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Product Backlog Estimation

Updated: Apr 15

“Lack of clarity is the number one time-waster. Always be asking, what I am trying to do and how.”

Every well-qualified product owner in agile knows how important it is to have the right product backlog, as this backlog will define the success of product development processes. The product owners and their team who know the right way of estimating these product backlogs correctly are the ones who can complete their tasks within the timeframe with quality.

product backlog

With a proper estimation of the product backlog, the product owner and their team members can have better decisions on project scope and schedule. By this estimation, they get the ability to prioritize the worth important tasks. In many teams, it becomes a big task to estimate the product backlog as everyone has different values to estimate the product backlog. The values differ from positive to risk factors estimation and it became difficult for the teams to reach an agreeable point within themselves. Today we will know some ways to estimate the product backlog which will help the team and product owner to reach the exact required point here their estimation can provide them with the best decision possible scenario on the product backlog.


Optimistic and worst-case estimation

In this way, we need to estimate how many times everything may go well or as planned? And then estimate the worst-case estimation and see how many times the thing may go in the worst case. In the worst case we need to estimate the maximum effort we may need to deliver the things. But while doing so we must not include any natural calamities in it as they are different things and not required to be measured in project deliveries. In this case, we will have both the positive as well as worst negative ideas while estimating the product backlog making the goal much clearer and hence easy for decision making on the priorities of the task.

Risk-Averse Estimation

This estimation doesn’t include any worst-case or optimistic assumptions. This includes the much safer side of estimation and not going to the extreme of both ends. In this estimation, teams are aware of not including any meteor strikes in their estimation even though they want estimation much safer. The risk-averse estimation is just the consideration just before of worst-case estimation. Where we are not reaching the worst-case scenario but we are also not estimating it all safer ones.

Median and Most Likely Estimation

This is the mid-point of estimation where we will consider that half is all good and safe and the other half is not that good or worse. There we will estimate both sides of the required efforts. With this estimation, team members will be able to provide the most likely estimation of the effort required. This is the most occurred or most frequently taken effort estimation. The most likely estimation we may consider at the tip of the effort estimation task. Whereas, the median estimation will include the estimation of efforts when the favorable time will start changing towards a worst-case. The team will provide the median amount of effort required in it.

While selecting the best estimation for the team, the product owner must first measure the likelihood and effort of the team with the estimation. Because measuring only effort or likelihood will not help the job.

Measuring the worst-case estimation is the fewer occurred cases of effort which can’t occur always and even though they are most unlike by the team member so estimating with this scenario will only create an extra effort and un-acceptance in the team.

The optimistic estimation consists of everything all good scenarios which can’t be the case all time. So this should not be selected by product owners.

Similarly as worst-case estimation, risk-averse is also very less occurred and un-liked scenario by the team members so this should not be considered as an option.

The worst-case and the risk-averse are the most negative scenario estimation whereas the optimistic estimation is the most positive scenario there cannot be the ideal way of estimating as they can’t provide the best-required estimation so the media or most likely estimation is the best for any product owner to use for estimation as they provide best of both the sides.

“Fair results can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the fact on both sides” whether it is in life or business world.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

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