The trap of averages. How to avoid it in software development estimates

The trap of averages. How to avoid it in software development estimates

IT- & Project Management | Vortrag | 30 min | Englisch


The next piece of software is to be developed as quickly as possible by two teams and they now have to answer how long it’s going to take. Team A says 5-8 months and Team B 6-9 months. But the department head is under pressure to give a date. He decides to simply take 7 months as the average of the two teams and so the rest of the project plan ends up based on averages. Basing on the book „The Flaw of Averages,“ I will explain why average-based plans fail on average. I will take a look at the psychological problems that we humans have in dealing with probabilities as a possible reason why we keep falling into the averages trap. Finally, coming from the experiences gathered by two of the teams in my department, I will show a concrete alternative to avoid this trap at least when it comes to software development estimates.

Daiany Palacios

Kühne + Nagel AG

I work at Kuehne + Nagel for the KN FreightNet project in Hamburg since 2011. Originally from Venezuela, I joined the company as a software developer but now work also as a requirements engineer, collaborating as well with the agile-coaching team with Retrospectives-moderation. Agile by nature, I consider fostering collaboration and communication in my team a key part of my work. I am passionate about continuous improvement and about always trying to find ways to optimize the team’s results in order to deliver as promised.



Internationale Kulturfabrik Kampnagel,
Jarrestraße 20
22303 Hamburg

Mit öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln U3 bis Borgweg + 10 Min. Fussweg oder U3 bis Barmbek + Bus 17/172/173 bis Jarrestraße (Kampnagel) oder ohne Umsteigen mit Bus 17 ab z.B. U-St.Pauli / U-Feldstraße / Hauptbahnhof bis Jarrestraße (Kampnagel)