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Overcoming the Mythical Man Month
am 2. August 2009
Over 30 years ago Frederic Brooks concluded the Mythical Man Month. Mike Cohn shows in this book how to overcome the fallacies and drawbacks of classic estimation in man-days and -months.
After introducing the common drawbacks of classic approaches to estimation and planning, Cohn introduces a different approach. Based on his intense knowledge by working with Agile teams, he introduces the concepts of story-points or ideal days, how and when to re-estimate your schedule and how to get a release date out of this. From the customer and product owner point of view he introduces the basics behind priorization.
While all this should be enough to read, the concluding Case Study wraps up the book overall and goes through an iteration within a project. This helps the reader think over the course of the book even in a practical way.
Personally I have read through this and found the teaching overwhelming to try them out. Since I was not working in an Agile environment by that time, I can truely say that the techniques work and pretty much enable you to show your progress. Burn-down charts and story point estimation applied in the right way can bring you back under project control.