Chapter 8. Unique Challenges of Estimating Large Innovations

The previous chapter provided an overview of how we estimate schedules and feature delivery in an agile environment when the system engineers can do a good job estimating the work for each team or, even better, if the requirements are broken down into two to four weeks’ worth of work for an engineer. We’ve found this works great for 80 to 90% of the features being asked for. But some features or innovations have large architectural dependencies and are much harder to predict. These initiatives typically involve a lot of discovery and prototyping, and even doing significant investigations into multiple alternatives. The biggest example is a large re-architecture effort like ours. How ...

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