Please Help Me Title Essays on Estimation

I have finished the content for Essays on Estimation. But, I need a new title. The book is more than loosely coupled essays. It reads like a real book, with progression and everything.

I have a number of ideas. They are (in no particular order):

  1. Predicting the Unpredictable: Essays on Estimating Project Costs and Dates
  2. Essays on Estimation: Pragmatic Approaches for Estimating Cost and Schedule
  3. How Much Will This Project Cost or When Will it be Done? Essays on Estimation
  4. Essays on Estimation: How to Predict When Your Project Will be Done
  5. Pragmatic Estimation: How to Create and Update Schedule or Cost Estimates
  6. Practical Approaches to Estimation: Create and Update Your Prediction Without Losing Your Hair
  7. Essays on Estimation: Practical Approaches for Schedule and Cost Estimates

Do you like any of these ideas? Have a better idea? I would like a title that explains what’s in the book.

I numbered these so you could respond easily in the comments with the number, if you like. Or, you can type out the entire title or a new title. I am open to ideas.

Thank you in advance.

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33 Comments

  1. jane prusakova

    1. Predicting the Unpredictable

    Or a reference to the magic 8 ball:
    “The Magic 8 Ball, or Pragmatic Approach to Project Estimates”

    Reply
    • johanna

      Jane, thank you.

      One of my readers suggested this as a subtitle: Effective Strategies for Estimating in Software Development.

      Yet more options!

      Reply
  2. Clarke

    you know, I like number 3 best. It’s got the benefit right there in the title. It’s a shame it doesn’t have the word pragmatic in it, is all.

    Reply
    • johanna

      Clarke, that’s okay. If I can provide the benefits, that will work, too. Thanks!

      Oh, Dale Emery suggested “Estimate It!” in twitter. If I use that, it might be:

      Estimate It! Pragmatic Approaches for Creating and Updating Schedule or Cost Estimates

      I’m not sure.

      Reply
      • Clarke

        i like Estimate It!

        First place, equal.

        Reply
        • johanna

          Aha! Thanks.

          Reply
  3. Dag Rowe

    1. Estimate it!: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimate Cost and Schedule

    2. Estimate it!: Pragmatic Estimates for Project Costs and Schedules

    3. How Much Will This Cost? When Will it be Done?: Pragmatic Project Estimation

    4. How Much Will This Cost? When Will it be Done?: Successful Project Estimation

    5. Predict the Unpredictable: Successful Project Estimation of Costs and Dates

    Reply
    • johanna

      Dag, thank you!

      Reply
  4. Elizabeth @ Girl's Guide to PM

    I like Pragmatic Estimating + subtitle, but I’d avoid the magic 8 ball – that doesn’t translate well culturally over here and might make it harder to speak to European audiences.

    Reply
    • johanna

      Elizabeth, thank you for telling me about the magic 8 ball not connecting with Europeans. I had no idea.

      Reply
  5. Carlos Merlo Dimenna

    Estimation or Budget? what’s better?

    Reply
    • johanna

      Carlos, maybe. I’m liking the Estimate It! better. BTW, I do talk about using targets in the book.

      Reply
      • Carlos Merlo Dimenna

        So, then, I prefer the first Predicting the Unpredictable: Essays on Estimating Project Costs and Dates 🙂

        By the way, I like to read it, I have read other of your work, and I really like it a lot.

        have a nice day
        Carlos

        Reply
        • johanna

          Thank you, Carlos.

          Thanks so much for reading my work. I appreciate the fact that you do.

          Reply
  6. Drew

    SWAG: How to estimate what you can, and what to say about what you can’t.

    Reply
    • johanna

      Drew, I talk a lot about SWAGs in the book. I’m not so sure I want SWAG in the title 🙂 I do like “How to estimate what you can and what to say about what you can’t.” Very nice.

      Reply
  7. Gillian

    I like 6 – it made me laugh. I also like the word ‘practical’ in the title – we want ideas, techniques that we stand a chance of implementing.

    Reply
    • johanna

      Gillian, I put that one in the list because it made me smile, too. Thanks for the vote on practical.

      Reply
  8. David

    The Illusion of Certainty: Essays on Estimation

    Reply
    • johanna

      David, ooh. Nice.

      When I first read that, I read “Uncertainty” instead of “Certainty.” Definitely grabbed me. Thanks.

      Reply
  9. Chris Riesbeck

    My vote: either Estimate It! for consistency with prior books, or a punchier version of #3: “How Much and When: Essays on Estimation.”

    Are you going to be leading off with the #noestimates debate?

    Reply
    • johanna

      Hi Chris, thank you. No, I am not leading with the #noestimates debate. I do say that if you break your work into really small chunks and show progress you don’t need to estimate. But, too many projects and programs need a gross estimate to start. This book is about how to think about that gross estimate and what to do when people really want to see updated estimates.

      Sometimes, those people have a target in mind. That’s fine. Teams can work to a target if they know what it is, and if they work in an agile or (at least) incremental way.

      Reply
  10. Suzie

    The question “When Will it be Done?” stood out to me. Here are some alternative ways to use it:

    Essays on Estimation: All you need to know to answer the question “When Will it be Done?”

    Answers to “When will it be done?” and other estimation questions

    “When will it be done?” : Your guide to successful project estimation

    Thanks

    Reply
    • johanna

      Suzie, thank you. I really like the last one: When will it be done?: Your guide to successful project estimation. Nice.

      Reply
      • Nick Korbel

        I like that one, too. I think that question will draw in the target audience.

        Reply
        • johanna

          I like it, but not as much as Estimate It! Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule.

          I’ll do some searching to see what people search for. Selling books is about getting your book to show up in search results.

          Reply
  11. Dave Gordon

    Let’s reverse the order.

    Estimating Cost and Schedule: Practical Approaches for Pragmatic Practitioners

    Reply
    • johanna

      I like it! Thank you, Dave

      Reply
  12. Sam Elstob

    Hi Johanna

    Only just caught up with my emails and came across this thread.

    For me it has to be Estimate It! Something Pragmatic something

    Manage It! is your “brand” and it adds some of your personality to the title.

    Hope to attend another workshop one day!

    Sam

    Reply
    • johanna

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you. I have decided on Estimate It! Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule. Glad to see you and I are in sync.

      I am working on the cover. My copyeditor is editing. Soon, for a finished book.

      Reply
  13. Douglas Brown

    Maybe a look at the table of contents would help come up with a title that describes what’s in it.

    Reply
    • johanna

      Face-palm. Good idea!

      Reply
  14. johanna

    Well, on reflection, I decided to go with “Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Project Schedule or Cost”

    I thank you all for your comments.

    Reply

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