[UPHPU] Software Development Scheduling advice

Dave Smith dave at thesmithfam.org
Thu Feb 1 22:29:06 MST 2007

David Boucha wrote:
>> I'm having to put together a software development schedule here at
>> work. I'm working on version 2.0 of an app and now my boss wants a
>> schedule. I'm having a hard time estimating how long tasks will take.
>> I'm looking for techniques and advice on how to set this up. Any ideas?

I have found the best way to accurately estimate software projects is to 
break them down into as small of tasks as you can. After a few years of 
practice, I have gotten to the point where I can usually accurately 
predict tasks that are less than 1 week in duration. So if you can break 
your project down into tasks that are 1 week long or shorter, it is 
easier. As you get closer to project completion, you will get a better 
and better feel for the remaining work. Revising your estimates as you 
go will get you valuable experience in estimation.

Sometimes is is not possible to break the project down into small tasks 
in its entirety. For the stuff that you are having a hard time breaking 
down, you'll have to hold your thumb to the wind a little bit.

After figuring out how long the coding will take, I usually estimate 
about the same amount of time for testing and bug fixes.

The short answer is that the only way to do it right is to do it wrong a 
few times. Growing up, my parents had a magnet on their fridge that said 

   Good judgment comes from experience.
   Experience comes from bad judgment.

This is definitely true in software project planning. Good luck!


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