How Good are our estimates? Should we care?

Our team decided against estimating stories or tasks in real time (eg hours) during sprint planning. We assign relative points during backlog grooming and may change that number later or during the sprint planning as more information becomes available. I was wondering: How good are our estimates? How do we measure that? How do we improve? Do we care?

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Retrospectives Are Not Only For Teams

I am the agile PM for a small team that augments an application team. Our team assist towards reliability, scalability of the micro services the application team is building. Ani, the team lead and I know each other for almost a year. We have been on the same team for about four weeks and  work very well together. Suddenly, last week we ran into a couple issues and misunderstandings. This triggered the idea to have our own one-on-one retro.

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GetKanban Game Teaches More Than Kanban Alone

In 2015  Cheryl Hammond introduced me to the GetKanban game. The game is an awesome way for the participants to experience the impact of queues and the decisions you need to make using the Kanban framework. The players simulate 2-3 weeks of development with daily standups where the team decides prioritization and who should work on what. Life is not fair and neither is the game. But we learn through our struggles and this is only a game.

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Which Agile Blogs Should We Read?

We read blogs because we want to learn, expand our horizons and keep up with new developments in the Industry. We write blogs because we are passionate about a topic, want to share some cool ideas and very often to market ourselves. There is an overlap but readers and writers are not always in sync. There is so much to read and so little time. Over the last few months I have looked at about 250 somewhat random blogs. I stumbled upon some excellent articles but the majority was either talking to the absolute beginner audience or plain mediocre.

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I have a new project. How long will it take?

How do you estimate a project before it has really started. You have a great idea and want to present it to your CEO. The second question will be how much is this going to cost? You have spent a couple of hours with the customer and they want to know: “Can you do this by the hard deadline we have?” Comparative (story point) estimating works well if you have broken the work down into stories. It is more difficult if the epics are very big and there are a lot of unknowns.

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