William Davis

Paper and Presentation: When Will It Be Done? How To Forecast Answers To Your Toughest Agile Questions

Abstract: Agile development teams don’t work with detailed project schedules, but they do work within tight time and cost constraints. Project sponsors, product managers and product owners all need to know when an agile team will deliver new features so the organization can prioritize its project portfolio, know which new projects to pursue, and correctly charter agile projects for success. Customers simply want to know when they can expect new or enhanced capabilities!

How can an agile team align these stakeholder expectations? How can everyone make better business decisions today to optimize desirable outcomes tomorrow? The answer: develop the skill of agile forecasting.

In this presentation, you will unlock the built-in, statistical functions of Microsoft Excel® using a freely-licensed spreadsheet called Statistical PERT®—there are no Excel add-in programs to buy or install! If you have Excel, you have everything you need to create a forecast for your agile development efforts.

With just Excel, you will learn: which projects you can afford to fund (and which you can’t afford); how to create an agile release plan at the start of a project; how to use an agile team’s actual performance to improve your agile release forecasts; and how much work your agile team should initially plan to bring into each new sprint or iteration.

You’ll also learn what to share and how to share your agile forecasts with stakeholders.

By the end of the presentation, you will know how to confidently respond to anyone who asks you, “When will this be done?”

PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management

Biography: William W. Davis works in the IT industry, promoting personal and organizational agility, and sharing innovative tools/techniques with fellow agilists, project managers, developers, functional managers, and organizational leaders.

William has 30 years’ experience working in IT as a software developer and technical project manager for numerous IT projects. More recently, though, William is a Scrum Master and an organizational agilist — creating/delivering customized agile/Scrum training, offering agile coaching, and mentoring others on their agile journey. William also performs traditional project management on 3rd-party procurement projects, and he handles divisional portfolio management, too.

William began his Agile journey in 2008, when he first began promoting Scrum as an alternative approach to traditional project management. Since 2008, he has advocated for personal and organizational agility in general, and Scrum usage in particular. More recently, he is exploring Kanban’s benefits with continuous flow, limiting work-in-progress, and Kanban’s information visualization within the Scrum framework.

William has been a PMI member since 2005 when he earned his PMP credential. He is an honors graduate from Nova Southeastern University (M.S. in Leadership) and an honors graduate from The George Washington University in Washington, DC (M.S. in Project Management).

William has earned these professional certifications: Professional Scrum Master (PSM1 and PSM2), Professional Product Owner (PSPO1), Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM, and the CSM before that), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and SAFe Agilist (but he’s not a SAFe practitioner).

In 2014, William created Statistical PERT® (SPERT®), a simple-to-use, probabilistic estimation technique that uses built-in functions within Microsoft Excel. Statistical PERT Excel templates are free to download, use, modify, and share! To learn more, visit https://www.statisticalpert.com.