Never Estimate (#NoEstimates)
- “Estimates are worthless/wrong the minute they are given.”
- “We need estimates to know when we’ll be done!”
- “We can use actual throughput of stories so we don’t have to spend time estimating as a forecast.”
- “You’re being irresponsible with money that’s not yours.”
- “How will the direction you choose (skipping estimates or not) affect later decisions or ability to achieve support?”
- “What assumptions are you/your stakeholders making on what is/is not needed around estimation?”
- “What other things besides estimation do you need to know to make this decision?”
- “What is an estimate a proxy for..?” (e.g. complexity)
- “What fear is addressed by having/avoiding estimates?”
- “No estimates, detailed estimates, whatever — our real goal is…” (on time delivery, customer satisfaction, reliability, etc.)
- “Here is a/another way to get the forecast we need.”
- “What if we simplified our detailed estimation method/enhanced our simple method?”
- (A reasoned analysis of when an estimate is necessary or not; situational merits, risks, the level of detail/accuracy required.)
This bramble’s assumptions were explored as one of the paths (prior to Agile Brambles being set-up) at the first Agile Dialogs unconference; see the proceedings. Possible fruits were discovered as well. See specifically, the Learnings section.
I want to invite everyone to join in the discussion. How do you make this topic a fruitful one?
Another possible intervention could be the question “what are we trying to learn with these estimates?” Perhaps the #noestimates side is not seeing this necessary learning or perhaps it truly isn’t needed. This might open up the path to a fruitful dialogue.
Pingback: Views of Estimating and Not Estimating for an Executive | Paul Boos' Nimblicious - Making Agility Tasty