You can estimate bugs

Back to The Facts and Fictions of Estimation

Bugs, like features, are “work”, and no one likes to think that there is work that cannot be estimated. However, Considering the difficulty in estimating a feature, how could anyone possibly expect an estimate of time for a bug in that feature? There is an assumption that features are “big” and bugs are “small”. Granted, if a feature was implemented correctly, there should be relatively few bugs, and the bugs that are found are quick to fix. This is practically the definition of a “well implemented feature”.

What happens if a feature was not implemented correctly? This results in the proportion of time needed to implement the feature, and fix a bug-in-that-feature’s estimate can be vastly off. I have seen a hand-full of bugs scrap an entire feature, because the bugs were unfixable, thanks to the way the feature was implemented.

As bugs cannot be estimate, implementing a feature correctly needs to be top of mind, if hitting deadlines is important.

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