#NoBacklogs: How to never lose a good idea by keeping the Backlog short!

“I’m afraid we might lose all these good ideas!” This is a phrase I hear very often when facilitating a Vision and Backlog session with the teams I work with. This is true for software teams as well as for business teams and mixed business + development teams. The fear of losing a good idea …

#NoEstimates for the perplexed – a simple principle that makes estimations obsolete

When we think of estimation, we immediately associate some concepts that are attached to the estimation activity: listing all the work, sequencing all the work, assigning all the work, etc.  All of those activities are accessories to estimation. The fact is that a task does not have an intrinsic duration, it has a duration that …

A detailed comment on the practice of estimation in Software Development – a #NoEstimates post

OK, so a friend (who shall remain anonymous) sent me a message with some very good points bout estimation. This blog post explores those statements. It will be long, and detailed. Grab a cup of coffee, sit down and let’s do this! The first thing I’d like to comment on is the statement My start …

Estimates anchor (limit!) benefits while not limiting costs! – a #NoEstimates blog post about value delivery

Estimation and estimates are a dreadful way to run a business. The basic idea is this: Estimates anchor benefits while not limiting your costs at all. Let’s look at this statement in parts. The second part (“estimates don’t limit costs”), is self-evident. Anyone looking at the track record of software projects will see the evidence. …

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 …