In the previous post, we explain how to set duration for project iteration. Today we introduce the Inch-Pebbles estimation technique. The post is based on a remarkable book written by Johanna Rothman, Manage It!
The Inch-Pebbles technique is breaking down project tasks into small steps that usually take one day to complete.
Doing Inch-Pebbles help team members to break a task to all steps, without forgetting some of those steps. For example, the tester needs time before actual testing activities to set up the testing environment and prepare testing data. Forgetting those inch-pebbles team will definitely miss the delivery date.
It is easy to conclude that Inch-Pebble tasks are used in Agile.
But what about the situation when we have unclear tasks? How could inch-pebbles help in that situation? This is the context when we develop a product never seen before, or when we do a research project. Johanna’s advice for this context is to create a set of questions that, when are answered, the project team knows what should be done. At that moment, research stops, and we know what to do, so this task could be inch-pebbled.
How to create inch-pebbles? The team member who will do inch-pebble tasks defines them. Otherwise, if a leader or manager makes inch-pebble tasks, this is micromanaging that will find resistance from team members.
Inch-Pebbles help the team member to think over how to break the meta tasks. Task step dependencies could also be revealed. With one day’s tasks, your schedule could be more accurate.