One of effective way to estimate the work in software development is to use Story points. The story points are based on size and complexity, not duration. They are also become unitless, they not measured by time or another units. One other good quality of story points is that they are additive, unlike time. Also they extremely easy to understand.
Story point values
It’s always important to use the units that make sense. Many teams use such unit sets:
– T-Shirt sizing: XS, S, M, L, XXL
– Fibonacci Sequence: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40
– The power of two: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32
With the using of this units, it should be also a right strategy. By asking: “How big is this work in sequence from 1 to 10?” it will be very hard to make a good estimation.
The estimation should be used in historical prospective. It is better ask something like this: “Last time we did that work 5 points. Is this work bigger or smaller? How bigger? Two times, three times?”
And the last, but not least. Estimation is not a promise. It’s always a chance that the work can take more or less time. So don’t worry so much.