Estimating with Fogbugz
I spent the weekend putting together a task list and estimates for Onpoint Connect. We use Fogbugz for issue tracking but I always found it a little underpowered for estimating; Even though they added Evidence-Based Scheduling (EBS), there were a number of things missing that made it difficult to build a good estimate that could actually be discussed with other managers. Most notably, it was not possible to setup high-level tasks that contained a number of detailed sub-tasks. I am pleased to say that this has changed in Fogbugz version 7. The subscase feature allows you to create more detailed (estimatable) cases that roll-up into their parent cases. I used this feature extensively to end up with a list of about 10 major cases to discuss with management that contained the much more detailed and numerous cases for the developers to estimate. The EBS algorithm combines the estimate data with historical data on the developer’s estimate accuracy to figure out the probability of completion by certain dates. Fogbugz will even track the estimated work remaining and probable completion dates as they change and show me the trends. Version 7 of Fogbugz has a number of other improvements that impact scheduling including dependencies between milestones and the ability to distribute staff resources across multiple projects.
Fogugz continues to include well-designed features for handling support cases, support email and documentation. The new version has a plug-in architecture and available plug-ins to add features that help with agile development, time reporting, documentation and user stories. The bottom line is I can now recommend version 7 of Fogbugz as the ideal tool for issue tracking, scheduling and documentation for development teams using almost any methodology. It is available as a hosted solution ($25/user per month) or for installation ($199/user). Make sure to check it out.