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...