Budgeting, Estimation, Planning, #NoEstimates and the Agile Planning Onion - They ALL make sense!

location_city Washington D.C schedule Oct 26th 04:00 - 04:45 PM IST place Auditorium

There are many levels of estimation, including budgeting, high-level estimation and task planning (detailed estimation).  We can link a more classic view of estimation to  the Agile planning onion popularized by Mike Cohn.   In the Agile planning onion, strategic planning is on the outside of the onion and the planning that occurs in the daily sprint meetings is at the core of the onion. Each layer closer to the core relates more to the day-to-day activity of a team. The #NoEstimates movement eschew developing story- or task-level estimates and sometimes higher levels of estimation. As you get closer to the core of the planning onion the case for the#NoEstimates becomes more compelling and dare I say useful. 

This presentation focuses on challenging the attendee to consider estimation as a form of planning. Planning is a considered an important competency in most business environments. Planning activities abound whether planning the corporate picnic to planning the acquisition and implementation of a new customer relationship management system. Most planning activities center on answering a few very basic questions. When will “it” be done? How much will “it” cost? What is “it” that I will actually get? As an organization or team progresses through the planning onion, the need for effort and cost estimation lessens in most cases. #NoEstimation does not remove the need for all types of estimates. Most organizations will always need to estimate in order to budget. Organizations that have stable teams, adopt the Agile mindset and have a well-groomed backlog will be able to use predictable flow to forecast rather than effort and cost estimation. At a sprint or day-to-day level Agile teams that predictably deliver value can embrace the idea of #NoEstimate while answering the basic questions based what, when and how much based on performance.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

1.  Why do we budget, estimate and plan

2. Budgeting

  • Defines how much we have to spend and influences scope
  • Tends to ignore the cone of uncertainty
  • Portfolio scaling techniques (SAFe, DSDM)

3. Estimation

  • Rough or approximate size extent or nature
  • Focused by the cone of uncertainty
  • #NoProjects

4. Planning

  • Definition of tasks and allocation of resources
  • Focused on the narrow part of the cone of uncertainty
  • #NoEstimates

Applying budgeting, estimation and planning in real life!

  • Implementation note
  • A real life example (case study-ette) 

Learning Outcome

Attendees will understand:

  • The difference between budgeting, planning and estimation.
  • When budgeting, planning and estimation make sense AND when they don't and in what combination!
  • What does #NoEstimates really mean (and what is hype).
  • Why not having a strategy for budgeting, planning and estimation is a losers game.

Target Audience

Product Owners, Agile Portfolio Managers, Agile Coaches, Program Managers, SPCs

schedule Submitted 7 years ago

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