Author: Troy Magennis

  • Forecasting without Historical Data

    Forecasting without Historical Data

    We can forecast even when no historical data exists, if we use our experience and judgment. In Part 1 of our probabilistic forecasting series we looked at how uncertainty is presented; in Part 2 we looked at how uncertainty is calculated. Both of those parts presumed historical data was available. Although estimating without historical data…

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  • Probabilistic Forecasting

    Probabilistic Forecasting

    In Part 1 of this series we discussed how probabilistic forecasting retains each estimate’s uncertainty throughout the forecast. We looked at how weather forecaster’s present uncertainty in their predictions and how people seem comfortable that the future cannot be predicted perfectly and life still continues. We need this realization in IT forecasts! In Part 2…

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  • Forecasting Defined

    Forecasting Defined

    This is the first article in a series that will introduce alternative ways to forecast date, cost and staff needs for software projects. It is not a religious journey; we plan to discuss estimation and forecasting like adults and understand how and when different techniques are appropriate given context. Stakeholders often ask engineers to estimate…

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  • Uniform Point Estimates: Violation?

    Uniform Point Estimates: Violation?

    I recently observed that most of a client’s backlog items had 5-point estimates. A colleague tweeted it, and an 180+ Twitter storm followed. This article explains the phenomenon, and why no one should call the police. Introduction To manage capacity, forecast delivery dates and motivate architectural thinking, we often ask development teams to estimate proposed…

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