Sunday, March 08, 2009

Estimating in Ideal Time might not be ideal

Ideal Time estimates are almost inevitably perceived as estimates of duration leading some (especially managers) to compare the Ideal Time estimates with actual Elapsed Time. Velocity then becomes a measure of efficiency, used to determine how close they are to removing the impediments that the developers encounter everyday. This might make sense, except that Ideal Time is not really about time and the good intentions might actually be detrimental if the developers find themselves explaining why they only got x Ideal Time of work done in x+y Elapsed Time.

The root of the problem is the assumption that the x in the x+y Elapsed Time is the same as the Ideal Time x.

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