Beyond Estimates: Estimates or NoEstimates?
The default use of an "estimate-driven" approach is pervasive in software development efforts. While estimates can be useful, it is worthwhile to scrutinize our use of estimates, and to seek better ways to manage the development of software when estimates are not appropriate. [NOTE: For this session, I am referring to the use of estimates of cost, time, or effort for software projects, features, or tasks.]
There are a number of things to explore. For example, do we really need estimates for everything we currently use them for? Are we getting a reasonable benefit from them? Is it possible to manage software development without them?
In this session we will start with an information gathering exercise to help us gain a shared idea of our current understanding of the purpose and use of estimates. From here we'll move on to examine the nature of software development projects and a few possible other ways to approach our work.
Outline/Structure of the Tutorial
- Introduction to the concept of estimates
- Discussion about how we use estimates.
- Exercises to demonstrate the nature of estimates.
- Information gathering sessions to build a common understanding.
- Exercises to demonstrate possible ways to work without estimates.
- What an estimate is and why we use them.
- The issues with estimates, and why we need a new approach.
- How I've been working without estimates.
- How others have been working without estimates.
- An approach to start working without estimates, or to reduce your dependency on them.
- Ways to explore possible alternatives to estimates.
Managers, Product Owners, Developers, and anyone involved in Software Development
Prerequisites for Attendees
Having some experience with planning and estimating software development will be useful.