At Andela, we're inspired by the thought leadership present within our talent network, and wider community, and it's our mission to share these brilliant minds with the world. We invite Andela Community members to regularly showcase their knowledge and expertise in our Writer's Room blog series.
In this article, Andela Community member Vinod Pal shares his expertise on how software developers can accurately estimate their projects - to successfully deliver their work and beat the deadline!
Recently I was given a new software development project by a client, and they asked me to provide an estimate of the total time it would take to complete this project. I was clueless, as throughout my entire career, I have never been expected to estimate a work project before.
While it’s fairly easy to estimate your coding time, an entire software development project is far more than just coding. If you commit the development time as total estimation then you will end up with a very tight deadline, because this does not include the various other aspects of a project.
What's the best tool to play around with numbers, that’s corporation friendly? Microsoft Excel!
Here’s how you can estimate a software project through an Excel spreadsheet:
Step 1: List all the tasks that to be completed in the project
Step 2: Estimate how much coding time you will need to complete each feature.
While estimating you have to consider 3 factors:
Realistic amount of time needed to complete this feature
Maximum amount of time needed to complete this feature
Minimum amount of time needed to complete this feature
So, for example, if you think you can complete this feature in 8 hours, then the realistic amount would be 8 hours, maximum amount would be 12 hours and minimum could be 6 hours.
Step 3: Put all these values into your Excel spreadsheet, and now Excel will update with your estimated value.
Use this GitHub link to download the Excel spreadsheet I’ve created and play around with it.
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