Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Effort Estimates for a Cup of Coffee

I always have the same problem with my IT manager. Every time I ask for an estimate, he comes up with a huge number. On the other side, my marketing people always come up with a very optimistic figure. So I decided to make a little test. I asked my marketing manager how long it would take to make a cup of coffee. "Less than thirty seconds" she replied.

I then asked my IT manager the same question. He divided the task into small subtasks, and estimated each one of them:
  • Open the cupboard - 2 sec
  • Take a mug and place it on the table - 2 secs
  • Close the cupboard - 1 sec
  • Pick the jar - 1 sec
  • Take out the jar lid - 1 sec
  • Place the lid on the table - 1 sec
  • Place the jar under the tap - 1 sec
  • Open the tap - 1 sec
  • Wait for the jar to fill up - 15 secs
  • Place the lid back on the jar - 1 sec
  • Place the jar on the table - 1 sec
  • Press the ON button - 1 sec
  • Wait for the water to boil - 30 secs
  • Open the cupboard - 1 sec
  • Take the coffee jar - 1 sec
  • Place the coffee jar on the table - 1 sec
  • Close the cupboard - 1 sec
  • Open the drawer - 1 sec
  • Take a spoon - 1 sec
  • Close the drawer - 1 sec
  • Open the coffee jar - 2 secs
  • Fill the spoon with coffee - 1 sec
  • Place the coffee inside the mug - 2 secs
  • Close the coffee jar - 2 secs
  • Place the coffee jar back in the cupboard - 5 secs (includes opening, etc)
  • Take the water jar - 1 sec
  • Fill the mug - 5 secs
  • Place the water jar back in its place - 2 secs
  • ... (the list goes on: add sugar, add milk, stir, wash the teaspoon, wash the mug, which itself consist of over ten taskst, etc)
When the list was complete, it added up to over 10 minutes. "Wait," said the IT guy. "We still have to compute the proportional part of the effort taken by the purchase of coffee, cleaning up, etc. And of course, we should not forget that preparing this estimate took some 10 minutes, over how many cups should we divide that? And should we take this conversation into account? On second thoughts, I may have been too optimistic in some of the tasks. Taking everything into account, I would price it based on 30 minutes. If we add another resource we could bring the time down, but the cost would go up"

"No wonder we are losing business" I said while I was sipping my third cup of coffee that morning.

The lesson: if you divide the task into small enough tasks, any estimate will look too optimistic.


Anonymous said...

Easily I to but I contemplate the post should secure more info then it has.

Anonymous said...

I inclination not approve on it. I regard as precise post. Specially the designation attracted me to be familiar with the unscathed story.

Anonymous said...

Its all in the manual they make you read before they download your being into those tiny bodies in those dark wombs.

oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin uk, tory burch outlet, coach outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, longchamp outlet, gucci handbags, christian louboutin shoes, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, prada handbags, kate spade, polo outlet, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet, tiffany and co, true religion outlet, coach purses, longchamp outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, kate spade outlet, burberry outlet, christian louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, burberry handbags, coach outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, true religion outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, prada outlet, michael kors outlet store, longchamp outlet, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, nike air max

oakleyses said...

nike huaraches, north face, abercrombie and fitch uk, burberry pas cher, nike air max, polo lacoste, guess pas cher, louboutin pas cher, true religion jeans, nike tn, michael kors pas cher, nike air max uk, hollister uk, nike roshe, michael kors, nike blazer pas cher, nike air force, oakley pas cher, new balance, ray ban pas cher, converse pas cher, longchamp pas cher, lululemon canada, sac hermes, jordan pas cher, ralph lauren uk, timberland pas cher, nike trainers uk, michael kors outlet, hogan outlet, north face uk, nike free run, nike air max uk, sac vanessa bruno, mulberry uk, nike roshe run uk, hollister pas cher, longchamp uk, nike free uk, vans pas cher, air max, ray ban uk, polo ralph lauren, sac longchamp pas cher

oakleyses said...

soccer shoes, vans, ghd hair, reebok outlet, abercrombie and fitch, giuseppe zanotti outlet, north face outlet, hollister clothing, bottega veneta, wedding dresses, baseball bats, mont blanc pens, mcm handbags, oakley, new balance shoes, nike air max, insanity workout, beats by dre, ralph lauren, babyliss, lululemon, nike roshe run, timberland boots, p90x workout, hollister, soccer jerseys, hollister, celine handbags, vans outlet, nfl jerseys, louboutin, chi flat iron, iphone 6 cases, herve leger, asics running shoes, valentino shoes, nike air max, converse, jimmy choo outlet, instyler, ferragamo shoes, north face outlet, hermes belt, mac cosmetics

oakleyses said...

uggs on sale, uggs outlet, ugg, louis vuitton, converse outlet, swarovski crystal, links of london, ugg uk, ray ban, lancel, karen millen uk, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, marc jacobs, louis vuitton outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, supra shoes, gucci, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, pandora charms, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ugg boots, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, uggs outlet, swarovski, pandora uk, ugg pas cher, ugg boots, hollister, thomas sabo, toms shoes, doke gabbana, coach outlet, montre pas cher, replica watches

sandy said...

ونقدم ايضا العطار افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورةتقضي على جميع الحشرات



ahmed said...

قم بتربية قطة بمنزلك فهى تأكل الأبراص والحشرات الاخرى عند مؤسسة مكافحة حشرات بالعاصمة السعودية
شركة مكافحة حشرات
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بتبوك
شركة مكافحة حشرات بتبوك
شركة رش مبيدات بتبوك
استعين بمؤسسة مختصة فى القضاء على الأبراص مثل مؤسسة مكافحة البرص في جنوب الرياض عاصمة المملكة العربية السعودية

steve said...

شركة تنظيف منازل بجدة بالبخار ارخص شركة تنظيف منازل بجدة

شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
افضل شركة تنظيف منازل بالمدينة المنورة افضل شركة تنظيف منازل بالمدينة المنورة

norhan said...

اعالى الخليج تقدم افضل خدمات نقل العفش الدولى المتميزه باسعار متميزة ومنها :

شركة شحن عفش من الرياض الى الامارات
نقل عفش من الرياض الى الاردن شركة شحن عفش من الرياض الى الاردن