AoAD2 Practice: Forecasting

This is an excerpt from The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition. Visit the Second Edition home page for additional excerpts and more!

This excerpt is copyright 2007, 2021 by James Shore and Shane Warden. Although you are welcome to share this link, do not distribute or republish the content without James Shore’s express written permission.

Forecasting

Audience
Product Managers

We can predict when we’ll release.

“When will you be done?”

Programmers dread this question. Software development has so many details, it’s impossible to know exactly what’s left to be done, let alone how long it will take. Yet stakeholders have a genuine need to know how long the work will take. They need to plan budgets and coordinate with third parties. To create trust and show accountability, you need to be able to predict when you’ll release.

Making these predictions is usually called estimating, but that’s a misnomer. Estimating is just one technique for making predictions, and not even the most important one. The real secret to predicting well is to understand uncertainty and risk. That’s why I call it forecasting instead.

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In this Section

  1. Forecasting
    1. Uncertainty and Risk
    2. Predefined Release Dates
      1. How to steer your plans
    3. Feasibility Forecasts
    4. Date and Scope Forecasts
      1. A date and scope example
      2. Reducing risk
      3. Custom risk adjustments
    5. Questions
    6. Prerequisites
    7. Indicators
    8. Alternatives and Experiments
    9. Further Reading

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