Time estimation..

Well, I have yet again blown a time estimation. I guessed a job at 80 hours that took 200 – and because I wasn’t keeping track, I didn’t really notice until my boss totalled up the bills.

I don’t know what to do – I feel awful about it. Most of the time was spent getting audio playback working in a java application on a sprint phone – sprint requires the midlet to be signed in order to have access to the audio playback API (someone, please tell me there’s a reason for those?) and it took me forever to find out how to get the midlet signed – especially since the directions on sprint’s web site were *wrong* – and to figure out how to test to see if I had developer root enabled on the phone – and then I had to fix some threading issues that came up on the phone but not on the emulator – and a hundred other little things. The rest of the overrun was a set of fixes to a windows CE application that I thought would take a few hours .. but which instead took 50.

I suck at time estimation.  And I try and warn people that I suck at time estimation, and I try to never take jobs where I get paid a flat rate because I know how badly I can get screwed by those because of my lack of time estimation skills..

I don’t even know what the fallout from this latest screwup is going to be. Will they refuse to pay me? I’m already sure they’re upset about me not keeping track of my estimate – the thing is, I did tell them when things weren’t going well, but I didn’t say ‘I’ve reached the number of hours I guessed at and I’m nowhere near having things working’ because I wasn’t even keeping track of how long it was taking..

Compared with the problems of my friends.. one of whom has a friend in the hospital because he was attacked by a crackhead with a 2×4, another of which has had a good friend suicide.. a third of which has just had their grandfather die.. I have nothing at all to complain about, and I really shouldn’t feel so awful..

One Response to “Time estimation..”

  1. curious Says:

    Our service delivery team has a 3 x time estimate rule… ie. if they believe that a job will only take 1 week, they give themselves 3 weeks… this allows them to work at their own pace and they can apply left over days to one off or emergency projects….

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