Improve Planning Estimates by Reducing Your Human Biases

Andrew Brown

Are you puzzled about why your estimate turned out wrong, or stressed from working to meet an impossible deadline? Some teams on inaccurately estimated projects suffer stress, burnout, and poor quality as pressure is applied to stick to an unrealistic schedule. Such project teams also descend into irrational decision-making—with potentially catastrophic consequences. Frustratingly, even when teams perform well, they are often judged by their failure to meet impossible deadlines. Andrew Brown will show how estimation errors are caused not just by new technology or intentionally manipulated estimations, but also from limitations in the way we think. Andrew will explain how cognitive biases contribute to estimation errors and show how to mitigate these biases. Learn how the planning fallacy, anchoring effect, and optimistic bias contribute to estimation errors and lead to irrational decision-making. Discover the paradox of past experience, where instead of aiding prediction, our experience frequently confounds us. Learn how a planning scenario game and other tools can reduce your estimation errors. You'll take away ideas to make your estimates more accurate and less risky by spotting distortions creeping into your estimates, and you'll be able to reduce those distortions by addressing the underlying cognitive biases.


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About the Presenter

Dr. Andrew Brown is a principal consultant at SQS. Recently, he has developed an independent line of research into understanding why we humans make the mistakes that lead to software defects. He has spoken at several conferences on this subject and was winner of the EuroSTAR 2017 best paper award for a tutorial on cognitive biases in testing. He has 25 years’ experience in the software industry. Previous roles include Heading up QA at HMV, Head of QA at a financial software house and a test manager in Japan. He holds a degree in Physics and Maths, an MBA from Warwick Business School and a doctorate from Imperial College.

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