Time Estimates

Hard. Many procedural decisions aim to improve the accuracy of these estimates. As usual, decomposing the task helps - if phase 1 takes 20% longer than estimated, and other phases are similar in nature to phase 1, then you have an early warning of a 20% over-run for the whole project. If tasks are small then they're more likely to be comparable to other tasks, making future estimation easier.

Younger programmers tend to be over-optimistic. More experienced ones tend to "sandbag" - exaggerate the time estimates


Updated November 2009 with help from James Matheson
Tim Love