estimating and team get. This is a great way to help you to not only build a plan but to correlate some estimates to go along with it. All right, let's jump back into the class as you can. Dough. You can do your whole work breakdown structure in Team Gan and then turn it into a plan by adding dates and dependencies. It's a really huge help when you want to create an estimate for a project that you've got a plan for, or even just to come up with a quick hypothesis of what a project could be. Remember, starting a discussion about a project with your team or stakeholders will likely yield a better result than just finalizing an approach on your own, so make sure that you share that plan with your team and make updates is needed. 7. Estimating Agile Projects and Tasks: Of course, there's not just one way of creating an estimate. In fact, you might be wondering about estimating agile tasks and projects. Or you might be wondering what I mean when I say agile. So there's a definition on screen here, but I dive deeper into PM methods in my book, which is right here and in my other skill share class. I'm basically talking about common ways to lead projects. If you're familiar with some of the more popular project management methods, you probably noticed the examples worm or toward the traditional on waterfall or even hybrid methods. And that's because the way estimates are done an agile requires a completely different way of thinking. So let's dig into that at a pretty high level. First, it's most important to remember that you have to set expectations around how you will work with agile environments in order for your projects to actually be estimated properly. There are a couple of rules to consider when it does come toe agile First. If you're truly agile with a capital A, your team should work on your project alone and nothing else. If they're not doing that, then you're gonna have a hard time estimating their time. It's gonna be more of, Ah, hybrid project. Next in Agile, all work is done in time box sprints. That means you're gonna estimate your time. Based on the people working on the project over a specific number of sprints. It's essentially just called time boxing. In other words, to create an estimate. Agile, you're basically asking, How much does it cost for a whole dedicated team toe work on Onley One project for however long that project is, let's say, a month. But it's still really easy to mess that up. You know, you have to consider things like What roles do you need, how much time is considered full time? Think about company meetings, management tasks and things like that. You know, Will your team be truly dedicated to the project? Will there be holidays or time off in your sprints? There are a lot of questions to answer and expectations to step, but once you've sorted it all out and set the expectation of the dedicated team and this sprints needed, you can do some very, very simple math. So let's look at this example. I never talk about rates or monetary amount that you charge for work because that'll vary from location to location, company to company and even person to person. And some companies don't even charge back rates internally. So chances are this part doesn't matter to you. If you work on an internal team rather than in a consulting agency, anyway, we're using a simple round number to create this estimate. So let's say it cost your company $10,000 to dedicate one person to a project for four weeks, and your team does two weeks sprints. That's pretty average. That would mean that for one person or resource to complete a sprint, it'll cost $5000. So what if your project is six months long? Then you'll need 12 sprints. And let's say your project will require four team members over those 12 sprints. The simple math here would be four. Resource is times $5000 per sprint. That comes to $20,000. But then we multiply that by 12 sprints and get a total of $240,000 for the project. That seems too easy, right? Just remember, it'll never be perfect. People will call out. Stakeholders will delay the work, you'll encounter issues. There's no doubt this is how old projects work, But the flexibility of the agile process allows you to truly control, scope and process at the same time. For example, anytime a new change comes in, you can talk about adding sprints to complete work rather than incremental fees that you have to estimate based on a task. And your flat cost is really easy to calculate. In fact, we did it in the example, and the cost of a sprint is $20,000 simple and kind of pricey. All right, so that's estimating at the project level and again, even that's problematic because agile projects aren't supposed to have a specific ending. Of course, they end, but until you get into the process, you don't know how many sprints you'll need. So again, it will always just be an estimate. I also want to talk about estimating at the task level with agile. The idea with Agile is that you taken iterative approach to how the work is done, but you break the project into smaller pieces or stories and work on those two ship functionality independently and the way that you determine what can be done in a sprint is done through estimation. It all starts with user stories, which read like this as a role. I want to desired action so I can why I want to Do This Thing. A user story is a tool used in the agile methodology to capture description of a project feature from an End users perspective. The user story describes the type of user what they want and why. A user story helps to create a simplified description of a requirement and can help you to lead to a very distinct estimate for the design and build of that requirement. Most teams elect to write all stories using this structure. It helps to cover all the bases and kind of stay consistent as well. The most basic way to estimate a task is in what we know as humans, hours, days, weeks or months. But the agile methodology erases your memory of any estimates created with increments of time and requires a different way of thinking about estimates. And that's in story points. This is the number that tells the team how difficult the user story or feature is due to complexity, unknowns and effort. Teams use different scales to determine story points because story points represent the effort to develop a story. A team's estimate must include everything that can affect this story that could include anything from the amount of work to dio, the complexity of the work that needs to be done and any risk or uncertainty in doing that work. When estimating with story points, be sure to consider each of these factors. Let's look at a couple of ways that you can determine story points. What we're looking at here is a Fibonacci sequence to estimate effort. Many teams use this sequence as a basis for producing story points. So as the story is being estimated, team members selected number in the sequence that they believe represents the level of effort. For whatever reason, this feels overly complicated to me. Personally. I've used it and it absolutely works, but they're different, simpler ways to estimate and agile T shirt sizing is one of them, and I think it's a really easy way to score tasks. It's high level, but also relatable and simple, a simple way to convey the size of something without relying on more detail. After all, everybody knows in general what's extra small, small, medium, large and extra large mean in terms of size. I also recently saw an example of an even more creative way to do this. What you're looking at on screen is an example showing some landmark buildings in London, along with their sizes, from smallest to largest. A team used this to help score their stories based on landmarks they knew or they saw on their way to work every morning. And that sure makes it feel relevant, especially for a team working in London. I also want to mention planning poker here. Some teams use planning poker card decks to score stories. An example is on screen here. Essentially everyone gets an identical set of cards and you present and discuss a story. And then everyone throws out a card to identify their estimate for the story. It's a fun and collaborative way to share ideas and estimates, or even to gather data without a ton of conversation and come up with a final determination of what a story estimate would be. As you can tell, there are several ways to do this. You can order a planning deck, make one or even select values that are relatable to your team. The most confusing part of using story points is determining what the numbers actually mean in relation to the effort. For instance, how do you know that a three means the same thing to the whole team? Well, the best way to determine this is with the first time teams to sit down and define those things and know that when you do this, you when you hold estimating meetings and discusses a team over time, your understanding of the scoring method will strengthen and your estimates will get stronger so you can get creative with your scoring. Just keep in mind that story points. Pull the emotion out of the estimates by not talking about time. They focus just on the task and the sides of it, not the time that you take to get it done. You know the minute that you start talking about time, people tend to bring in outlying factors like time off, working time and other personal things. Story points allow us to focus back on the task and Onley the task 8. Recap and Conclusion: and that's it for us to meeting. There's a lot more that you can learn about estimation, but what it comes down to is that you really need to do your homework here, ask questions, get the information that you need. Then think critically about the thing that you're estimating before slapping a number on it . Because, yes, an estimate is always gonna be a guess. But the more digging you'll do, the more it will be an educated guess. That's backed up by reason, and you'll use that to your advantage. When you're scope starts to creep in on your projects at the end of the day, whether you're agile or waterfall or a little bit of both, like many of us, you have to come up with a way of estimating that will work for you, follow the rules or break them. That sure is not gonna matter, because what really matters is that you learn how to do your best work and get better at estimating over time. Just know it's never easy, but hopefully these tactics will help you to tackle larger tasks and break them down. If you get stuck, you should do these things first ask questions. Remember that your team or colleagues might be able to offer insight and perspective. Clients or stakeholders can usually offer more information. Dont be nervous about being transparent about you, what you do know and what you don't know, because that's gonna help you when you actually get the work going on your project, you're getting trust. You'll learn more and you'll deliver what your stakeholders need within a budget. Also, dig deep. Nothing's high level. When you create estimates like this, get into the details so you can understand what factors are driving your estimates. Also play with different ways of estimating. Don't be nervous to try new methods or even adapt what you've learned in this class. What matters most is that you and your team are comfortable with what you're estimating in the process that you used to get to the estimate. Think about it. If it feels like a laborious tour, it will be finally remember that no estimates are set in stone. List your assumptions, discuss risks and work out an estimation process that works for your team and your projects . I hope that you found this class helpful. If you have questions or comments, get in touch with me or leave your thoughts here and all respond. Thanks