Did you notice that your developers constantly don’t meet deadlines for the project? Most likely, you simply cannot correctly assess the time it takes to develop.
The ability to accurately determine the amount of time required to create a product is a critical skill for each developer and customer. We explain how to learn this.
By concentrating on the basic functionality and a set of key capabilities required for product development, firms are able to form some kind of core, which will form the basis of the product in the future. And if the firm is not able to properly form the core, then it risks ultimately creating an unnecessary product - a sentence that implies “useless user experience”.
The task should be as clear as possible.
Often, programmers don’t delve into the project details, and therefore it is not possible to correctly evaluate the time for its implementation. Before evaluating a project, you must clearly understand what you have to work with.
Usually, it looks this way: the developer team studies the task and the attached files, then discusses the details with the client. During this communication, you can get a much deeper understanding of the project, ask clarifying questions and collect the information that is necessary for you that the client has not provided up to this point.
Admit to yourself that there are no perfect cases.
When you estimate time for work, you think that this time will be enough. And sometimes you even lay additional, given the experience of failure to meet deadlines and other factors.
In general, one of the options for dealing with this is trying to determine the ideal time taking into account your experience and multiply it by two. For example, if your team or developer makes up a simple site in 2 days, but sometimes the terms increase to 3 days, then you can safely take 5-6 days to work. Of course, provided that the customer is satisfied.
Otherwise, you don't have to choose how much time to put into development, because the customer does it for you. But in this situation, the result may suffer.
Divide the work into parts.
For example, if you are involved in web development, check how much time it takes to develop a section with contacts, reviews, and a directory. Record for each type how much time was spent on the task, make several projects according to this scheme and then analyze the results.
Use time management techniques.
In general, time management allows you to control yourself, escape from burnout, and even deliver projects on time. It doesn’t matter which accounting and management method you choose. The main thing is that you follow it for some time, and not give up, as soon as it seems that you have already learned to control yourself without the help of services and techniques.
One of the most popular is the Pomodoro Technique. First, you make a list of tasks, start with the most important one, work 25 minutes, and then take a break of 5 minutes. After several such cycles (usually after two hours), you can allow yourself to rest for up to half an hour and then continue.
The easiest way to control yourself is with existing services and mobile app. You can also write your own app and practice programming at the same time.
Do not give an answer right away.
When the client asks how long it will take to complete, write that you need some time to answer. In a few hours, you will have time to evaluate your capabilities in the near future and make an informed decision. Often the impulsiveness is the reason that we promise to complete the work faster than we can do in reality.
What if you do not meet the deadlines again?
Firstly, as soon as you find that it is likely that the project will not be delivered on time, you need to re-calculate how much time it actually takes. If it turns out that you are definitely not in time, inform the client about this in advance.
It is worth explaining what exactly went wrong without reporting and complaining that you were failed by colleagues, circumstances, etc. Make sure to ask how critical this is and what is the deadline by which you will complete the task. It’s good if you show that you are really doing the task.
- Don't plan the task, as the way from point A to point B. Imagine that in any case there is a reason that will delay the work on the project. Then you will no longer go to the task in a straight line but in an arc.
- Plan not only the time it takes to write the code, but also the testing. Very often, developers stumble, finding out in the last hours that somewhere the code does not work as it should.
- If the time frame is in days, add a day, in weeks - a week, in months - a month. Perhaps it sounds absurd, especially if you imagine that the development period is one year. In fact, it will allow you to do the job more efficiently, and if you do everything earlier than you promised, then there - you will receive a bonus from the customer.
In this article, we gave some advice to developers and teams on how to determine the time required to complete tasks. Tips are based on the personal experience of Geniusee team, as well as the opinion of the developer community. They will also be useful to customers, to understand why the performers set such time frames.