Great Review of Predicting the Unpredictable

Ryan Ripley “highly recommends” Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule. See his post: Pragmatic Agile Estimation: Predicting the Unpredictable. He says this: This is a practical book about the work of creating software and providing estimates when needed. Her estimation troubleshooting guide highlights many of the hidden issues with estimating such as: multitasking, student syndrome, using the wrong units to estimate, and trying to estimates things that are too big. — Ryan Ripley Thank you, Ryan! See Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule for more...

What Creates Trust in Your Organization?

I published my most recent newsletter, Creating Trustworthy Estimates, this past week. I also noted on Twitter that one person said his estimates created trust in his organization. (He was responding to a #noestimate post that I had retweeted.) Sometimes, estimates do create trust. They provide a comfortable feeling to many people that you have an idea of what size this beast is. That’s why I offer solutions for a gross estimate in Predicting the Unpredictable. I have nothing against gross estimates. I don’t like gross estimates (or even detailed estimates) as a way to evaluate projects in the project portfolio because estimates are guesses. Estimates are not a great way to understand and discuss the value of a project. They might be one piece of the valuation discussion, but if you use them as the only way to value a project, you are missing the value discussion you need to have. See Why Cost is the Wrong Question for Evaluating Projects in Your Project Portfolio. I have not found that only estimates create trust. I have found that delivering the product  (or interim product) creates more trust. Way back, when I was a software developer, I had a difficult machine vision project. Back then, we invented as we went. We had some in-house libraries, but we had to develop new solutions for each customer. I had an estimate of 8 weeks for that project. I prototyped and tried a gazillion things. Finally, at 6 weeks, I had a working prototype. I showed it to my managers and other interested people. I finished the project and we shipped it. Many years later,...

Predicting the Unpredictable is Available

I’m happy to announce that Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule is done and available. It’s available in electronic and print formats. If you need a little help explaining your estimates or how to use estimation (even #noestimate), read this book....

Thinking About #NoEstimates?

I have a new article up on agileconnection.com called The Case for #NoEstimates. The idea is to produce value instead of spending time estimating. We have a vigorous “debate” going on in the comments. I have client work today, so I will be slow to answer comments. I will answer as soon as I have time to compose thoughtful replies! This column is the follow-on to How Do Your Estimates Provide Value? If you would like to learn to estimate better or recover from “incorrect” estimates (an oxymoron if I ever heard one), see Predicting the Unpredictable. (All estimates are guesses. If they are ever correct, it’s because we got...

Thinking About Estimation

I have an article up on agileconnection.com. It’s called How Do Your Estimates Provide Value? I’ve said before that We Need Planning; Do We Need Estimation? Sometimes we need estimates. Sometimes we don’t. That’s why I wrote Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches for Estimating Cost or Schedule. I’m not judging your estimates. I want you to consider how you use estimates. BTW, if you have an article you would like to write for agileconnection.com, email it to me. I would love to provide you a place for your agile...

Do You Have Questions About Estimation?

I am doing a google hangout with Marcus Blankenship on April 10. We’ll be talking about estimation and my new book, Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule. The book is about ways you can estimate and explain your estimates to the people who want to know. It also has a number of suggestions for when your estimates are inaccurate. (What a surprise!) Marcus and I are doing a google hangout, April 10, 2015. There’s only room for 15 people on the hangout live.  If you want me to answer your question, go ahead and send your question in advance by email. Send your questions to marcus at marcusblankenship dot com. Yes, you can send your questions to me, and I will forward to Marcus. The details you’ll need to attend: Hangout link: https://plus.google.com/events/c3n6qpesrlq5b8192tkici26lcc Youtube live streaming link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82IXhj4oI0U Time & Date: April 10th, 2015 @ 11:30am Pacific, 2:30 Eastern. Hope you join...