Don’t plan to fail! Or how to never be late, never ever! #NoEstimates

Project management methodologies involve some kind of estimates on the content of the project (i.e. scope) and effort/duration (i.e. schedule). Simple techniques like WBS (work breakdown structure) with Gantt Charts or more complex techniques like PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) involve estimating the content and ultimately the duration or effort of each of the …

A #NoEstimates tool: The slicing meeting, replacing estimation meetings while creating shared understanding

Before we start, I’d like to thank to Neil Killick and Woody  Zuill for inspiring this technique with their work. Sit down. Let’s estimate This is not a good start of a meeting for many of us. Asking for estimates may be an easy thing to do, but going through the process of estimating Stories …

How to manage risk in Agile?

Unvalidated opinions are “bets”, with the caveat that they beget even more “bets” (decisions based on that opinion). So we can say that unvalidated opinions generate other unvalidated opinions based on the original one, therefore creating exponential growth in risk. The process of validating an opinion (like Popcorn Flow by Claudio Perrone) helps us jump …

Accidental complication: another reason why estimates don’t work

Accidental complication Another reason why estimations can’t work goes by the name of accidental complication. J.B. Rainsberger introduced this concept at Oredev 2013 . The gist of the argument is this: every feature or functionality added to an existing project has two cost elements (what you want to estimate): Essential complication or g(e): How hard …

All the Conferences and talks about #NoEstimates in 2015

Are you talking about #NoEstimates at a local or global conference during 2015? Email me at Vasco.Duarte@oikosofy.com. I’ll collect all the #NoEstimates talks and conferences that include the topic right here!   Agilia 2015, Brno, Czech Republic Speaker: Henri Karhatsu Topic: #NoEstimates – Going Beyond Estimates Date: March 23rd, 2015 Agile India 2015, Bangalore, India …

5 No Estimates Decision-Making Strategies

One of the questions that I and other #NoEstimates proponents hear quite often is: How can we make decisions on what projects we should do next, without considering the estimated time it takes to deliver a set of functionality? Although this is a valid question, I know there are many alternatives to the assumptions implicit …

How to choose the right project? Decision making frameworks for software organizations

Frameworks to choose the best projects in organizations are a dime a dozen. We have our NPV (net present value), we have our customized Criteria Matrix, we have Strategic alignment, we have Risk/Value scoring, and the list goes on and on. In every organization there will a preference for one of these or similar methods …

What is an Estimate?

If you don’t know what an estimate is, you can’t avoid using them. So here’s my attempt to define what is an estimate.The “estimates” that I’m concerned about are those that can easily (by omission, incompetence or malice) be turned into commitments. I believe Software Development is better seen as a discovery process (even simple …

What is Capacity in software development? – The #NoEstimates journey

I hear this a lot in the #NoEstimates discussion: you must estimate to know what you can deliver for a certain price, time or effort. Actually, you don’t. There’s a different way to look at your organization and your project. Organizations and projects have an inherent capacity, that capacity is a result of many different …