Relative estimation

Estimating your project for software development is difficult. These days, lots of companies are shifting to relative estimation because it helps provide the capability of quickly assessing how long it will take to complete a project and about how much it would cost.

Relative estimation is among the few distinct flavors of estimation, which is used in Agile teams. It is consist of estimating user stories and tasks in ultimate periods of time but by grouping or comparison of items with the same difficulty.

Why Relative Estimation

There are many benefits provided by relative estimation

  • It is more accurate: It may be an accurate method to plan every spirit when it comes to the money or time, which you need to be able to complete your task. However, if you run even slightly behind the schedule, your whole project’s scope may get thrown off, which is called the cone of uncertainty. When you groom the backlog, you are developing and resizing fast estimates of effort in an Agile way.
  • It is fast: Relative estimation does not aim to come up with an exact level of effort when there are lots of uncertainty and there is a limited time. On the other hand, it aims to quickly get an estimation of the level of effort, and you will be able to do it much quicker as compared to what you can when you are using a traditional estimating approach.
  • It is project-specific: It is almost not possible to predict an exact amount of hours for any given story. This is for the reason that hours are relative numbers. When you generalize to several significant numbers, you are allowing yourself to get more accurate velocity, which is tied to your particular project at hand.
  • Getting better and better through time: Through time, you may look at how many points are getting completed by your team within a sprint, and thus, becoming much better at relative estimation. It will be a great help in gauging your development team’s as time passes by, identifying the usual capacity of your sprint, and serving as a good tool to predict the future estimates.

Difference of relative estimation over the traditional estimation

Traditional approaches require great efforts for gathering information, which result in pages of complicated documentation, as well as a project plan that has estimated dollars and hours. Given the rising popularity of this methodologies and the customer’s growing focus to save money and time, it is advocated that you build a high level of feature list and using relative estimation for a more precise estimate costs and level of effort.

You need to keep in mind that software estimation is difficult, and development has been burdened with many levels of uncertainties and complexities. You cannot perfectly estimate the span of a certain feature to be done. However, with relative estimation, you are offered with many benefits through an elegant and simple development process.

— Slimane Zouggari